Durham City

Durham City, dominted by Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral, is a World Heritage Site in County Durham.

Prebends Bridge, to the south of Durham City Cathedral, has a plaque to display Sir Walter Scott’s words about Durham

Grey Towers of Durham

Yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles

Half Church of God half castle ‘gainst the Scot

And long to roam the venerable aisles

With records stored of deeds long since forgotten


The Benedictine Rule and the Monastic Way of Life

Western monastic life  began with St Benedict (480-547). Benedict wrote a Rule to guide a monk’s life of prayer and work. In 1083, Bishop William of St Calais converted St Cuthbert’s community in Durham into a Benedictine monastery. The Rule of St Benedict guided the life of Durham Cathedral Priory until the Reformation, and continues to influence Cathedral life today.

Monastic life was a balance of continual prayer, work, study and rest. Monks lived simply and concentrated on working for God.

There were usually about 40 monks at Durham. They had to support themselves and lay workers by working the land.

Hospitality was important and guests were welcomed as though they were Christ himself.


Photographs by Barrie Webb

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