Saint Cuthbert

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Northumbrian man who, for 500 years, was the pre-eminent English saint, to be matched only by Thomas Becket after his martyrdom in 1170. Now at Durham, Cuthbert was buried first on Lindisfarne in 687AD, where monks shared vivid stories of his sanctifying miracles, his healing, and his power over nature, and his final tomb became a major site of pilgrimage. In his lifetime he was both hermit and kingmaker, bishop and travelling priest, and the many accounts we have of him, including two by Bede, tell us much of the values of those who venerated him so soon after his death.

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  • Jane Hawkes No other episodes
    Professor of Medieval Art History at the University of York
  • Sarah Foot 6 episodes
    The Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Oxford and Canon of Christ Church Cathedral
  • John Hines 6 episodes
    Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University

Reading list

  • The Relics of St. Cuthbert
    C.F. Battiscombe (ed.) (Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral, 1956)
  • The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society
    John Blair (Oxford University Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • St. Cuthbert, His Cult and His Community to A.D. 1200
    Gerald Bonner, David Rollason and Clare Stancliffe (eds.) (Boydell and Brewer, 2002) Google Books →
  • Durham Cathedral: History, Fabric and Culture
    David Brown (ed.) (Yale University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Art, Material Culture, Language and Literature of the Early Medieval World
    Eric Cambridge and Jane Hawkes (ed.) (Oxbow Books, 2017) Google Books →
  • Two Lives of St. Cuthbert
    Bertram Colgrave (ed. and trans.) (Cambridge University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • St. Cuthbert's Coffin: The History, Technology and Conservation
    J.M. Cronyn, and C.V. Horie (Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral, 1985) Google Books →
  • The Age of Bede
    D.H. Farmer and J.F. Webb (trans,) (Penguin, 1998) Google Books →
  • St Cuthbert: His Life and Cult in Medieval Durham
    Dominic Marner (British Library, 2000) Google Books →
  • The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England
    Henry Mayr-Harting (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991) Google Books →
  • Cuthbert: Saint and Patron
    D.W. Rollason (ed.) (Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral, 1987) Google Books →
  • Writing History in the Community of St Cuthbert c. 700-1130: From Bede to Symeon of Durham
    Charles Rozier (Boydell and Brewer, 2020) Google Books →
  • Lindisfarne Priory
    Joanna Story (English Heritage, 2006) Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. For 500 years, Cuthbert was the pre-eminent English saint and his tombs were major sites of pilgrimage.