Rock-Cut Graves of Heysham

by L-Johnson
Heysham tombs cut out of rock

The ruins of St Patrick’s Chapel, possibly dating back to 750 AD or a little later is just below the graves.

On a cliff in Heysham, Lancashire, England stands the ruins of St. Patrick’s Chapel. The ruins date from the 8th or 9th century. Near the chapel are six graves cut into the sandstone, each in the shape of a human body with a socket cut in the rock for a cross or headstone. One of them is child-sized.

The graves are now empty, or usually filled with rain water. The graves are amongst the earliest examples of Christian burial in the country. The chapel grounds are in the care of the National Trust and open to the public. Nobody knows who was buried in them but it’s believed that they were created for the privileged only, to spend an eternity gazing out towards the Lake District hills.

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