Why not walk a Northern Saints Trail this year? Here’s a list of 24 quirky things to look out for on your journey:

Exterior of Binchester Roman Fort showing Roman ruins and wood cabin

The Way of Life

The Beast of Binchester
Known to the Romans as Vinovia, the Binchester Roman Fort was founded around 80AD and for a time was one of the largest military installations in Northern Britain. Come with beady eyes as the Beast of Binchester is about! It’s a carving of a headless animal on one of the foundation stones. Could it be a cat or a dog? 

- Address: Binchester Roman Fort, Binchester, Bishop Auckland DL14 8DJ

Bishop Trevor’s Initials
You may not think much about bridges but they have a history. Over the River Gaunless, Trevor’s Bridge was built in 1757 for Bishop Richard Trevor. It is one of several bridges built for him and is the only one to survive intact. Look out for his initials RD (Richard Dunelm) on the north side.

- Address: Auckland Castle Deer Park, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NR

Auckland Castle Gate House and Clock Tower

The Clock Tower
The Clock Tower, also known as Robinson Arch is a grand entrance gateway and a great place for a photo. A grade I listed building, it was designed by Sir Thomas Robinson for Bishop Richard Trevor in 1760. The clock bell is thought to be even older, dating back to the 12th century.

- Address: Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NJ

The Miner’s Wife
You won’t be alone in Low Burnhall Woods, as some others will be around! Spot ‘The Miner’s Wife’, a willow sculpture, also known as the ‘wicker lady’. Her other half is, ‘The Willow Miner’, a 15ft sculpture which looks out to the beautiful countryside.

- Address: Low Burnhall Woods, South Road, Durham DH1 3TX

Cleadon Windmill. Sailless windmill on grass hill

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Cleadon Windmill
As well as glorious views, at the highest point of the Cleadon Hills you’ll find the sailess Cleadon Windmill . It was built in the 1820s but was greatly damaged in a storm and was a target for gunnery practice during the First World War.

- Address: Cleadon Hills Pathway, South Shields NE34 8DZ

Take some time in the pretty Durham Market Place and you will find a statue of Neptune holding a trident. It was given to Durham in 1729 by George Bowes MP of Gibside and Strealam, as a symbol of the scheme to link Durham to the sea by improved navigation of the River Wear.  

- Address: Durham Market Place, Durham City DH1 3NJ

Close up shot of the statue of Neptune in Durham City Market Place

Second Sun
The ‘Second Sun’ is a huge sculpture of a sun on a metal tripod by Andrew Small. The aluminium sphere features animated images of the sun by NASA. It commemorates St Bede who calculated the motion of the sun and moon.

- Address: under Wearmouth Bridge, Sunderland SR1 3AH

Anker’s House Museum
The anchorage, now known as the Anker’s House Museum , is a fascinating feature of St Mary and St Cuthbert’s Church. Six religious recluses once lived there in turn from 1380 – 1547. It is a small space where the person would be sealed in. A small window meant food could be passed through and a slit in the wall allowed you to observe Mass. Could you survive living like that?

- Address: St Mary and St Cuthbert’s Church, Church Chare, Chester-le-Street DH3 3QB

Family and Durham Cathedral staff member looking at the Sanctuary Ring

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Sanctuary Ring
The rather scary looking creature hanging on the North Door of Durham Cathedral is the Sanctuary Ring, not the Sanctuary Knocker as many people call it. In the Middle Ages, those who had ‘committed a great offence’ could touch it and would be granted sanctuary for 37 days. There is in fact no evidence of a knocking plate so its true and correct name is the Sanctuary Ring. The original version was placed on the door shortly after the cathedral was built and can be found in the Durham Cathedral Museum.

- Address: Durham Cathedral, The Cathedral Office, The College, Durham City DH1 3EH

Carving on St Mary Magdalene Churh, Hart
On the external south wall of the chancel of St Mary Magdalene Church, you will discover a carving of what is thought to be Saint George and the Dragon. Or it could relate to the Clifford Family, who for a time owned the nearby Hart Manor House. Rather than being a carving of a dragon, it may be a wyvern which is on the Clifford family crest. What do you think the carving shows?

- Address: St Mary Magdalene Church, Magdalene Drive, Hart Village, Hartlepool TS27 3AP

Timescale sculpture showing slate monoliths, boulders of 'coal' and Davy lamps

In Kelloe, you will come across the ‘Timescale’ sculpture by Lorna Green, which reflects the mining history of the village. Notice the magnesium limestone boulders which represent coal and the Davy lamps.

