Historical Figure Profile: Eadwulf of Bamburgh

The Northumbrian Saga follows the life of Aethelwin, a fictional niece of King Osbert of Northumbria and Aelle the usurper of the Northumbrian throne. Whilst these two men were real figures in Northumbrian history, there is one more member of … Continue reading

Lindisfarne, Holy island of the north: Part 2

Welcome to Part two of the history of Lindisfarne. If you have missed the first part in which Lindisfarne was founded and became a religious, cultural and scholarly mecca, you can read the article here. Unfortunately for Lindisfarne, its rise … Continue reading

Lindisfarne, Holy Island of the north: Part 1

In the early 7th century, the death of King Edwin caused the kingdom of Northumbria to split amongst rival groups. This weakened state made it easier for Cadwallon the King of Gweynedd (northern Wales) to attack the land and under … Continue reading

Melrose, a tale of two abbeys

Scottish Gaelic: Maol Ros Melrose Abbey is one of those beautiful medieval monastic ruins that bring to mind images of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. Or perhaps it is this Scottish abbey’s long association with Robert the Bruce and Sir … Continue reading

Where was the Kingdom of Northumbria anyway?

Over the last couple of months on the blog, I have been writing about several Kings and Archbishops (and eventually invaders) of Northumbria. I have even shared with you my journey of writing my first novel, The Northumbrian Saga. I thought then, that it was about time that I acquainted some of you who were not familiar with this ancient Kingdom and a little of its history. Continue reading

Lindisfarne Gospels return to Durham

Some time around A.D. 715, in honour of Saint Cuthbert, patron saint of northern England and revered throughout medieval Europe, the Lindisfarne Gospels were created. Comprising 516 pages of hand painted words and illuminations, 150 calf skins used to make the vellum, and taking ten years to finish, The Lindisfarne Gospels are the oldest surviving English version of the four gospels of the New Testament. Continue reading

Happy St Bede’s Day

That’s right everyone, 1,278 years ago today the man known as ‘The father of English history’ died in the monastery of Jarrow, Durham (although at the time it was in Northumberland as the shire of Durham did not yet exist).