BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

18 June 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
Legacies - Shropshire

BBC Homepage
 UK Index
Your stories
 Site Info
 BBC History
 Where I Live

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

Myths and Legends
St Cuthbert
St Cuthbert holding Oswald's head

© Jarrold Publishing, Chapter of Durham
Cult of a King

Oswestry on Shropshire’s Welsh border is widely believed to be the location of the Northumbrian, Christian King Oswald’s grisly death. Slain by the pagan King Penda of neighbouring Mercia in 642, King Oswald was brutally dismembered, his arms and head stuck on stakes as a warning to others thinking of challenging Penda’s pagan realm.

The site of his violent end quickly acquired mythical status, mainly to do with its supposedly miraculous healing powers. Within a century, the legend of King Oswald developed from a folklore myth, imbued with pagan characteristics, to a mainstream ecclesiastical saint. More...

Read More

Your comments

Print this page
Look back into the past using the Legacies' archives. Find nearly 200 tales from around the country in our collection.

Read more >
Internet Links
The Irish Mission to Northumbria
Durham Cathedral
The Anglo-Saxons
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Web sites.
St Helier
Related Stories
The fabled life of St Helier
The Lollards of Lud's Church
Early Christianity in Northumberia

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy