Bird sculpture

Cynibil – bird sculpture in Ancaster Weatherbed Limestone

There were four brothers Cedd, Chad, Cynibil and Caelin.  All were tutored by St Aiden in Lindisfarne to help in transforming the 7th Century Celts and Anglo Saxons from Pagans to Christians.

The brothers founded an Abbey in the North York Moors, the land donated to them in 654 at Lastingham.  However the area was found to be a rather unlawful and wild place and needed to be cleansed.  To consecrate the ground prior to construction Cedd undertook a fast over 40 days.  He endured the deprivation well until the 29th day, when Cynibil took over to complete the purification and then commenced to build a wooden church.

Bird sculpture

Cedd ruled successfully at Lastingham for about ten years, but prior to his death sent for Chad to replace him as Abbot.  Chad was tasked with burying him, his brother Cynibil and some thirty monks, who all died of the plague.  At once the brothers were venerated as saints.

detail of bird stone sculpture

Some time later a stone building replaced the wooden church and Chad’s body was transferred to the right side of the altar.

To celebrate the brothers founding their monastery here in Lastingham, their Feast day is 2 March, and in particular to note Synibil’s original wooden church building and his undertaking to create a safe place here to live, I’ve named this new bird sculpture after him.

St Synibil of Lastingham – Priest and Monk 622-664 – Feast day:  2 March


Synibil – Bird stone sculpture – showing at Pinkfoot Gallery




Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *