Posts tagged Northumbrian Enlightenment (31)
Nos 1 to 10
← Return to the Home Page
1 2 3 4
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lives of the Saints
St Wilfrid’s Debt
The Blessed Virgin Mary adds four years to the life of Bishop Wilfrid, and an angel suggests a suitable thank-you.
Based on an account by Stephen of Ripon
(early 8th century)

WHEN Wilfrid reached Meaux, he was so weak that his friends spent every moment in heartfelt prayer as his bedside. The bishop was breathing still, but unconscious, and he had taken no food or water for four days.

Continue reading
No. 1
Anonymous (English)
Christmastide
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
His Bright Nativity
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf wonders at the mystery of the Bethlehem manger, where all the light of heaven was shining.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

O EÄRENDEL! Brightest messenger sent to men of middle-earth, radiance of the Sun, steadfast and true, outshining the stars, ceaselessly lighting from thyself the ebb and flow of all things!

Shine thy bright Sun upon us, come thyself and light us, who have sat in darkness, in gloom of endless night, these long years, wrapped in sin, enduring the dark shadow of death.

Continue reading
No. 2
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
The Restoration of the Icons
By the early eighth century, sacred art was thriving in newly-Christian England, but in the East seeds of doubt and confusion had been sown.

WHEN St Augustine preached Christianity to King Ethelbert of Kent in 597, he carried a silver cross and a painted icon of Christ. A century later, icons were putting a human face to the spoken word up in Bede’s Northumbria, from church walls to the pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

Continue reading
No. 3
2 two-part story
Dmitry Bortniansky
Poets and Poetry
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Eddi’s Service
Rudyard Kipling’s poem about St Wilfrid’s chaplain and an unusual Christmas congregation.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

EDDI, priest of St Wilfrid
In his chapel at Manhood End,
Ordered a midnight service
For such as cared to attend.

But the Saxons were keeping Christmas,
And the night was stormy as well.
Nobody came to service,
Though Eddi rang the bell.

Continue reading
No. 4
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
St Bede and the Singing Stones
The Northumbrian monk is duped into wasting one of his beautifully-crafted sermons on a row of dumb rocks.
Based on The Golden Legend
(1275)

AS BEDE came to the end of his life, his eyesight started to fail. He did not ease up in his duties, though, and with the help of a guide continued to make his rounds of the nearby villages, preaching in the open air to any who cared to attend.

One day, his guide led him to a place where there were many standing stones, but no people. Bede, peering owlishly, nonetheless embarked on a sermon.

Continue reading
No. 5
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
St Wilfrid and the Fishers of Men
Driven out of Northumbria, Bishop Wilfrid goes to the south coast and saves a kingdom from starvation.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

WHEN Wilfrid came to Sussex in 681, he found that the region had been suffering three years of continuous drought. Though they lived by the coast, the locals could do no more that snare a few eels in the muddy rivers, and sometimes forty or fifty would link arms and leap from a cliff-top, preferring to drown in the sea rather than starve.

Continue reading
No. 6
George Frideric Handel
Bible and Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Birds of Paradise
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf paints a word-picture of heaven and the seraph-band that swoops and soars before the throne.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

WHEREFORE the kindred of the Seraphim, quick to act, strengthened to authority, steadfast in the truth, rise up amidst the angel host in worship; how excellently the tireless throng sings! far and near reaches their voice, sonorous in its slow beauty.

Continue reading
No. 7
John Playford
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Taste and See
Wonder spread through a Tyneside monastery after Bishop Cuthbert asked for a drink of water.

AFTER Cuthbert and one of his priests had been on a tour of the remote villages of Northumbria’s high ground, they lodged at the monastery at South Shields, governed by Abbess Verca. They were kindly received by the community, and following an excellent meal Cuthbert was offered something to drink.

Continue reading
No. 8
George Frideric Handel
Bible and Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
The Last Commandment
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf imagines the farewell between Jesus and his Apostles, forty days after his resurrection.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

“BE glad of heart! Never shall I wander; my love shall follow you unceasingly. My might I give you, and I am with you always, even unto the end, that through my gift none shall ever lack God.”

Continue reading
No. 9
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Crayke Abbey
The long-lost monastery at Crayke in North Yorkshire was home to two saints with different but equally valuable gifts.

WHEN St Cuthbert was consecrated bishop of Lindisfarne in 685, King Ecgfrith of Northumbria gave him an estate at Crayke, some twelve miles north of York, as a place to stay on his journeys to the capital. Cuthbert at once founded a monastery there, and appointed the first abbot.

Continue reading
No. 10
1 2 3 4
Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.

About our calendars

From our Archive
Ralph Neville spoiled David of Scotland’s alliance with France in the Hundred Years’ War
Scandinavian tradition says that the daughter of King Harold was consort to one the great rulers of Kievan Rus’.
Frederick Douglass, the American runaway slave turned Abolitionist, spent some of his happiest days in Britain.
The people of Rome suddenly turned their back on centuries of ‘sport’ - all because of one harmless old man.
By Sir Humphry Davy
(1778-1829)
Sir Humphry Davy pleads with Britain’s scientists not to be bought by Napoleon’s gold.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (414)
Polywords (185)
Georgian Era (113)
Fiction (85)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Railways (24)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
India (14)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Otter’
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.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘popular Asian chilled fruit drink’ (7 letters), and ‘bear witness’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TOWN and finish with CITY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.