Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Garmondsway & the King (NZ342348)

On the face of it, there doesn’t appear to have ever been very much in the way of activity in and around Garmondsway. The few farm- and home-steads which remains in the landscape a couple of miles west of Trimdon don’t appear to have seen much action over the centuries.

A railway line once helped serve the old limestone quarry to the north, the empty expanse of Garmondsway Moor lies to the south and – going way back – an old Roman road (now the A177) skirted the area a little to the west.

But look on the modern-day map and you’ll see the site of the old abandoned medieval village marked at NZ342348. Nothing much to look at now, maybe, but at one time this tiny settlement was important enough to receive mention in the history books as having been visited by King Canute.

For, in 1027, shortly after a slightly more high-profile pilgrimage to Rome, England’s then monarch decided to set out on a local mini-pilgrimage to the shrine of St.Cuthbert at Durham. On the way, the royal retinue passed through Garmondsway; and it was here – at a distance of some 5 or 6 miles from their destination – that they decided to complete the remainder of the trip barefoot, as pilgrims are prone to do. Canute is also rumoured to have shaved his hair and beard clean off for the occasion.

No comments:

Post a Comment