Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another resting place for St Wystan

In March I noted that there are three villages that claim to be the resting place of St Wystan: Wistow in Leicestershire, Wistanstow in Shropshire and Wistow in Cambridgeshire.

Now English Buildings has suggested a fourth site for his burial. Writing of St Wystan's church at Repton in Derbyshire, the blog says:
It’s quite unusual for a parish church to have a crypt. You usually find these underground spaces beneath large cathedrals, where they housed sacred items such as the remains of saints. Parish churches didn’t often run to such precious relics, but monasteries sometimes did, and the church at Repton began as a monastic church, and an important one, that became the burial place of the kings of the Saxon Midland kingdom of Mercia. King Ethelbald of Mercia, who died in 757, was buried here; so was King Wiglaf (died 840). When Wiglaf’s grandson Wystan was murdered, he was laid to rest here too. When Wystan was canonized, Repton became a place of pilgrimage.

3 comments:

Well Behaved Orphan said...

Wistow, Wistanstow and Wistow are possible sites of his death not his burial.

It seems to be accepted that he was buried in the Mercian royal burial place - Repton. However Cnut moved his relics to Evesham Abbey.

Jonathan said...

Silly Cnut.

The story that is told at Wistow, Wistanstow and Wistow is that there was a miraculous growth of goldern hair from Wystan's grave. I am not sure how this squares with a burial at Repton.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the monks investigating the site of the death of Prince Wistan at Wistow in Leicestershire encountered a shaft of sunlight like golden hair. This encouraged them to think that Wistan was saintly material.