Saturday, 9 November 2013


What do rock band Black Sabbath and Heysham have in common?  Answer: there is a collection of graves at Heysham Head in the grounds of the ruined St Patrick's Chapel, close to the present-day St Peter's Church, which featured on the cover of The Best of Black Sabbath album cover. St Patrick reputedly landed here after crossing from Ireland.  The grounds of  St Peter's house many Saxon and Viking remains, and there is a Viking hogback stone (grave marker) in the church.   Heysham was visited by the artist J. M. W. Turner, and he produced a number of paintings of the village with the Lake District peaks in the background, including 'Heysham and Cumberland Mountains', painted in 1818. To the east of the town is Heysham Moss Nature Reserve, which provides interest for botanists, with such delights as twelve species of "bog moss" or Sphagnum on offer, while ornithologists are likely to encounter breeding birds such as Reed Bunting and wintering birds such as Snipe.  As a contrast to Heysham's ancient heritage and nature, Heysham is the location of a nuclear power station, in fact two of them, Heysham 1 and Heysham 2.  Near the power stations is a ferry terminal offering a ferry service from Heysham to the Isle of Man.        

Map of the area. 

File:Ancient stone graves at St. Patrick's Chapel, Heysham - - 333469.jpg
Photo by Tom Pennington, via Wikimedia Commons

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