Opening Cuthbert’s Tomb

Added about 7 years ago by David Willem

Here’s what happened when David Willem live tweeted the opening of St Cuthbert’s tomb in Durham Cathedral, 190 years to the day since it occurred.

In his book, St Cuthbert’s Corpse: A Life After Death, David Willem explores accounts of the openings of St Cuthbert’s tomb at Durham Cathedral, from the medieval period to the present day. On Wednesday 17 May 2017, he live-tweeted one of these historical accounts to mark the 190th anniversary. 

On the morning of 17 May 1827, Raine and a number of associates broke into the tomb behind the Cathedral’s high altar that had long been reputed to be the last resting place of the famous Anglo-Saxon saint and bishop. Raine, a leading antiquarian, wanted to find out if St Cuthbert was really buried there and whether there was any evidence that his corpse had ever been “incorrupt” – as had always been claimed by monks during the medieval period. Spotting his opportunity while the office of Dean was vacant, Raine persuaded a group of colleagues and workmen to open the grave in what was in effect an unofficial and freelance investigation.

Don’t miss David Willem’s book, St Cuthbert’s Corpse: A Life After Death, and follow @daviddwill on Twitter!


Want to know more about the six known openings of St Cuthbert’s coffin? David Willem’s book, St Cuthbert’s Corpse: A Life After Death, reveals all! 

Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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