A Podcast Exploring the Wit and Weirdness of Medieval Texts

MDT Episode 22: Concerning Elfred the Bone-Hunter

Tomb of Bede by Robert ScarthOn this episode, we look at a couple of diggers of relics: first, Elfred (or Aelfred or Alfred), who brought the relics of the Venerable Bede to Durham Cathedral; and second, antiquarian James Raine, who dug up those same relics in the early 19th century.


Images of the cast of the skull of Bede and its lovely, TARDIS-blue storage box.



  • Simeon of Durham. Simeon’s History of the Church of Durham. Trans. Joseph Stevenson. Church Historians of England. Vol. 3, pt. 2. London: Seeley’s, 1855. 619-711. Google Books.
  • Symeon of Durham. Libellus de exordio atque procursu istius, hoc est Dunhelmensis, ecclesie: Tract on the Origin and Progress of this the Church of Durham. Ed. and Trans. David Rollason. Oxford: OUP, 2000.
  • Geary, Patrick J. Furta Sacra: Thefts of Relics in the Central Middle Ages.¬†Revised ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1990.
  • Raine, James. A Brief Account of Durham Cathedral, with Notices of the Castle, University, City Churches, &c.¬†Newcastle: Blackwell & Co., 1833. Google Books.
  • Story, Joanna, and Richard N. Bailey. “The Skull of Bede.” The Antiquaries Journal¬†95 (2015): 325-50.
  • Warner, Richard. A History of the Abbey of Glaston; and the Town of Glastonbury. Bath: Richard Cruttwell, 1826. Google Books.


Photo of the present-day tomb of Bede, by Robert Scarth. Used under Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 2.0)


  1. Emory

    Easily one of my favorite podcast series. We have a podcast listening group and your podcast is included so add about ten to your listener numbers.

    • Patrick

      Cool! Outside of the occasional car trip, I’ve always just been a solo podcast listener, myself. But I like the idea of listening groups a lot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 Medieval Death Trip

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