Corsenside St Cuthbert

The parish of Corsenside contains West Woodburn, East Woodburn, Ridsdale and the surrounding isolated houses and farms. There are two church buildings in use,  Corsenside St Cuthbert, the original parish church sited near remains of an abandoned village to the north of West Woodburn,  and West Woodburn All Saints, between West Woodburn and East Woodburn. The picture shows St Cuthbert's church.
Services:
Occasional Parish Communion and special services

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The Corsenside  Jubilee Committee sponsored and arranged many events to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, in June 2012, including a Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving and Hope on the morning of Sunday June 3rd held at St Cuthbert's Corsenside. Representatives from community groups in Ridsdale and West Woodburn joined in the lighting of a thanksgiving candle, placed before the altar.

Historical notes

A cross-base and possible sections of wayside crosses kept within the church are consistent with the existence of a church here at the time of the translation of the corpse of St Cuthbert after 875, Corsenside being one of four probable resting places.

The plain chancel arch (late 11th or early 12th Century) is the only surviving architectural feature of the Norman two-cell church, which may have been vaulted throughout. This barrel vaulting was probably removed when the walls were heightened in the 17th Century. A priest's door was added or altered in the 17th Century.

The chancel south window, belcote and south door were added around 1735, when the font and communion rails were probably installed. The annex and porch at the west end and the nave windows are perhaps of the mid-19th Century.

Most of the wooden furnishings date to an internal restoration in 1914, at which date the medieval slabs were brought inside the church.

Since 1914, the whole building has been thoroughly re-pointed with hard cement and low ceilings inserted (external pointing c. 1987).

The chancel arch is flanked by early 19th Century Commandment boards and there are three slots in each side for a rood screen.

There is a simple square aumbry in the north wall.

The tall limestone octagonal 18th Century font is of two parts (bowl and stem) set in a stone base; the stones may originally have been parts of a wayside cross.

The pulpit (c. 1914) has a memorial inscription.

There are several monuments, internal and external, of high quality and interest.

An entry in Kelly's Directory of Northumberland (1910) pages 110-111 includes a description of the church and parish (extracts are shown here and on the page for Corsenside All Saints):

The Church of St. Cuthbert, now used only as a mortuary chapel, is an ancient building of stone in the gothic style. ... the stained east window is a memorial to William H. Rudd, erected in January, 1878, by Margaret, his widow: the church was restored, re-seated, and a new pulpit, reading desk and south porch erected in 1874-5 at a cost of £200; there are 100 sittings. The register dates from the year 1735.

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