A Visit to Heysham

I’m hoping that “Rock-Hewn Graves and Nettle Tea Bags” is the only post in the whole of cyberspace with this title.

If it is then that should make it especially OddBall for Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge this week.

Why am I thinking of an unused title? No particular reason other than how many combinations of words can there be?  And will we ever run out?  Probably not in my lifetime!

The graves and the tea bags are closely connected as we saw both of them within half an hour of arriving in Heysham on a day-trip last year. It’s only 40 minutes up the road.

Heysham is a large coastal village on the Lancashire coast. Whilst it is a ferry port for ships to Ireland and the Isle of Man, and has a nuclear power station nearby, the old part of the village is very quaint and set apart from the newer developments. It could be the setting for a 1950’s TV drama.

Rock-Hewn 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 Heysham Coast, National Trust


Rock-Hewn Graves at Heysham

Rock-Hewn Graves at Heysham ©HelenBushe


In googling these graves I’ve found various theories about when they were built and who they were for.

Some experts suggest that they are too small for corpses and perhaps held bones and artefacts. They can’t be carbon dated as there were no trace elements in or around.


Nettle Tea Bags

I also googled “Nettle Tea, Heysham” and was totally surprised to find that it’s fame has spread around the world.

I knew that it was a localised speciality, but since the owner of Bells Cottage Tea Rooms had the idea of putting it into bags its sales have gone from strength to strength (pun intended).

The Tea Room sends tea-bags to Alaska, Barbados and China…….ABC….. don’t  know about the rest of the alphabet…only those three were mentioned in the article “Selling Tea to China” which I read here.

This charmingly old-fashioned advert was outside the tea-room.

Granny Bell's Nettle Tea Bags Heysham

Granny Bell’s Nettle Tea Bags ©HelenBushe

It’s only in looking for oddities in my archives for this post, and doing a bit of research, that I’ve discovered this worldwide thirst for nettle tea !

Had I known that it was so internationally sought after I might have been tempted to try some.

I definitely will next visit. Perhaps along with a “Hidgy-Pidgy” scone.   “Hidgy-Pidgy” is an old name for nettle. Yes the cheese scones have nettles in them too!

Hmmmm….I wonder if Granny Bell also makes ice-cream……..




Cee Neuner · 22 February 2017 at 18:22

Fabulous odd balls for this week. 😀 😀

    HMB · 22 February 2017 at 18:26

    Thanks Cee

Laurie Graves · 21 February 2017 at 14:12

Oh, fascinating! Both the title and the photos. And if you get a chance, post some pictures of the old part of the village. I’m a sucker for such things.

    HMB · 21 February 2017 at 14:21

    Many thanks for such appreciation, Laurie. We’ll be going up there again soon , when weather better.

Amy · 20 February 2017 at 23:00

Beautiful photos of the Rock-Hewn Graves and the tea house! Good to know the Nettle Tea Bags are international popular. 🙂

GeorgieMoon · 20 February 2017 at 20:16

I loved reading this post, most interesting about those graves. And I never knew nettle teabags were so popular. Do they also send them to Denmark, Ecuador, Finland and Guatemala?

    HMB · 20 February 2017 at 20:18

    Ah! Maybe and then all the way to Zimbabwe

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

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