Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

A to Z Index

The Bishop and the Chatterbox
Music: Sir Arthur Sullivan
One week into a Lenten retreat with the Bishop of Hexham, a boy’s miserable life is turned right around.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

DURING the Lenten fast, Bishop John and a few monks used to retire to a cottage in woodland across the Tyne, beside a graveyard dedicated to St Michael the Archangel. One year, John persuaded a young lad to stay with them whose head was all scabs and scales and sorry wisps of hair, and who had never been able to speak a word.

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Six Posts
How St Benedict Biscop brought Byzantium to Britain
Music: Byzantine Chant
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

IN addition, Benedict introduced the Roman mode of chanting, singing, and ministering in the church.

With that in mind, he obtained permission from Pope Agatho to take back with him John, the archchanter of the church of St Peter and abbot of the monastery of St Martin, to teach the English.

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The Kings of Northumbria
two-part story
Music: John Garth
Out of a restless alliance between two 6th century kingdoms came a civilisation that defined Englishness.

THE kingdoms of Bernicia to the north of the River Tees, with its capital at Bamburgh, and Deira to the south, seated in York, were first brought into an uneasy union by King Ethelfrith of Bernicia, son-in-law of Ella of Deira, in 604.

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St Hild and the Synod of Whitby
The respected Abbess oversaw the English Church’s historic commitment to adopt Byzantine traditions.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

HILD was the Abbess of a monastery for both men and women in Whitby, on the north east coast of England. “All who knew her”, says St Bede, “called her mother, because of her outstanding devotion and grace”.

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Cuthbert and the Miracle of the Wind
The young monk taught some hard-hearted pagans a lesson they’d never forget.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE monks of Tynemouth ventured out into the sea in five little boats, so they could pilot some ships, laden with building materials for the monastery, into the river.

At that moment, a sharp wind whipped up, and drove the helpless monks out into the North Sea, like so many seabirds bobbing up and down on the swell.

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Bread from Heaven
Music: Edward German
Cuthbert trusted that keeping his promised fast would not do him any harm.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

AT ten o’clock one morning, Cuthbert stopped off in a village, hoping to find something for his horse to eat; as it was a Friday and Cuthbert liked to fast until three, he declined all offers of food himself, though he had no idea when he might eat again.

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The Alleluia Victory
Music: George Frideric Handel
How hard-pressed Christians on the Welsh border won a battle without bloodshed.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

EARLY in the 5th century, Christian villagers on the Welsh borders were being harried by pagan Picts and Saxons. And now, just after Easter in the year 429, the little community learnt that an army was on its way to murder them all.

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All Posts
Tagged Saint Bede of Jarrow (20 posts)
page 1
1 The Bishop and the Chatterbox
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
One week into a Lenten retreat with the Bishop of Hexham, a boy’s miserable life is turned right around.
2 St Bede and the Singing Stones
Based on The Golden Legend
(1275)
The Northumbrian monk is duped into wasting one of his beautifully-crafted sermons on a row of dumb rocks.
3 St Wilfrid and the Fishers of Men
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Driven out of Northumbria, Bishop Wilfrid goes to the south coast and saves a kingdom from starvation.
4 Mountain of Light
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
St Bede says that Christ’s Transfiguration should remind us that we live in two worlds at the same time.
5 Passover to Pentecost
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
St Bede explains how the Exodus and the Ten Commandments are related to Easter and Whitsuntide.
6 Lost Innocence
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
In the fourth century, Britain’s Christians acquired a taste for watering down the mystery of their message.
page 2
7 Cuthbert and the Mystery Guest
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A young monk was rewarded for taking his duties as guest-master seriously.
8 The Kings of Northumbria
Out of a restless alliance between two 6th century kingdoms came a civilisation that defined Englishness.
9 Bread from Heaven
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Cuthbert trusted that keeping his promised fast would not do him any harm.
10 The Lessons of History
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
England’s first and greatest historian explains why history is so important.
11 St Bede of Wearmouth and Jarrow
The mild-mannered, artistic monk was nevertheless a founding father of the English nation.
12 St Aidan Returns King Penda’s Fire
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
When Penda tried to burn down Bamburgh Castle, St Aidan turned the pagan King’s own weapons against him.
page 3
13 King Edwin and the Hand of Destiny
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Forced from his throne and threatened with murder, Edwin makes a curious bargain for his deliverance.
14 Caedmon Learns to Sing
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
15 The Martyrdom of St Alban
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
Alban voluntarily swapped places with a priest, and was executed for being a member of a banned religious sect.
16 The Alleluia Victory
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
How hard-pressed Christians on the Welsh border won a battle without bloodshed.
17 How St Benedict Biscop brought Byzantium to Britain
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
18 Cuthbert and the Miracle of the Wind
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The young monk taught some hard-hearted pagans a lesson they’d never forget.
page 4
19 St Cuthbert and the Otters
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
An inquisitive monk spied on a guest’s night-time walks.
20 St Hild and the Synod of Whitby
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The respected Abbess oversaw the English Church’s historic commitment to adopt Byzantine traditions.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Subject and Object

Use each of the words below as either the subject or the object of a verb.

Dark. Swim. Crew.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Gape’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Do you know ‘additional’ (5), and ‘reject contemptuously’ (5)?
Make words and get points for using unusual letters such as K, Q and Z.
Do you know ‘cleansing bar’ (4 letters), and ‘Doncaster horse-race’ (2,5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with LESS and finish with MORE.
Do you know ‘wheedle’ (6 letters), and ‘engine-driver’s compartment’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic