Like a lot of people, I would love to live by the sea. Fortunately, I do live within easy distance of the coast and my favourite north-west seaside destinations, where I can appreciate the stunning views, peaceful shores, and where I can envy those who do actually reside there.
One such place is the village of Heysham in Lancashire, just a few miles outside the historic city of Lancaster and a pleasant walk down the coastal path from better-known Morecambe. Not all of Heysham is gorgeous – it is also the site of a huge power station – but its grassy cliff tops, rock pools and quiet promenade are, for me, unrivalled in the region.
The addition of the ancient ruins of St Patrick’s Chapel with its mysterious Viking barrow graves, plus the Anglo-Saxon Church of St Peter on the cliff edge, put Heysham at the top of my fantasy seaside homes list. My posts about St Patrick’s Chapel and St Peter’s Church tell more: St Patrick’s Chapel and barrow graves St Peter’s Church
Heysham is also a village in bloom, where private residents and the small community as a whole seem to be on the same green page. Many of the houses are hundreds of years old.
The house below was formerly St Peter’s rectory but is now a private home.
A sign outside this cottage invites passers-by to help themselves to windfall apples
The houses below are both 17th century, like many other properties close by
On Main Street is a quirky community display with an abundance of flowers and peculiar objects which, no doubt, are significant to the village.
Recessed in a wall close by is St Patrick’s Well, named after the ancient chapel whose ruins stand on the cliff just a five minute walk away. Originally a Holy Well, it was later used by the rectory for utilitarian purposes but became contaminated and was filled with rubble in the early 1800s. Some restoration work took place about a hundred years later but it was further restored in 2002 and turned into a feature. The water is now pumped through artificially.
The Glebe Garden is accessed from the grave yard and is a lovely example of community effort.
A path winds around the lush space where benches, each one dedicated to the memory of somebody who loved spending time here, have been placed for quiet contemplation and pleasure. Perhaps the old man modelled as peering through the shrubbery once did so in life.
There are also modern properties in the village, some of them luxurious; most of them charming. An annual Viking festival is held in July, and it looks like one Norseman just doesn’t want the party to end.
A potential problem for those lucky enough to live in the village is being spoilt for choice between the cafes, a tea room and the pub, all of which offer delicious fresh food. It’s a problem I wouldn’t mind having though …. 🙂