Missing Cast of Skull of St. Bede the Venerable Discovered

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September 07, 2015  (Source: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk)

A long-lost cast of the skull of one of the North East’s greatest sons has been discovered in a box in a storage cupboard at Cambridge University.

The cast of what is believed to be the top of the head of the Venerable Bede, one of Europe’s leading scholars whose works are still in print today, was originally taken when his tomb at Durham Cathedral was opened in 1831.

It was one of three commissioned by Dr James Raine, who also investigated St Cuthbert’s tomb in the cathedral in 1827.

Professor Richard Bailey, from Newcastle University, set out in the 1980s to discover the fate of the casts.

He said: “When working on the cult of Bede, I discovered Dr Raine’s handwritten note which showed that he had ordered three casts of the skull he had found in Bede’s tomb.

“I tracked the subsequent fate of one of them through to the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries but it had disappeared by 1900. Every other trail I tried to follow went cold on me.”

Now one of the casts as been discovered by chance by Leicester University’s Professor Joanna Story which carrying our research at Cambridge.

“It is a fascinating find,” said Prof Bailey, who lives in Ponteland and was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Anglo-Saxon Civilisation at Newcastle University.

Bede, known as the ‘Father of English History’ lived and worked at the twin monastery of Jarrow-Wearmouth, and died in AD735.

 

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