On Saturday, Charlie was very pleased to give a lecture titled ‘The Cult of St Cuthbert and the Story of Durham, c.995-1130’ to the Durham County Local History Society, hosted at the Durham City Theatre.
The Society is a registered charity (no. 235597), and was formed in 1964 to encourage and promote interest in the study of the history of County Durham. One of their principal aims is to preserve records of Durham’s famous industrial past, but there is a marked interest in all periods of local history among the members. (The society is always looking to recruit new speakers and members, so do check their website if you are interested in participating).
Having outlined the Singing the Past project, Charlie then gave a 45-minute lecture which summarised his research on the twelfth-century author, Symeon of Durham, and his role in passing on the spiritual and intellectual legacies of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria to new Norman audiences, after his arrival at Durham in c.1091.
Charlie was very pleased to see that there was a good appetite for learning about Durham’s medieval past among the local resident, and it was particularly interesting to hear some opinions and questions from the audience (such as: ‘Did anyone question the story of Cuthbert’s corpse in the Middle Ages?’; ‘What is the truth behind the story that Cuthbert’s coffin became too heavy to move in the mud outside Durham?’- showing a healthy level of scepticism required by any good historian!)
More news and a summary of our Cuthbert composition coming soon!