Biddlestone RC Chapel

Northumberland | Listed Grade II*

History and Architecture

Most remotely sited of HCT's chapels, Biddlestone stands on the southern slopes of the Cheviot Hills within Northumberland National Park. Biddlestone was a private chapel adjoining Biddlestone Hall, the demolished home of the Selby family. The Selbys established themselves at Biddlestone where eventually they maintained a Catholic chaplaincy at their own expense. Scars on the west wall of the chapel indicate the site of the Hall where the chapel was attached.

The chapel was built was over the remains of a mediaeval pele tower, that almost certainly dates  from the late 14th century. Mediaeval rubblestone survives to eaves height on the north side and there is a thick-walled, barrel-vaulted undercroft below.

About 1820 when the Selbys were rebuilding Biddlestone Hall they repaired the remains of the tower and constructed the chapel over the undercroft. The chapel is furnished in mid-Victorian Gothic Revival manner, with a three-light east window containing stained glass which dates from 1862. In the gallery is stained glass displaying Selby heraldry.

Further Information

A free 2-page guide can be downloaded here.

A comprehensive guide has been written by Dr John Martin Robertson, priced at £10 from HCT, or £8 at the chapel.


Biddlestone Chapel is registered for Roman Catholic marriages. If you would like to hold your wedding mass in this romantic, remote and beautiful place please contact the keyholders.

Repair and Regeneration

A restoration scheme was completed in April 2008 and the chapel was formally re-opened on 24 April 2009.

The Biddlestone Friends group runs occasional events at the chapel and group visits are welcomed by appointment.

The exterior of the chapel is seen by many walkers on the adjacent public footpath 139/006, which passes beside the chapel and runs between Biddlestone Village and Biddlestone Home Farm.

In summer there are regular open days - see panel to the left.