Weedon Bec Parish Council

Serving the people of Weedon Bec

Clerk: Mrs Susan Halkett
16, St Mary's Way, Weedon
Northamptonshire NN7 4QL

The Fable of the Geese:

In about 1540 John Leland was travelling around England on Royal business and visited Weedon. He reported a little from the south side of the chirch yarde ys a faire chapel dedicate to S. Werburge, that sum tyme was a nunne at Wedon.

Saint Werburgh died in about 700 A.D. and the story of her life was recorded by more than one medieval monk. Perhaps the fullest of these was written by one named Goscelin in 1095, when her remains were being moved from one location in Chester to another. Her shrine at Chester was a centre of pilgrimage until the Reformation, and part of it remains in the present Chester Cathedral.

Werburgh was said to be the daughter of Wulfhere, King of Mercia, which was the part of Britain which might today be called the Midlands. She was always very devout and became a nun at Ely. After the death of her father, his brother Ethelred succeeded him, and asked his niece to take charge of the nunneries in Mercia.

Goscelin records ... one miracle performed by Werburgh ... involving the geese which were feeding from the fields of Weedon, where she was living at the time. When told of the damage which this was causing she ordered that the geese be called to her. She then told them to leave, and not return. In the words of Goscelin, as translated from the Latin by Rev.W.G.Griffin: And there was no further delay. That whole gathering flew off and away, so that not even one small bird of that species has ever been seen on that territory ,... so it has been widely recounted.

Reproduced with permission from Mike Rumbold of the Weedon Bec History Society