Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life of the Northumbrian monk, priest and hermit who lived on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and became one of England’s most revered saints.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Northumbrian man who, for 500 years, was the pre-eminent English saint, to be matched only by Thomas Becket after his martyrdom in 1170. Now at Durham, Cuthbert was buried first on Lindisfarne in 687AD, where monks shared vivid stories of his sanctifying miracles, his healing, and his power over nature, and his final tomb became a major site of pilgrimage. In his lifetime he was both hermit and kingmaker, bishop and travelling priest, and the many accounts we have of him, including two by Bede, tell us much of the values of those who venerated him so soon after his death.

The image above is from a stained glass window in the south aisle of the nave in Durham Cathedral: ‘St Cuthbert praying before his cell in the Farne Island’


Jane HawkesProfessor of Medieval Art History at the University of York

Sarah FootThe Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Oxford and Canon of Christ Church Cathedral


John HinesProfessor of Archaeology at Cardiff University

Producer: Simon Tillotson

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56 minutes

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