The monks of Lindisfarne left the island in 875 AD taking Cuthbert’s remains with them, having been driven out by over 80 years of ongoing Viking raids. The monks, along with Cuthbert’s remains, wandered the north of the country (predominantly Northumbria and Scotland, but also going as far south as Ripon) stopping at a number of temporary homes until 995 AD when they finally settled in what is modern day Durham.
It is because of these wanderings that a number of locations in the north of the country have become linked with the remains of St Cuthbert, and there are a number of churches in the region dedicated to the saint.
Having read about the legend of St Cuthbert and the wanderings of his remains, from their original home on the east coast of England, I was recently surprised to find a memorial to St Cuthbert on the west coast in the Lancashire seaside town of Lytham. On Church Road in front of the playing field there is a stone cross by the side of the road which bears a metal plaque. The plaque reads "According to ancient tradition the body of St Cuthbert about the year 882 once rested here."
Whether St Cuthbert’s remains actually did travel from Lindisfarne to Lytham is unclear, as all of the popular re-tellings of this tale that I have read do not seem to include a visit to the west coast. But the locals of Lytham clearly seem to believe this legend and unsurprisingly the nearby church is also dedicated to St Cuthbert!
|St Cuthbert's cross in Lytham; did St Cuthbert's body once stop here in 882 AD on its journey from Lindisfarne to Durham?|
Pictures: Lancashire (November 2015).
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