Tag Archives: church

Early Medieval Derbyshire

One of the primary reasons I decided to come to England for my PhD was so that I could live in the country where the people I study lived. As a student of Anglo-Saxon language and literature, I’m thrilled anytime I can find a remnant of that society still in this country, as are my fellow students and our supervising faculty members. Last summer (around July 2015), some of them got together to plan a trip around Derbyshire to look at Anglo-Saxon artifacts still extant. Other than manuscripts (which you don’t normally find by the side of the road), these mainly consist of stone carvings and are often preserved in or near churches. This gallery, then, is a collection of photos I took during that trip—though not all of them are of specifically Anglo-Saxon items.

Visiting Durham Cathedral

I recently went to Durham, with the sole purpose of visiting the cathedral there. Durham Cathedral was originally founded by a group of Anglo-Saxon monks as the final resting-place for the remains of St Cuthbert, an important Anglo-Saxon bishop and, later, saint. After they established the cathedral in the crook of the River Wear, a town inevitably grew up around it. The cathedral still houses the remains of St Cuhtbert, as well as those of Bede and the head of St Oswald—all significant figures in Anglo-Saxon history and culture.

The original Anglo-Saxon cathedral was demolished after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the Normans then rebuilt the church in the style they were used to from the Continent. Durham Cathedral is today one of the most magnificent examples of Norman architecture (called Romanesque architecture on the Continent) in the entire world, and it easily rivaled my visit to the Abbaye aux Hommes, commissioned by  William the Conqueror himself, in Caen a few years back.

Continue reading Visiting Durham Cathedral

Good Friday at Winchester Cathedral

As a student of Anglo-Saxon literature, I’m always interested in getting a sense of the world those Anglo-Saxons inhabited—indeed, that’s one of the reasons I came to England to study. So in that pursuit, I wanted to visit Winchester, which was the headquarters of Alfred the Great and, about a century later, the center of monastic reform in England. It was at the cathedral in Winchester that Ælfric, later abbot of Eynsham, was educated as a young monk—and since I am studying a text a he wrote, this only heightened my interest.

A few days before my visit, I realized that I would arriving on Good Friday and therefore decided to attend the three-hour service at the cathedral. Continue reading Good Friday at Winchester Cathedral