Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cross Returns Home 670 Years after the Battle That Shaped a Kingdom

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cross Returns Home 670 Years after the Battle That Shaped a Kingdom

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor @Hendrover

ACRUCIFIX found on the site of one of the major Anglo-Scots battles to be fought in the North East has been donated to the treasures collection of Durham Cathedral.

The relic from the Battle of Neville's Cross 670 years ago will feature in a display as part of the cathedral's Open Treasure exhibition experience, which opens on July 23.

In the battle on the edge of Durham in 1346, the Scots army was routed. The Scottish King David II was captured by Northumberland squire John de Coupland and was held captive for 11 years.

The crucifix was found in the 19th century in the grounds of Western Lodge, a house on the outskirts of Durham and known to be on the site of the battle.

Over time it has been handed down through family generations and has now been gifted to the cathedral by Mrs Patricia Alvis, from Bideford in North Devon.

She said: "The cross was given to my late husband's grandmother and subsequently passed on.

"It has been used on several occasions in our 800-year-old church of St Swithuns, where my husband was the church warden for over 25 years but I am now 95 and was keen to give the cross a new home.

"I know it would have drawn interest from national institutions but felt that it would be apt to offer it to Durham Cathedral.

"I shall greatly miss this most precious object but I hope that it will be treasured with the cathedral's other relics in the Open Treasure exhibition."

It is understood that the cross is made of copper and decorated with Limoges champleve enamel and that it was most likely used on a small altar for troops to take communion before or after battle.

Durham Cathedral's head of collections, Lisa di Tommaso, said: "We are immensely grateful to Mrs Alvis and honoured that she has chosen to entrust this family heirloom to the cathedral. …

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