BOOK BUCKINGHAMSHIRE HOTELS

Join in

Send page to a friend

4526 views since 17th August 2011

Featured Destination

March 2020: West Norfolk

Welcome to West Norfolk, a truly special place of unspoilt charm and natural beauty, where tranquillity and relaxation are the order of the day.

Set against ...More
More Uk destinations

The Legend of St Osyth, Buckinghamshire

Proper saints have the grace, as it were, to die a decent martyr’s death, and put on a bit of a show. So it was with St Osyth, born in Quarrendon - then near now in Aylesbury - into the royal family of Mercia in the 7th century. Though a granddaughter of King Penda, a pagan, she was sent to a convent in Warwickshire to be educated, an experience that left Osyth determined to become a nun. Duty, or forceful persuasion by her father Frithwald, saw her married nevertheless to King Sighere of Essex, with whom she had a child.
But her religious ambition remained, and she eventually established a nunnery in Essex. She is said to have been slaughtered by marauding Vikings who, careless of the niceties, hacked off her head.
As her convent was in Essex it seems likely she met her end there, but her legend has her brutal murder happening in the place where she was born, Quarrendon. And the story goes that after the Vikings decapitated her, Osyth leant down, picked up her bloody head, and to the astonishment of her Viking assassins carried it to the doors of a nearby religious foundation, where she finally expired. A holy well is supposed to have begun flowing pure water at the moment and site of her death: several places around Aylesbury dispute this highly doubtful prize, including Quarrendon itself on the town’s northwest edge, and the village of Bierton a few miles northeast.

If you like this, Share it

British Lore and Legend by county: Show All

England: Bath(1) | Bedfordshire(1) | Berkshire(5) | Buckinghamshire(1) | Cambridgeshire(4) | Cheshire(1) | Cornwall(4) | County Durham(2) | Cumbria(1) | Derbyshire(1) | Devon(6) | Dorset(1) | Essex(2) | Gloucestershire(1) | Greater Manchester(1) | Herefordshire(1) | Isle of Wight(1) | Kent(1) | Lancashire(2) | Leicestershire(2) | Lincolnshire(6) | London(8) | Norfolk(6) | North Yorkshire(2) | Northamptonshire(1) | Northumberland(1) | Nottinghamshire(2) | Oxfordshire(1) | Shropshire(3) | Somerset(6) | South Yorkshire(1) | Staffordshire(1) | Suffolk(1) | Sussex(3) | Warwickshire(3) | West Midlands(2) | Wiltshire(2) | Worcestershire(2) | Scotland: Angus and Dundee(2) | Argyll(1) | Ayrshire and Arran(2) | Dumfries and Galloway(1) | Edinburgh and the Lothians(1) | Grampian(1) | Highlands(3) | Isle of Skye(1) | Orkneys(1) | Shetland Isles(1) | Wales: Anglesey(1) | North Wales(1) | South Wales(2) | West Wales(3) | Offshore: Guernsey(2) | Isle of Man(1) | Northern Ireland: County Antrim(1) | County Londonderry(1) |

Brit Quote:
Dinner parties are given most in the middle classes by way of revenge - William M Thackeray
More Quotes

On this day:
Battle of Blore Heath - 1459, Chaplin Returns to England - 1952, 1st British woman News reader - 1955, BBC launches the world's first Ceefax teletext service. - 1974, Steve Redgrave wins 5th Olympic Gold Medal - 2000
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages