Photoblog: Conyers Chapel and All Saints Church

The origins of All Saints Church in Sockburn stretch back to antiquity. Higbald was crowned Bishop of Lindisfarne in here in 780 or 781, and Eanbald was made Archbishop of York here in 796.

The majority of what was the church is now in ruins. The still standing portion, called Conyers Chapel, is considerably younger. It is named after John Conyers, who lived in the 13th century, and is my 27G Grandfather.

His stone effigy can be found in the chapel (and seen in these pictures) and he and his wife are buried under the chapel.

The chapel also contains a considerable collection of stone carvings, many clearly of Viking origin.

The church was partially demolished by Henry Blackett when he purchased the property in 1838. Such ruins were very much in vogue at the time. While such needless destruction offends my historic sensibilities, there seems little question that the church as already in rather poor shape when Blackett got hold of it.

My thanks go to Mary, the owner of the property, for taking my wife and I on a tour of the church. The remains of the church itself are owned by the Diocese of Durham.

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Tech Notes: All images shot on my Nikon D200 with either a Sigma 24-70 or a Sigma 15-30 lens. Images were processed in Photoshop Elements.

8 Comments on “Photoblog: Conyers Chapel and All Saints Church

  1. Miguel Torrens

    Dear Mr. Combs,

    Thank you very much for posting your photographs of the Sockburn church ruins and chapel, especially the shot of the old baptismal font, which is of interest to us in our project, Baptisteria Sacra Index, an inventory and catalogue of ancient baptismal fonts.

    Would you permit us to reproduce two of your photos (exterior and font) in our onlibe catalogue? We would of course accompany your images with a copyright statement crediting the photos to you.

    Thank you for considering our request, I look forward to reading your reply, either way.

    Cordial regards,

    Miguel A. Torrens, director
    Baptisteria Sacra Index
    University of Toronto

  2. Daniel Larson

    Dear Mr. Combs,
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos. As far as I can tell, John Conyers is my 26th great grandfather. At some point I will spend some time in England visiting my ancestors old stomping grounds but in the meantime I am happy that I found your photos.

    Best regards,
    Dan Larson
    Walden, NY

  3. Brian Combs

    Well, that makes us some sort of distant cousin. Good to meet you!

  4. Daniel Larson

    Likewise! I suppose it would be something like 27th cousin once removed 😉

  5. Mike

    Just revisiting (via the magic of Google Earth) some of the places I used to ride my bike around when I was a child. Never actually visited the church, but it was a very short distance from my usual haunts. It’s fascinating to read some of the history and at the same time very sad that places such as this aren’t looked after and restored to (at least part) of their former glory.

  6. mary beaney – artist beaney

    Hello Brian Combs. I don’t know how but I stumbled across your website stating that you have Conyers Family connection. I too am related to the early Roger de Coigniers through my paternal grandfather William Carter Conyers Hardy. Have you heard of him.
    Somehow or other we are related and probably like you is about 33 x Gt.Grandfather.
    Would love to hear from you to say what our connections are – probably 100th cousins so many times removed.
    Best wishes Mary Carter Conyers Hardy/Reay etc. etc. etc.

  7. Brian Combs

    It would depend upon when your lineage stems off the main Conyers line. The older known Roger de Coigners is my 33rd great grandfather, making us, at worst, 33rd cousins (probably a few times removed).

    My most recent Conyers ancestor is Lady Jane Conyers (daughter of Sir Thomas Conyers, 9th Baronet of Horden), whom I have in common with Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cornwall. That makes us 6th cousins, once removed or something like that.

    I suspect you’re somewhere between those two extremes.

  8. Benjamin Luke Sconyers

    Hello! Please take a look at my family tree. I am a direct male decendant of sir john conyers. I think hes my 17th great grandfather, although perhaps im unsure how to count grandfather numbers because yours is higher.

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