QUEST TWENTY THREE: NORTHUMBRIA, TEESDALE AND SCOTLAND.

DAY ONE: So on Thursday the 29th of June we set off from Cambridge to embark on another quest. After a long yet pleasant journey we arrived at  Middleton in Teesdale which was to be our base for the next four nights. The area we stayed at was outstanding in its beauty, with rolling hills, wild rivers and ancient buildings, so we knew that lots was waiting for us to discover.

 

 

HIGH FORCE WATERFALL NEAR BARNARD CASTLE, COUNTY DURHAM: This magnificant waterfall has been a popular tourist attraction for many year now, but what folks do not realise is that it is also a sacred Templar site. This is truly an amazing spectacle of nature with immense power not to be underestimated. There is a very pretty forest walk down to the waterfall which passes through lush greenary and ancient trees. When one sees the waterfall one simply stops in awe, wondering how many gallons of water gush over the edge and into the river below, every minute. The ‘Templar’ energy is amazing and anyone on the ‘path’ can not fail to pick up on it. From everywhere though, many ‘guardians’ keep watch over their secret treasures…

 

 

The walk down to the waterfall was lush and verdant and full of ancient ‘energies’ including the watching ‘guardians’ keeping watch over treasures of old….

 

We crossed an ancient stone bridge over a bubbling stream, underwhich the guarding trolls were watching. Unwritten legend tells of Sir Lancelot secretly hiding a twentfour carat gold table under these very stone arches, where the trolls have watched throughout time…..

http://www.highforcewaterfall.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Force

 

DAY TWO: RABY CASTLE:  Raby Castle is one of Englands finest Medieval Castles with an intriging history of valiant knights, battles fought and family intrigues pondered over, as one would well expect. So thus a whole quest dedicated to discovering more about the enigmatic and mysterious Neville Family, often known as the ‘power behind the throne’ or indeed the true royal bloodline itself. The Neville line that is of interest here on this quest was created in 1254 with the death of Isobel de Neville, whom was born in Bracepeth and who married Lord Robert Fitzmaldred from Raby, and of course whose maiden name was indeed Neville. These are ‘our’ Alek’s 18 x Great Grandparents.

Their son, Lord Robert Fitzrobert changed his name by deed poll upon the death of his mother, to his mother’s name of Neville. Lord Robert de Neville, born in Raby, County Durham, 1240 – 1271 whom reached 31 years of age is ‘our’ Alek’s 17 x Great Grandfather. It is important to note that in 1033, Earl Maldred MacCrinnan, 1015 – 1045, moved from Dunbar. East Lothian to Raby, Countu Durham and is Alek’s 23 x Great Grandfather. His brother was Duncan, King of Scotland, 1001 – 1040)

 

The Castle and ‘Neville’ shield from the gardens.

Click on the link below to read more about the history of the Nevilles at Raby Castle

http://www.rabycastle.com/history/the-nevills

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raby_Castle

The castle is set amidst a vast landscaped estate, where herds of deer roam; with beautiful walled gardens and associated buidings near the main entrance. It was a damp but warm day when we arrived and the blooms in the garden were magnificant. Around the far side of the castle, the opposite side to the entrance are two landscaped ‘ponds’ which when viewed at a certain angle give the wonderful appearance of a moat.

 

The fair blooms of Raby Castle gardens

 

We filmed a short video just outside the gardens where Alek explained more on the Neville lineage and his own connection to it.

 

 

 

 

Although we were unable to roam freely inside the castle on this occasion, we were able to tag onto a tour and take some non-flash shots. Athough the tour mainly concentrated on the current owners of the castle, mentions were made of the Nevilles of the past, so we were able to pick up extra info as we toured around the vast rooms and many corridoors.

 

 

Portrait of Charles Neville, the Sixth Earl of Westmoorland, 1569 and plaques showing the Masonic past of the castle. <click to enlarge>

 

Members of the Neville family as depicted on the rear wall of the chapel wall and set into alcoves <click to enlarge>

 

General views of the sumptuous interior of Raby Castle showing the many fine objects displayed throughout the castle; many of which have been handed down through the centuries often being lovingly restored.

 

DSC02149 (1)

In this very room (above) plots and deals were made, including famously, the plot to overthrow the then false queen, Elizabeth the first. Seven hundred knights in full armour, assembled in this very room to swear allegiance and their blood oaths to the rightful royal boodline, the Nevilles. Sadly, as history tells, the throne never made it back into the Neville hands and the crown wrongly took the castle for it’s own and later gave it to the Barnard family. Thus the history of this country was forever changed and the throne has remained in the wrong hands ever since. The Nevilles were somewhat appeased by an offering of land and dwellings in farther off lands, well away from those ‘who would be king’. But history and time has a way of working things out and the ‘mighty’ always fall… But how i wished i had been a fly on the wall to witness those seven hundred knights in full armour in readyness for duty…..

 

 

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH: BISHOP AUCKLAND: St Andrew’s Church is  fine Grade One listed building; a living church carrying on the long tradition of proclaiming the gospel to folks of each and every generation. St Andrews is cruciform in shape and is said to be the largest parish church in the Diocese of Durham. It is believed that the current church is the third to occupy this site. The first dated from 650AD, and the second 1100AD, housing monks expelled from Durham. This present church was built almost seven hundred and fifty years ago, in around 1274AD as a Collegiate Church, with a dean, twelve canons and the same number of vicars.

St Andrew’s church hides a great and wondrous surprise; a very ancient ‘Celtic’ cross; far the oldest in this country in fact, the origins of which go back to ancient Sumeria. It is situated under the tower at the west of the nave and incorparated into it are, what is said to be, large fragments of Saxon stonework. The carvings on the cross depict tales of Nergal and the underworld, the ouroborous, the archer and mythical beasts, including the Bennu Bird. The ‘so called’ human figures carved on the cross with very long fingers, bear a remarkable resemblance to bodily remains recently discovered.

 

St Andrew’s Church and the beautiful Celtic Cross with Alek and Martin examining it in full detail.

Martin who let us into the church was very interested and soaked up all Alek had to share. See the churches own interpretaion on the cross here:-

cross for MG

 

While it was dificult to discover much about the church or the real origins of the Celtic Cross from the internet , i did find this description (click on the link below) which was about as detailed as i could get. Meanwhile please enjoy my own selection of photos below. As with most of these sacred objects from the past, the cross did emanate an amazing ‘energy’ and one could not help being drawn towards it.

https://www.york.ac.uk/teaching/history/pjpg/cross.pdf

The carvings on the cross certainly have a feeling of death and rebirth about them.

In the church are to be found connections to the Neville bloodline and to Alek’s family. One of the stained glass windows clearly shows the Neville Shield and the effigy of the ‘Unknown Knight’ and ‘Unknown Lady’ could have connections to the Neville lineage and an important reasons for visiting this church. See photos below…

<click on images to enlarge>

Also of interest, in the south, is a holy water stoup (see below) commemorating Bishop Robert Neville whose coat of arms it bears; discovered in the churchyard in 1850 and believed to have been adapted from a Roman altar, probably taken in the ruins of Vinovia. So an interesting church indeed with some very significant ‘finds’ within it…

 

Part two and much more to follow shortly…

Please feel free to contact us if you are curious to find out much more about our quests; on an England; on a history you thought you knew….

  To discover The Priory see: http://priory7.wix.com/priory

“The Grail Kingship is within the realm of impossibilities”

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’