- Address: Located along the Kelloe Way Railway Path in County Durham, near St Helen's Church, Kelloe DH6 4PQ

Inside the tranquil Old Durham Gardens  is a small building called a gazebo. It was originally built in the 17th century in alignment with Durham Cathedral. It has two floors and holds displays.

- Address: Old Durham Gardens, Bent House Lane, Durham, DH1 2RY

Coquet Island, birds flying nearby. Blue sky.

The Way of the Sea

Coquet Island
Off the coast of Amble you’ll get views of this fascinating little island. St Cuthbert came here over 1300 years ago. In the spring , around 35,000 seabirds stop on the island to breed, including the very cute puffin. Although you can’t go onto the island you can get a closer view with a boat trip. 

- Address: 1 mile offshore from Amble, Amble, Northumberland, NE65 0DQ

Retail Pods
If you love to browse the shops, then Amble Harbour Village should be next on your list. What look like a set of sheds, are the fun fifteen retail pods. They are independent businesses, selling a variety of products from food and drink to arts and crafts.

- Address: Amble Harbour Village, Leazes Street, Amble, NE65 0FD

Local Heroes sculpture of cut out figures surrounded by greenery of Ridley Park

Local Heroes
Wander through Ridley Park and pause to look at the ‘Local Heroes’ sculpture. It has three figures of famous local people: Actor Stan Laurel, who in his early career performed at Old Blyth Theatre Royal, Michael Sweeney, a guardsman killed in Afghanistan in 2010 and PC David Rathband who was shot and blinded in 2010 in the course of duty.

- Address: Ridley Park, Wensleydale Terrace, Blyth NE24 3HF

Collingwood Monument
This grade II* listed monument has a statue of the powerful looking Admiral Lord Collingwood. It was built in 1845 by public subscription to commemorate his success at the Battle of Trafalgar with Nelson in 1805. He commanded the Royal Sovereign ship which is where the cannons on the monument come from. 

- Address: Tynemouth, North Shields NE30 4DD

Close-up of gold eagle lectern. Stained glass window in background.

The Way of Light

Eagle Lectern 
The striking eagle lectern at Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens was designed by A.W.N. Pugin. It’s inside the spectacular St Cuthbert’s Chapel. The eagle could be symbolism for carrying the word of God to the ends of the Earth.

- Address: St Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw Historic House Chapels and Gardens Woodland Road, Ushaw Moor, DH7 7DW

Saxon Crypt
A remarkable feature of Hexham Abbey is the saxon crypt. It is the only part of St Wilfrid’s original church that survives intact.  Notice the leaf and berry design on some of the stones, this shows they were originally from an important house.

- Address: Hexham Abbey, Beaumont Street, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 3NB

Overhead shot of Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens. Bounds on the right

An intriguing area in the grounds of Ushaw Historic House, Chapels & Gardens is known as the Bounds. It’s where you’ll see the Bounds Wall with ball courts and racket houses. It was built as part of the original college complex where unusual ball games were played. One of them was Cat (or Katt) which includes elements of squash, golf and baseball.

- Address: Ushaw Historic House Chapels and Gardens Woodland Road, Ushaw Moor, DH7 7DW

Pennypie House
What may look like a simple farmhouse is thought to be the place where pies were once baked and sold to miners for a penny! 

- Address: Pennypie House, Blanchland, near Whitehill Plantation, Northumberland DH8 9UD

Close-up of Gateshead Millenium Bridge in the evening. Blue sky. Buildings with yellow lights behind.

The Angel’s Way

Gateshead Millennium Bridge
As you explore Gateshead, you must see the fine Gateshead Millennium Bridge. It is the world’s first and only tilting bridge. The very top of the arch is 50 metres above the River Tyne when in its normal state.

- Address: Gateshead Millennium Bridge, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA

Newcastle Cathedral - Reredos
The reredos inside Newcastle Cathedral, an ornamental screen at the back of the High Altar, is an intricate wonder. There are a number of Gospel writers and saints, including St Nicholas. In the centre there is an enthroned Christ.

- Address: Newcastle Cathedral, Nicholas Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 1PF

Interior of Grainger Market, red metal arches on ceiling

Marks and Spencer Original Penny Bazaar
Located inside Grainger Market, this unusual M&S opened in 1895 and is the last surviving example of a Penny Bazaar version of the shop. It is the world’s smallest M&S! 

- Address: Grainger Market, Grainger Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 5QQ

Seaton Delaval Hall
Take the opportunity to visit the spectacular Seaton Delaval Hall, once home to the Delavals, notorious Georgian partygoers and pranksters. Inside, there is a giant three metre ship in a bottle, a homage to the family’s maritime history and the bottle works in Seaton Sluice, formerly the largest in the UK.

- Address: Seaton Delaval Hall, The Avenue, Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay NE26 4QR




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