The crypt is the highlight of this trail. It was built by Wilfrid as part of the great stone church which he erected her in the 670s. We are fortunate indeed to have this direct connection with the spread of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. It is one of the earliest places of Christian worship still surviving in this country. On the touchscreen near the entrance to the crypt yopu will find a 3D digital reconstruction of the crypt and more information about its history and the story of St Wilfrid. If you wish, you can also visit the crypt and share the experience of Wilfrid and others through the centuries who have regarded it as an especially holy place.

More: In building the crypt, Wilfrid would have wanted to evoke one of the holiest places of all, the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, marking the place where Christ was believed to have risen from the dead. He may also have wanted to call to mind the stone chambers of the catacombs of the Early Church in places such as Rome, and to bring people close to the holy relics of the saints which had been reverently placed within the crypt.

Reflection: This beautiful crypt brings us very close to St Wilfrid and to the heart of Anglo-Saxon spirituality. Imagine what it must has felt like to visit this candle-lit crypt 1300 years ago and to experience the intensity of its holiness. Perhaps, feeling as it they were present in the Holy Sepulchre, they prayed in words similar to those of the Anglo-Saxon priest Aelfric:

O almighty God, who caused you dear Son, our Saviour Christ, to assume human form and submit to being hanged on the cross, grant that we may benefit from the example of His endurance and participate in his true resurrection. Amen. 

Translate »