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The Power of Durham Cathedral.

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The Power of Durham Cathedral Durham was unique. Not only did its Bishop have all the powers of a Bishop, also bestowed upon him where the powers of a king; therefore he was called the prince bishop. Only four other palantines had this right but none were open to a cleric. The Arms of the See of Durham displays a Bishops miter within a Kings coronet; it was a great privilege to have this right. The palantine of the Prince Bishop was enormous, from the Scottish borders to Hull. They purchased land from many manors, although some of it was given as a gift to the Cathedral. The monastery lived on the income of this land, which was created from the produce, or the money which the produce made in market. ...read more.


Judging from the amount of food eaten at Durham cathedral, in one week, they must have fed about 300 people. Durham Cathedral had the right to grant sanctuary. A criminal would bang loudly on the sanctuary knocker on the north door to alert the watchers who resided in two small chambers overlooking the door. The watcher would let him into the cathedral, there he would have to change his clothes for a black robe with a yellow cross of St Cuthbert imprinted on the left shoulder. He would then confess the details of his crime before a coroner and was allowed to stay within the cathedral for 37 days, and provided with food and water paid for by the church. ...read more.


The monks were well educated and rewrote out books, they were stored in the libraries in the Monastery. Books were very rare and precious as so few were able to read; and the time and effort that the monks put into making the books shows how much the written word was treasured. But most of all Durham Cathedral was a very important place of pilgrimage. It housed the body of St Cuthbert, and many came to its side to pray to God or to ask Cuthbert to heal them or friends and family. These pilgrims came with offerings of immense value and the church profited greatly from this. Mostly it showed in St Cuthbert's shrine, which according to the "Rites of Durham" was "exhaulted with...marble...limned and guilted with gold." Jennifer Weir ...read more.

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