Northumbria Christian History

Historically Northumbria was an area of conflict, a border area between England and Scotland, much fought over for hundreds of years. This produced a region scattered with border defences, medieval castles, fortifications and structures all intermingled with religious buildings.

The Northumberland Coast was once the centre of a large Kingdom centred on Bamburgh and Yeavering Bell it stretched from  Edinburgh in the north to the Humber estuary in the south.

When the Romans were forced to leave Britain in the 5th century it was the start of the Dark Ages for our country. As the Romans left Britain they left behind a power vacuum into which the Anglo-Saxons were invited as mercenaries to protect the native Britons. This did not however have the desired result. The protectors turned on the protected. The Germanic tribes from the low countries of the continent invaded the eastern coast of Britain, the Anglo – Saxons had arrived, and were hell bent on taking over. Over many years and with much fighting the native peoples of Britain, the Celtic tribes, were driven North and West, to Northern Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.

The Anglo-Saxons were a pagan race and the early forms of Christianity in Britain were driven out by the invaders.  For Britain in general this was a dark period in our history.

For Northumbria however it was the beginning of a ‘Golden Age’, the amalgamation of the two Kingdoms of Bernicia in the north and Deira in the south led to a great artistic and religious age, the ‘Golden Age of Northumbria’. 

© Holy Cross Church Haltwhistle 2013