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“It has ever been my delight to learn or to teach or to write.”
- Bede

Who was St Bede?

‘The Venerable Bede’ was a monk lived in the 7th century and 8th century. He is widely regarded as the greatest of all the Anglo-Saxon scholars.

At the age of seven he was entrusted to the care of Benedict Biscop. In 674 Biscop founded the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth. In 682, Bede moved to the monastery at Jarrow, where he lived until his death in 735.

From “Venerable” to a saint

Bede was declared ‘venerable’ by the Church in 836. He was canonised, as in made a saint, in 1899.

'The Father of English History'

His scholarship covered a huge range of subjects. His most famous work is The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the first ever written history of England.

Completed in 731, it is a key source for understanding early British history, details about St Cuthbert's life and the arrival of Christianity.

Anno Domini

Bede's Ecclesiastical History is the first work of history in which the AD system of dating is used. This stands for anno Domini, meaning the year of our Lord or when Christ was born.

Bede in Durham

In 1022 his bones were brought from Jarrow to Durham by a monk called Alfred. They were then buried alongside St Cuthbert. In 1370 they were moved to their own tomb shrine in the Galilee Chapel, at the other end of the Cathedral.

Bede’s shrine was destroyed during the Reformation. His bones were moved and re-buried in the Galilee Chapel's altar tomb which still stands today.

What does the inscription on his tomb mean?

The Latin inscription HIC SUNT IN FOSSA BEDAE VENERABILIS OSSA means 'Here are buried the bones of the Venerable Bede'.