St Cuthbert's Cave

Cuddy's Cave - Cuddy's Cove


Useful Information

Location: Near Holburn.
A1 exit Belford, in Belford B6349 to Wooler, after 7 km turn right/north to Holburn Grange Cottages, 5 km. National Trust car park for St Cuthbert's Cave, 1.2 km walk.
(55.61090983274236, -1.907876783893601)
Open: no restrictions.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: Speleologysandstone cave
Light: none, not necessary.
Dimension: L=7 m, W=24 m, H=3 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Poplar Burn, TD15 2UJ, Berwick-upon-Tweed
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

875 the monks of Lindisfarne laid Saint Cuthbert's body to rest in the cave.

Description

St Cuthbert's Cave is named after Saint Cuthbert (634-687), who travelled from Lindisfarne to Durham, and rested in this cave. Cuthbert was bishop of Lindisfarne. He converted Lindisfarne to Roman Christianity from Celtic Christianity, following the synod of Whitby in 664. In 676 he retired and tried to attain greater perfection by means of a contemplative life. It is not really clear, where he went, most likely it was St. Cuthbert's Island near Lindisfarne. But others think it was here at St Cuthbert's Cave.

Nearly two hundred years after Cuthberts dead, during the Danish invasion of 875, Bishop Eardulf and the monks fled for safety. They carried the body of the saint with them and wandered for seven years. They brought him to Cumberland, then to Galloway and back to Northumberland. St Cuthbert's Cave is said to have been one of their stops. Another version of the legend tells, they laid him to rest at the cave.

St Cuthbert's Cave is a natural cave in sandstone, a sort of shelter or overhang. It is not particularly big, but it is big enough to be a good shelter for a small group of people.

There is a second cave of the same name near Doddington, which is not far away. This cave is also a sandstone cave and even smaller, and very hard to find. We were not able to locate it.