St Anne's Chapel

Interior of St Anne's Church

Internal view of modern church built in 1962.

About 400 years ago, there was a Catholic chapel, dedicated to Saint Anne, which was sadly destroyed after the failure of group of people led by the Earl of Westmoreland in 1569. There is no real evidence to support this apart from a certain Jonathan Storey in 1705, who said that a chapel was built on the earlier ruins of an old chapel which was destroyed by fire in 1569. This second chapel (non-Catholic) was also dedicated to St Anne. We don't know the reason why the old chapel was founded or built in this place but we do know bones were dug up there in the 18th century indicating a burial site near to the chapel.

stained glass

The site is now covered by flats and is situated about just under 200 yards from where the present St Anne's lies.

Winlaton used to belong to the parish of Ryton centuries ago and it is there before the building of the churches in Stella and Blaydon, situated nearby, where people went to go for Mass, burials, baptisms, etc.

Around the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, Catholics were said to have a 'mass house' in Winlaton. Even then, they were not allowed to celebrate the Faith freely.

Just beside the Chapel, stood Winlaton Hall owned by a famous Catholic family, the Hodgsons of Hebburn. It was then given to Sir William Blackett and then to Sir Ambrose Crowley. It was used as a place of worship then converted to a warehouse and offices.. We don't know when the Hall was built but a Catholic knight is known to have lived there about 1632.

View as it looks today

An underground tunnel was found in 1936 leading north west to the Low Town End part of Winlaton. The tunnel probably leads to Stella Hall, near Ryton, another Catholic site (a monk's subterranean passage during the invasion of the Scots! We don't know.

After 1569, the North suffered persecution under Queen Elizabeth, many people were executed and it is very possible that Winlaton suffered that fate.

Winlaton, as is described in other parts of the website, has a beautiful Catholic Church, opened on December 1962, also dedicated to St Anne, not very far from the original.