St. Abb’s village

Named after the Headland, so familiar to listeners of the shipping forecast, which is named after the 7th-century, monastery which, in turn, is named after its founder, Aebbe.

Aebbe was a Royal princess, born to Aethelfrid, King of Northumbria. She was an Angle, and to use modern parlance, probably a 2nd generation immigrant from Southern Denmark. Her father, Aethelfrid, was a pagan, claiming to be descended from the god Wotan.

Aethelfrid was killed at the Battle of Maserfeld when Aebbe was just a young girl and her family was forced to flee. One account has her brothers, Oswald and Oswy reaching Iona where they were converted to Christianity by Columba.

Years later, Oswald would return to Northumbria to take back control and under him many churches and monasteries were built such as Lindisfarne.

On the exposed headland, Aebbe established her monastery which housed both monks and nuns living in simple huts made of mud and branches. She died in 680 A.D. and was canonised for her conversion of fellow Angles to Christianity. The monastery was later destroyed by fire and was abandoned.

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