The North of England is noted for its high number of celebrated Anglo-Saxon saints: Cuthbert, Oswald, Wilfrid of York, John of Beverley, Aebbe of Coldingham, Bega, and others, and for further twelfth-century episcopal, monastic, and eremitic saints modelled on these earlier figures. This project will investigate the extent to which devotion to these northern saints persists in late medieval England, and will explore the implications of such devotions for regional and national cultures, acknowledging that the two may exercise contending pulls. It will draw upon a range of textual materials: fourteenth- and fifteenth-century saints’ lives and legendaries in Middle English, Latin, and Anglo-Norman, and manuscript collections of northern hagiographies, as well some evidence from the material culture of that period: stained glass programmes, statuary, revisions to shrine architecture, and so forth.



Professor Denis Renevey (team director)

Dr Christiania Whitehead (FNRS research fellow)

Hazel Blair (doctoral researcher)

Find out more on our team page.



  • an international conference in spring 2019, leading to an edited volume of selected papers
  • publications by the research team
  • an online database mapping the various cults and cataloguing their main textual and material productions

The project team will publicise its ongoing research over the next three years through conference and workshop presentations, and via regular blog posts on this website.

Header image: St Cuthbert’s coffin and bearers, contemporary wood sculpture by Fenwick Lawson, in Church of St Mary the Virgin, Lindisfarne. Photograph by kind permission of Prof. Howard M.R. Williams, University of Chester: https://howardwilliamsblog.wordpress.com.