St Mary’s Chapel
These ruins are all that remain of St Mary’s Chapel, the oldest church building in Newcastle. Much of the original church is now gone and what you see today was once part of the 15th century side chapel. St Mary’s has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. A holy relic, perhaps linked to the Virgin Mary, was once housed at the chapel and pilgrims can from across the land to worship here. Relics were sacred remains such as saints’ bones or fragments of the True Cross brought back from the Holy Land. Miracles are reputed to have take place among the sick who attended the chapel and the nearby holy well. It is said that Pilgrim Street, in the centre of Newcastle, was where pilgrims lodged on their way to this holy shrine. In 1479 a rector from Yorkshire left money in his will for pilgrims to travel to the four most holy places in the kingdom. His list ranked St Mary’s Chapel in Jesmond alongside the great cathedrals of Canterbury and St Paul’s in London.