Heysham Coast

Beautiful sandstone headland renowned for its eighth-century chapel and rock hewn graves; a wonderful urban green space

More about this place

View of St Patrick's chapel

St Patrick's Chapel

St Patrick's Chapel possibly dates back to the mid-eighth century, or a little later. The rectangular chapel is constructed of sandstone and measures roughly 7 meters by 2.2 meters. One of the best architectural features is the curved Anglo-Saxon style doorway. Local tradition states that St Patrick may well have come ashore here in the fifth century, after being shipwrecked off the coast, and subsequently established a small chapel. The existing chapel is thought to have been built at least two centuries later to encourage the act of pilgrimage.

The rock cut graves at Heysham

Rock cut graves

Around St Patrick's Chapel are the remains of eight rock-cut graves hewn from the headland, several of which are body shaped and have rock-cut sockets, possibly for wooden crosses. It is thought that the graves were created around the eleventh century and were used for burying very high-status individuals

Sunset from Heysham with views of the graves included

Ranger highlights for autumn at Heysham 

Make the most of autumn with our rangers' handy top tips of things to see and do.

St Patrick's Chapel Heysham Head, Cumbria

Heysham's heritage - The story behind the chapel 

From sea crossings to shipwrecks and Saints to sands. It is believed St Patrick found the headland at Heysham to be a place of spiritual importance, enough to build a chapel there.

Download the new Heysham leaflet

The New Heysham leaflet is here! 

The trail takes you along the most prominent cliff on the Lancashire coast to explore the area's rich history long the most prominent cliff on the Lancashire coast to explore the area’s rich history and the landscape of today. Click to download (pdf).

Heysham Coast

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