DURHAM CATHEDRAL, Durham. (See comments box for story)

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Roy Pledger on January 26, 2012

ecilop773, 55 minutes ago, said:

Durham Cathedral is the basis of Durham’s origins and the legend of the Dun Cow. St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne (Holy Island), died in 687 and was buried in Lindisfarne Priory. In 875, in danger from Danish raiders, the Lindisfarne Congregation left the island and began their ‘wanderings’ through the north of England, taking with them St Cuthbert’s body and other treasures including the Lindisfarne Gospels. They eventually settled at Chester-le-Street in 882. Some two hundred years later following further danger the congregation resumed their wanderings and in 995 whilst near to Hetton to the east of Durham, the coffin transport came to a standstill and would not move any further. After intense meditation the monks prayers were answered when St Cuthbert appeared in the vision of a monk called Eadmer who told them to take the coffin to a place called Dun Holm. Dun Holm meant Hill Island, later called Duresme and finally Durham. The monks were then able to continue but nobody seemed to know where Dun Holm was. Luckily the monks heard a milkmaid asking another milkmaid if she had seen her dun cow and was told that it had been seen grazing near Dun Holm. The monks followed the milkmaid in her search for her cow and thus arrived at the appointed place on a promontory of a peninsular in the River Wear. Here they built a ‘White Church’ as a shrine for St Cuthbert’s relics, and so the Cathedral and the City of Durham was founded. Sculptures portraying the Dun Cow and the Milkmaids are set in the north-west turret of a gable on the north front of Durham Cathedral.

The Cathedral was a place of Sanctuary in medieval times and the Sanctuary Knocker (pictured) on the Cathedral door is a reminder of these times.

This is now a World Heritage site.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 26, 2012
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
    by Roy Pledger
    • Taken on 2006/06/27 13:58:13
    • Exposure: 0.025s (1/40)
    • Focal Length: 5.86mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.500
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: 2.00 EV
    • No flash