An Anglo-saxon monastery

I stayed up too late tonight to watch an episode of Time Team, a British archaeology show that has been running on Channel 4 there since 1994 – this episode was from about 1999, I believe. I stayed up because long ago I wanted to focus my academic work on Anglo-Saxon Christianity. This monastery in Northumbria – at Hartlepool to be exact – is very early, dating to the period ca. 600s-800s. As was fairly common in Anglo-saxon monasteries it included both monks and nuns under the headship of an Abbess – for a time the famous St. Hild, or as she came to be called, Hilda. One line interested me most – the older burials had the corpses laid north/south in the pagan manner, rather than east/west in the Christian – evidence of syncretism – a holding onto pagan customs even after conversion. Here is the link to the show on TVOntario [I tried to download the app for Channel 4, but it is not available in the Canadian iTunes store – more evidence of how far out of sync copyright is to the 21st century’s normal practices – maybe I can find it on Pirate Bay!] St. Hild’s Monastery, Hartlepool


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