The legend of St Oswald

Oswald of Northumbria

Born around the year 605, the son of King Aelfrith of Northumbria, Oswald was forced to leave home after his father's death and move to Iona where, influenced by the monks of St Columba, he was baptised. Returning to Northumbria in 634, Oswald defeated the British king, setting up a cross as his standard and gathering his men around it to pray the night before the battle. A man of humility and generosity, Oswald worked closely with his friend St Aidan, travelling with him on his missionary journeys and acting as his interpreter. 

He died in battle in 642 defending his kingdom from the Mercians (Welsh) on the day now remembered as St. Oswald's day. 

The raven is a symbol associated with the legend of St. Oswald and is found on the front of St. Oswald's Church. The relief sculpture of St. Oswald by Thomas Rossman is situated inside the church.