Saints and Stones: Durham

When the Danes repeatedly harassed Northumbria, the monks left Lindisfarne, taking the body of St. Cuthbert with them. After wandering seven years, they found a resting place at Chester-le-Street in 882 A.D.

After repeated attacks again by the Danes, the monks fled to Ripon with St. Cuthbert's body. In 995 A.D., the monks started to return to Chester-le-Street, but St. Cuthbert appeared to them in a vision directing them to a place called Dun Holm, which they had never heard of. One day, just as they were beginning to despair of finding their destination, they overheard a milkmaid asking another whether she had seen a lost cow. The girl replied that she had indeed seen the animal wandering towards Dun Holm. Upon hearing this, the monks followed the milkmaid to the spot and established Durham.

A stone chapel was built to receive the remains of St. Cuthbert's body. Also built was a church where the cathedral now is, which was finished and consecrated in 999, and the present cathedral was begun in 1093. Benedictine monks from Jarrow and Wearmouth replaced the secular cathedral clergy.

In addition to St. Cuthbert, the remains of the Venerable Bede are buried in the Galileee Chapel. A special room called The Treasures contains some objects of St. Cuthbert, including his cross and his coffin, on display. Lastly, the Monks' Dormitory where the monks who lived here in the Middle Ages slept may be visited.

About Durham

Durham Cathedral Site
Durham World Heritage Site
Wikipedia: Durham Cathedral
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Durham
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Cuthbert
Wikipedia: St. Cuthbert
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Venerable Bede
Wikipedia: Benedictine
Durham World Heritage Site: Dun Cow Lane

Journey to Durham

The City of Durham is located in in Northumberland in the northeast of England and is easily accessible from the A1 road or by rail.

Streetmap UK NGR NZ2726542170.

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found on the official Durham Cathedral website. General tourist information on Durham may be found at the This is Durham website.

Additional Photos of Durham

Durham Cathedral from Afar
Sign for Dun Cow Lane
Rose Window and East Front
The West Towers from the Cloisters
The Central Tower
Durham Cathedral Cloisters
Galilee Chapel Exterior
Galilee Chapel Interior
St. Cuthbert's Tomb
The Sanctuary Knocker
Tomb in Graveyard Outside Cathedral
Nearby Durham Castle Used to Protect the Bishop of Durham from Attack
Cross and Central Tower

Top of Page