Looking to leave the rat race and live a quiet life? Hermits were religious individuals and contrary to popular belief not all hermits completely shunned outside interaction – some were preachers performing valuable services such as maintaining lighthouses and bridges.
Artwork: Cuthbert’s Hermitage © English Heritage
From the 7th to the 16th century, English hermits established a variety of hermitages to live a more simple way of life. Discover the six main types and their functions and choose your favourite:
1. Embrace Your Inner Self: Solitary Hermitages
Warkworth Hermitage: View of the Chapel looking towards the altar © English Heritage Photo Library
These hermitages were the first to appear in Britain around 400-700 AD and were home to Holy Men who lived on the boundaries of human settlements. Originally living in temporary shelters, such as caves, ruins, islands or marshes, by the 7th century the basic requirements for solitary hermitages were an oratory or chapel with…