The Shrine of St Cuthbert

St Cuthbert is the North of England’s best-loved saint. He lived as a monk, bishop, and then hermit, on Holy Island – Lindisfarne. Revered during his own lifetime for his preaching and holiness, Cuthbert was acclaimed a saint in 698.

His community fled Lindisfarne following the Viking invasion in 793. They travelled around the North of England with his body and extraordinary relics for years. They finally settled in Durham in 995.

This Cathedral has grown from the Anglo-Saxon church built to house his shrine and the monks who cared for it.

In September 1104 St Cuthbert was moved into the newly-built Norman Cathedral. The new shrine was made of marble studded with jewels and semi-precious stones.

During the Middle Ages it became a centre of pilgrimage, which continues today. Large numbers of people flocked to the shrine to seek the saint’s blessing and healing powers.

The elaborate shrine no longer exists as it was destroyed in the Reformation. Instead it was replaced in 1542 by the simple marble slab marked ‘Cuthbertus’. The stones around the slab are part of the original construction.

This part of the Cathedral continues to be a place of pilgrimage, prayer and quiet reflection.

The Shrine of St Cuthbert

  • Many people were praying and reflecting next to the shrine so my only photos are taken from below, outside the sacred space.

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