Summer Walk No 8 - Low Chibburn Preceptory, Druridge Bay, Tuesday 23rd July 2013.

On Tuesday 23rd July 2013, another fine evening welcomed members of Morpeth Camera Club as they gathered on the
links of Druridge Bay for visit number eight on the Summer Programme. This circular walk around the low lying pasture
land to the east of Widdrington Village was to take us to the ruins of Low Chibburn Preceptory & Dower House.
This scheduled ancient monument was built by the Knights Hopitallers or Order of St John of Jerusalem, who had a duty
to care for the sick and would take in pilgrims who would pass through on route to and from Lindisfarne.
Walking west away from the links we made our way along the road to High Chibburn Farm where we joined a farm track
and then headed north before climbing a stile and across a field to the site.The ruins today consist of two main buildings,
the chapel and the house, which formed two sides of a courtyard.The remaining two sides of the courtyard survive as the
foundations and tumbled walls. Used in the 16th century as a manor house it later became a " Dower House" which was
to house the widows on their late husbands estates.
Standing in the ruins with the many different styles of architecture, it was clear to see that over seven hundred years the
buildings had been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Wooden beams, stone fire places, arched windows, shields carved
into the stone, huge lintels and the remains of a a horizontal embrasure surviving from a World War II pillbox, all provided
features for us to photograph. The group of seventeen members and a dog then continued east back to the farm track,
where our canine guest decided it was too warm & launched himself into a water trough to cool off, much to the surprise
of members and a herd of cattle and calves in the next field.
Climbing another stile and over a grass field we joined the footpath that led us to the Druridge Pools Nature Reserve.
Stopping at the two hides overlooking the lake, birds and flowers were photographed before crossing the links road and
heading onto the beach. As the light began to fade we walked along Druridge Bay beach and then back over the dunes to
our vehicles to complete the circular walk.
Members then regrouped at the Widdrington Inn where a cold drink finished off a good night.
                                                                                                                                          Davy Bolam.