Your basket
Your basket
0 items - £0.00

Personal tools

Home News St Swithin

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

St Swithin

by Michael Ford last modified 17 Jul, 2020 02:35 PM

This week saw a relatively dry St Swithin’s Day.

St Swithin

Courtesy @jshocds on Twitter

St Swithin’s Day falls on the same date each year – July 15.

Tradition says that whatever the weather is like on St Swithin’s Day – be it rain or sunshine – it will continue to be the same for the next 40 days and 40 nights.

The feast day marks the date St Swithin’s remains were moved from his grave outside the Old Minister of Winchester to inside the cathedral.

St Swithin was an Anglo-Saxon bishop at Winchester Cathedral. At that time, Winchester was the capital city of the Kingdom of Wessex.

He is believed to have been a trusted counsellor of Egbert, King of the West Saxons, and educated his son Ethelwulf, who appointed him bishop.

Very little is known about St Swithin’s life and there is barely any mention in him in documents from the time he was alive. However, historians do know he was famed for his charity and church building.

He was made patron saint of Winchester Cathedral about 100 years after his death in 862 AD.

As he lay on his deathbed, St Swithin asked to be buried outside the Old Minister in Winchester, in a lowly grave where his body would be trodden and rained on. His wishes were met for more than 100 years.

However, in 971 AD, then the monastery reform movement had been established and religion was at the forefront of British life, St Swithin was moved. His remains were taken from the simple grave and buried in the new cathedral on July 15, 971 AD.

During his lifetime, he supposedly performed just one miracle - he made an old lady’s eggs whole again after workmen smashed them while building a church.

The name ‘Swithin’ is derived from the Old English word for ‘strong’, and St Swithin is symbolised with raindrops and apples.

Document Actions