Name/TitleEmbroidered maniple from St Cuthbert's Tomb, Durham Cathedral, DURCL 5.4.60
About this objectCuthbert (634–687) was bishop of a Celtic Christian community in Lindisfarne but retired to a hermitage on a nearby island shortly before his death. His coffin, containing various belongings, had to be moved following the Viking invasion in 793. His followers then travelled around the north of England. In 934, when at Chester-le-Street, King Athelstan (r.924–939) gifted pieces of embroidered clerical vestments, including this maniple. The coffin finally came to rest in Durham in 995, where it remains to the present day.
The maniple was embroidered under the orders of of Aelflaed (d.916), second wife of the then King of Wessex, Edward the Elder, for the 'pious bishop Frithstan', Bishop of Winchester between 909 and 929. The ground silk and silk thread would have come from west Asia or north Africa, as silk was not produced in Europe at this time.
The embroidery shows the standing figures of St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, Peter the Deacon, St. Gregory the Great, St. Sixtus and St. Lawrence. In the middle is the symbol of the Dextera Dei (the Right Hand of God).
Date Made10th century
Subject and Association KeywordsSilk
Subject and Association KeywordsLiving in Belief
Subject and Association DescriptionLearn More: Coatsworth 2012; Ivy 1997
Medium and MaterialsSilk
Credit LineTextile Research Centre
Object numberEXH67: DURCL 5.4.60