Mediaeval foundations

Alnwick's first recorded Christian sites date back over 860 years.

Alnwick Abbey

In the magnificent Hulne Park, which stretches outwards from the north-west corner of Alnwick, the remains of Alnwick Abbey are worth a visit. Formerly an abbey of Premonstratensian Canons, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St. James, founded in the year 1147. Only the 14th century defensive gateway tower and the canons’ White Well remain, but the layout of the old Abbey foundations can be traced on the ground.

Hulne Priory

A mile and a half further up river into Hulne Park stand the picturesque ruins of Hulne Priory. Founded in 1240 by William de Vesci, this was the parent house of the Carmelite Order in England.  The ruins of St Leonard’s Hospital Chapel are also to be found in Hulne Park.  Some paths through beautiful Hulne Park are open to walkers (check restrictions at the gate).

Visitor information: Some paths through beautiful Hulne Park are open to walkers (check restrictions at the gate).

St Mary’s Chantry House

Situated in Walkergate, the Chantry House is documented since at least 1460. It provided accommodation for chantry chaplains attached to St Michael's Church, and served as a school until the early 17th century when a new school was built on Pottergate. The ruin is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

St Michael's Pant - one of several historic wells and drinking fountains around Alnwick

Hulne Abbey, parent house of the Carmelite Order in England, was founded in 1240 by William de Vesci, Lord of Alnwick, and Richard Gray. They had returned from the Crusade, brought with them some members of the community of Mount Carmel, in Syria, and settled them in this place.
The community received many grants of property, and various privileges from the Percy family, and the convent continued to be one of the most famous till the period of the Dissolution.
The convent and adjoining grounds eventually became the property of the present proprietor, the Duke of Northumberland.
(Some material above is from William Whellan & Co., History of Northumberland, 1855

St Leonard's Hospice
St Leonard's Hospice or Hospital - for weary travellers, aged monks etc., was founded in 1193, by Eustace de Vescy, for the rest of King Malcolm and Queen Margaret's souls. The Scottish king was thought to have died after battle by a nearby spring - now a well, about 5' deep.
In 1376 the Hospice was annexed by Alnwick Abbey. Originally there was a chapel, nave, chancel and various domestic buildings. 
The ruins were discovered in 1848 and partially restored to its present, rather romantic form.
In 1974 another excavation was made, recorded and the site tidied. Now, however, it is once more overgrown.