The History of the Church
The church is a pleasant early Victorian building situated inside the grounds to the south-east of the house. Howick is an old parish with its first recorded priest in 1158 who was called Asket, but the original Normal church predated him. It was replaced by a curious Ionic temple in the mid 18th Century after a fire, and this in turn, after another fire, was converted into the present building in 1849.
The church and its graveyard contain a number of memorials to members of the Grey family, of which the most important is the tomb of the Prime Minister, 2nd Earl Grey, which is inside on the south wall opposite the pulpit. This used to have a Gothic marble canopy added later in the 19th Century, which Charles, 5th Earl Grey, disliked so much that he personally took a hammer and chisel to it and destroyed it.
In 1913 a French trawler The Tadorne shipwrecked on the coast near Howick. Five French sailors died and they are buried in the church graveyard, and the story was documented in a Channel 4 program Britain at Low Tide. The program is available on the Channel 4 catchup service available here.
The small stone gargoyles on the exterior of the north wall were all carved by Maria, 3rd Countess Grey, who was a good amateur artist, but sadly she never got round to doing the south side. The paintings behind the font and the altar were commissioned by Mabel, 5th Countess Grey, in the 1950’s, and are not regarded as a success.
Howick Parish was united with Longhoughton and Boulmer in 1928, and in 1998 they were merged with Alnmouth and Lesbury. We celebrate a parish communion every 2nd and 4th Sunday in the month at 11.15am to which all visitors are most welcome.