Stories behind the gravestones of Longhoughton church to be revealed at Heritage Open Day

Stories behind the gravestones in the cemetery of an 11th century Northumberland church are to be revealed.
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They include the burial of bonesetter Isaac Milburn, who honed his skills on rabbits while working as a gamekeeper at Wallington Hall and later received a royal appointment from Queen Victoria to treat her daughter Beatrice who had been injured in a riding accident.

He also mended the broken leg of a horse that the owner had wanted destroyed. Unwittingly, the owner later bought it back at auction as it reminded him of his former horse

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It is just one of the many stories behind the stones at a Heritage Open Day at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Longhoughton on Saturday, September 9 from 10am to 4pm.

Bruce Burns.Bruce Burns.
Bruce Burns.

Other gravestones include David Williams who died along with his crew in a boating tragedy off the coast at Dunstanburgh Castle in 1851. Local teacher, Alan Davison, who died in 1802, aged just 43, is also remembered

Author Bruce Burns, who recently had his debut book published about his four times great grandfather, will also be at the open day to give more details about the life of the controversial bonesetter.

He said “It was an honour and a privilege to be able to research his life and it will very poignant to be visiting his gravestone. I look forward to telling more people about his history.”

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The oldest part of St Peter and St Paul’s Church, goes back to Saxon times. The nave is mainly Norman, from the late 11th century, built over the Saxon foundations.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Longhoughton became an independent parish. The first vicar was appointed in 1539

The local village heritage group have been surveying the older parts of the graveyard, recording details of the gravestones and researching the lives of some of the people buried there. The survey is an ongoing project to create a plan for the graves and record the inscriptions before they deteriorate.

Proceeds from Isaac Milburn by Bruce Burns will be used to ensure his grave and headstone are well maintained in future years.

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