Friday, July 15, 2005

St Swithun's day

According to legend, if it rains today then it rains for 40 days.

Why? You might ask.

Well it all harks back to the time when St Swithin, the bishop of Winchester died he asked to be buried outsideand he was. Years later the monks decided that a splendid shrine INSIDE the cathedral would be more fitting. However when they made the decision it rained solidly and heavily for forty days and forty nights so that the monks could not move his body due to the torrential rain.

This is delightfully recorded by woodlands junior school in Kent and you can see more about Winchester Cathedral here.

One of the things I remembered about St Swithun from my studies was that his shrine (now lost - thanks Henry VIII) was one of those which had holes in so that pilgrim could get really up close and person with the saint.

Anyone wanting to know more, there's something a lot meatier at the Medieval Sourcebook.

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