On the banks of the River Wear, in a beautiful wooded setting, stand the extensive remains of Finchale Priory. It was founded in 1196 on the site of the hermitage of St Godric, a retired sailor and merchant, who settled here after a life of adventure and travel. The priory was an outpost of Durham Cathedral and functioned as a holiday retreat for the monks of Durham until its suppression in 1538.
The story of Finchale can be read in its surviving remains, from St Godric's original church and tomb through the 13th century priory and its later rebuilding.
Before You Go
Access: Parts of the site are uneven and can become muddy.
Opening Times: Open 10am-5pm daily from April to October. From October to March Finchale is open from 10am-4pm.
Parking: There is a charged car park on site, not managed by English Heritage.
Camino Ingles: There is a pilgrimage stamp in the neighbouring tea room for those visiting Finchale as part of the Camino Ingles pilgrimage.
Plan a Great Day Out
St Godric supposedly founded Finchale Priory and devoted himself to Christianity after a visit to Lindisfarne Priory, which is on Holy Island just under a two hour drive away.