Inspired by a tweet from Dan Jackson, earlier this week, I headed south into County Durham on the Scrambler:
County Durham was among the saddest of the ‘sad shires’ of WW1 (with the Durham Light Infantry alone losing 13,000 men killed), but the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Hunstanworth in the North Pennines was lucky, and is the county’s only ‘thankful village’.

According to Wiki: The church, dedicated to St James the Less, was built in 1781 on a medieval site. The village was designed and built around the original parish church. The Reverend Daniel Capper commissioned architect Samuel Sanders Teulon to create the village in 1862-3; as well as rebuilding the church, Teulon delivered a vicarage and stable block, school and school-house and a mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses, all constructed of sandstone.

The church is also home to a hand-blown organ by Gray & Davison which was on display at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

A charming video is also available on the Thankful Villages website.

The church at Hunstanworth

The hand-blown organ by Gray & Davison which was on display at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The stained glass windows, Hunstanworth Church

Ancient gravestones – one of many

The road home – to the right of my highest mirror is College Farm (near Edmundbyers), abandoned many years ago.


  1. Aviationtrails · January 23, 2022

    It’s a Beautiful little church.

  2. restlessjo · January 23, 2022

    Magnificent photos of the church, Robin. I know I’ve been there but I can’t recollect exactly where it is.

    • northumbrianlight · January 24, 2022

      Thanks Jo – a couple of miles from Blanchland on a single-track road you would never normally take. It takes you over the high moorlands to Rookhope. Perfect for the Scrambler 🙂

      • restlessjo · January 24, 2022

        Sounds wonderful 🤗💕

  3. Pit · January 25, 2022

    What an organ! 🙂

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