"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on January 16, 2016 by Sioux under General
1 Comment


St Andrews Parish Church.


The first mention of this church in Newcastle’s history is dated 1218. In the 1644 siege of Newcastle St Andrews was so badly damaged, that no service was performed there for a year afterwards. Apparently “a breach was made in the wall near to the church capable of admitting ten men abreast”.


The pillars that run alongside the aisles are circular and low, supporting heavy arches – all characteristic features of the Anglo-Saxon style of architecture. The floor was first covered with flags in 1707, and between then and 1818, the building underwent extensive repairs and additions, including being completely repainted.


In 1785, a Mr. Donaldson built the present organ for the princely sum of £315 (at the current exchange rate, this would be approximately R7,560); the funds were raised by voluntary donations. General repairs have been carried out over the years but the organ is still the same one installed 231 years ago, and is in perfect tune. It has been said that a monetary value can no longer be placed on the instrument.

IMG_5175 LR (1 of 1)
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The current 6 bells that hang in the bell-tower were purchased and installed around 1726. It is commonly said that the peal of these 6 bells has never been surpassed, and seldom equaled, for musical correctness and harmony of tone, by any other peal that has been cast, either before or since that time. Not one bell in the six is in the smallest degree faulty or out of tune.

As was the custom in years gone by, graveyards were adjacent to the local church. It would seem that the oldest grave in the St Andrews Parish churchyard is dated 1667.


Again, another architectural masterpiece, a beautiful and peaceful building. Its no wonder people seek solace inside these buildings when they have nowhere else to go. One can only wonder why it is that most wars have been fought in the name of religion – when in fact the inside of these religious buildings is so peaceful!


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One response to “So old, so beautiful”

  1. Lindsay says:

    I’m drawn to them for the feeling of enduring; even though it’s a big ask to keep them going these days, they are a monument to humanity’s reaching for the sublime. Heaven knows what kinds of challenges folk went through in those days! I’m also grateful that our era is a lot less put-upon 🙂

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