Coldingham
Community ID
 
916
 
Town
 
Durham
 
Diocese
 
Durham
 
Region
 
Northumberland
 
Modern Location
 
Coldingham
 
Corporate Status
 
Abbey
 
Date Founded
 
640
 
Date Terminated
 
1000 or earlier (According to Foot, this community was non-functioning by the late tenth century)
 
Religious Order
 
Columban
 
Foundation Information
 

Bede reports the community was founded by Abbess Aebba, sister of king Oswis. This first foundation reportedly burned in 683 and was re-established. Bede also reports that the community was a double house and filled with scandal.

 
Notable Heads
  
State Of Medieval Structure
 

The site is now part of the national nature reserve, St. Abb's Head, managed by the National Trust of Scotland.

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

One of the more popular legends of Coldingham refers to a Viking attack on the abbey in which the nuns, rather than losing their chastity to Viking marauders, disfigure themselves by cutting off their noses. This account is rather problematical, however, as the first mention of this tale occurs at least five hundred years after the supposed incident.

 
Contributors
 
WRL Project, Ericka Swensson
 
Contributors Notes
 

Note: Dugdale (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 1, 243-244) mentions no nuns at Coldingham but refers to a male community on that location existing past 1340 CE.

 
Date Started
 
700
 
Date Finished
 
1000
 
Length
 
157