A walk from Kirkoswald.
About fourteen hundred years before we arrived in Kirkoswald for our walk, Oswald, King of Northumbria, came here in the company of Aidan, on their journey to convert the Pagans to Christianity. As was the way of those times, they found a well with miraculous properties on a Pagan site and decided that would be a good place to build a church.
Oswald’s war against Paganism (and a few territorial demands) brought King Oswald into conflict with Penda, King of Mercia. They fought a battle at Maserfield, near Oswestry, and Oswald lost. Penda chopped poor old Oswald into pieces – the way they did then and circulated the bits around the countryside. It took a long while for Oswald’s followers to retrieve the portions of their king. Though they managed to get some and interred Oswald’s head in St Cuthbert’s tomb in Durham Cathedral. However, Oswald’s martyrdom…
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