Saint Baldred is sometimes known as “the Apostle of the Lothians”.
He was a monk at the monastery at Lindisfarne. At some point in the first half of the 700s he established a monastery at Tyninghame which owned large estates covering much of the coastal plain of East Lothian.
St Baldred himself undertook frequent retreats to a hermitage and chapel he had built for himself on Bass Rock.
Echoes of St Baldred occur throughout the area of East Lothian in which he lived and worked. St Baldred’s monastery at Tyninghame was destroyed by the Danes in 941 and the following century the remains of St Baldred were moved to Durham. However, in the 1100s St Baldred’s Church was built on the location of the monastery and this still stands today in the grounds of Tyninghame House.
From the 1300s miracles began to be reported by people drinking at St Baldred’s Well, at Whitekirk. This quickly became a major centre for pilgrimage. In 1413 someone took the trouble to count 15,563 pilgrims visiting St Baldred’s Well, to the considerable benefit of the church established there.
A Papal Bull of 1493 records the Pope’s consent to build a chapel on the site of St Baldred’s own chapel on Bass Rock. This is overlooked by the beautiful beach at Seacliff. St Baldred’s Cave, where he is said to have lived from time to time.
On this day lift before God:
- All whose stories have grown after their deaths.
- All who live quiet lives devoted to prayer.
- All who find caves and wells thin places.
- The people of the Lothians.
- The Community at Lindisfarne.