Thursday, 3 October 2013

Durham, my home city

This advert caught my eye and I liked it so I'm keeping it here. 
What would life be like in Durham in 1414, the year the school was founded? There is so much history in and around Durham. They say settlement began in the area around 2000 BC but it was St Cuthbert who put Durham firmly on the map.

Symeon of Durham, medieval chronicler, tells how St Cuthbert's bier came to a mysterious halt at the hill of Warden Law, south west of what is now Sunderland, and refused to budge. The monks of Lindisfarne, having departed their original home because of Viking raids, had shuffled Cuthbert's coffin all over the north, and thought this refusal to move rather strange.  The Bishop of Chester-le-Street declared a three-day fast with prayers during which St Cuthbert is reputed to have appeared to a monk called Eadmer and told him to take the coffin to Dun Holme.

The coffin then allowed itself to be moved, but a milkmaid had to be consulted before the location of Dun Holme became known. Settling on the promontory above the river Wear, the monks built the cathedral to house St Cuthbert's remains. Symeon says it was the first building in the town, but there is nothing left of the modest building today. The Norman built a much grander structure on top of it. Cuthbert is still there, with pride of place behind the altar, and the Venerable Bede lies in the Galilee Chapel. 

Over the years the old name changed. The old words meant hill (dun OE) and island (holme, Norse), then became Normanised as 
Duresme and Latinised as Dunelm and finally at some time unknown, Durham.

Here are some links to the wonderful old city of Durham:

1 comment:

William Black said...

Memories of teenage years spent in Durham, Oh well time marches on! Oldest son had two wonderful years at 'School' money well spent!