Durham Cathedral and the Venerable Bede

Over the Easter weekend we made a long anticipated trip to Durham. We are both amazed that we haven't been to Durham before; it's close to home, under two hours away, and has much to attract us. 

We fell in love with Durham. Our first visit was fairly short, as it was Easter Saturday everywhere was rather busy. We've promised ourselves a return visit very soon. There is just so much to explore, as well as two excellent Waterstone's and an independent bookshop with the interesting name of Bookwyrm.

I was particularly keen to explore Durham Cathedral and visit the tombs of the Venerable Bede and St Cuthbert. Both of these giants of the Anglo-Saxon monastic world have always intrigued me. 

Last year's visit to Lindisfarne gave me an insight into the life of Cuthbert and his piety and legacy. Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People was the first Anglo-Saxon writing that I really enjoyed. I find it amazing that a seventh century saint had such long reaching influence. He coined the term "English" to describe the people and language of this country, two centuries before a united England had occurred. He came up with the concept of AD/BC delineation and devised the way we calculate when Easter falls.

Bede was a man of the Renaissance, 700 years before the actual Renaissance! He was a polymath, in the tremendous breadth of work he achieved, and helped move England out of the Dark Ages.

It was wonderful to see both of these tombs in such a glorious setting.