Monday, 21 January 2019

St Cuthbert’s Cave

St Cuthbert’s Cave or Cuddie’s Cave in Northumberland is a natural rocky overhang rather than a true cave.

St Cuthbert was a Christian monk who spent years living on the island of Lindisfarne or Holy Island, off the Northumberland coast near Berwick-on-Tweed. His remains were kept there until AD875, when marauding Danes attacked the island. The monks carried the precious relics to Durham, resting for a night at this cave, thus giving it its name.

Other local traditions link the cave to a Border Reiver or robber, who camped in the cave and whose ghost haunts the area. Also associated with the area is a mischievous being called the Dunnie, who amongst other things would overturn furniture in the night and shapeshift as a horse, to the chagrin of the ploughman who mistakenly harnessed him.

The long walk to this place today, through empty woodland and fields, certainly has a slightly sinister feel to it. It’s easy to see how those traditions developed.

View from St Curhbert’s Cave.

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