St Cuthbert's Cave

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For the cave in Somerset, see St Cuthbert's Swallet.
Cuddy's Cave, Doddington Moor, near Wooler

St Cuthbert's Cave, known locally as Cuddy's Cave or Cove, can refer to one of two natural sandstone caves in Northumberland that have been traditionally associated with Saint Cuthbert, the seventh century Anglo-Saxon monk, bishop and hermit.

Doddington cave[edit]

Cup and ring markings as sketched by George Tate in 1865

The first cave of natural sandstone is situated near Doddington in Northumberland. Neolithic cup and ring markings, now no longer visible, were sketched there by George Tate in 1865 who wrote that, "On the scalp of the rock where it dips into the hill, four figures are traceable; but from being very much defaced, it is difficult to make out these forms, even when viewed under a favourable light."[1] Recent excavations, revealing extensive cup and ring markings, have been conducted at nearby Dod Law.[2]

Holburn cave[edit]

Cuddy's Cave. Holburn, near Lindisfarne

The second cave, also of sandstone, is situated in the Kyloe Hills near Holburn, between Belford and Lowick. The woodlands and cave are the property of the National Trust.[3] The cave is formed of overhanging rock, sufficiently large to provide shelter for a small group.[4]

Legend of St Cuthbert[edit]

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 875 as the Danes ravaged Lindisfarne and

"... destroyed all the monasteries. Eardulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, and abbot Eadred, taking the body of St Cuthbert from the island of Lindisfarne, wandered about for seven years."

According to legend, these caves might have been among the places in which either the monks took shelter with their holy relic or where Cuthbert himself lived as an anchorite hermit before moving to the Farne Islands.[5][6]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cuddy's Cave, Beckensall archice, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  2. ^ Dod Law, illustrated interactive guide, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. The project RAMP "Rock Art on Mobile Phones" allows exploration of these neolithic sites using information from a mobile phone as a guide.
  3. ^ St Cuthbert's Cave. illustrated description of a circular walk from Belford
  4. ^ English caves
  5. ^ Colgrave 1985, p. 324
  6. ^ Raine 1828, p. 21

References[edit]