Heavenfield Round-up 5: Signs of Power and Piety

The find of the week was the grave of a medieval abbot of Furness Abbey in Cumbria. Past Horizons has the best write up of the discovery at the abbey, which is just southwest of the Lake District. They have also had good features on reinterpreting the mass grave of Vikings found in Oxford, and… Continue Reading →

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PW: St Aldhelm, Prince-Bishop of Sherborne

I was just reading an interesting article by Michael Lapidge in the most recent Anglo-Saxon England volume on the life and career of St. Aldhelm. As many of you know, Lapidge has done a great deal of work on Aldhelm, so his discussion of Aldhelm’s life carries weight. So sifting through all the clues in… Continue Reading →

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PW: Queen Cynewise of Mercia

Queen Cynewise is one of the few early Mercian queens that we have any information on at all. The only direct mention of her name is after Penda’s fall when Bede notes that Ecgfrith was not at the battle of Winwaed because he was a hostage in the care of Queen Cynewise (HE III.24). He… Continue Reading →

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PW: King Ecgfrith of Northumbria

On May 20th, 685 King Ecgfrith of Northumbria fell deep in Pictland at Dunnichen to King Bridei, who was somehow his cousin. As far as we know, Ecgfrith’s death at Dunnichen marked the deepest incursion into Pictland that we know of in the Anglo-Saxon period. Given that Ecgfrith invaded to prevent loosing hegemony, it is… Continue Reading →

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King Edwin’s Sister’s Son

Thinking more about Willibrord’s devotion to St. Oswald and Oswald’s placement on Willibrord’s calendar with its Deira-centric focus, recalls the stress Bede places on Oswald’s kinship with King Edwin of Deira. “By the efforts of this king the kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia, which had up to this time had been at strife with one… Continue Reading →

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