Tyne and Wear HER(774): St. Mary's Island, chapel cemetery - Details
St. Mary's Island, chapel cemetery
St. Mary's Island
Religious Ritual and Funerary
There is supposed to have been a chapel, dedicated to St. Mary or St. Helen, on the island, associated with which was a graveyard. The antiquarian, Tomlinson in 1889 sited this cemetery on the east side of the house, where there was a lawn which could not be built on because it was consecrated ground. He added, a bit contradictorily, that 7 skeletons had been disturbed during recent alterations to the inn, and more were found in the building of St. Mary's lighthouse. The latter were removed to Seaton Delaval churchyard. Craster quotes 2 references from the Earsdon parish register, one - a woman buried in St. Ellen churchyard in 1603 - in support of the dedication to St. Helen, and the other - a man buried at Bateshill (Bates Isle) "within ye walls of ye chappell" in 1680 - as the latest burial. Both were from Hartley.
<< HER 774 >> W.W. Tomlinson, 1889, St. Mary's Island, Northumberland, Monthly Chronicle pp. 441-2 W.W. Tomlinson, 1893, Historical Notes on Cullercoats, Whitley and Monkseaton, pp. 144-5 H.H.E. Craster, 1909, Hartley Township, Northumberland County History, IX, p. 120 P. Brown, 1935, St. Mary's Island, Friday Books, pp. 133-5; North Tyneside Council, 2005, St. Mary's Island Draft Conservation Area Character Statement; St. Mary's Island, 2017, Archaeological Assessment