Posted by: anna | September 8, 2010

St Pandwyna of Eltisley

Today (26 August) we commemorate St. Pandwyna (Pandiona, Pandionia) of Eltisley, virgin (c. 904). From Miss Dunbar:
‘St Pandiona, Pandoine, Panduina or Pandwina Aug. 26, 27, Nov. 25, March 26, V. + about 900. She is said to have been the daughter of a Scottish or Irish king or chief. She fled to England to escape from his tyranny, and lived at Issleby or Iffleby in Lincolnshire, or at Cambridge. Her well is at Eltisley in Cambs.’
Baring Gould, in an exemplary (and uncharacteristically amusing) bit of Victorian disdain for medieval Ignorance and Filth worthy of Charles Booth (both Booths, really) and Edwin Chadwick, provides a little more: ‘Pandwyna, whose life was written by Richard, rector of Eltisley, from popular tradition, was said to have been the daughter of a petty prince in Ireland or North Britain, who fled to the Cambridge fens to escape from a marriage designed for her by her father. he took refuge with a kinswoman who was prioress of a nunnery at Eltisley. There she lived a godly life, and was regarded as a saint. She was buried near a well, in sublime disregard of saintary principles, which still bears her name, but was dug up and translated to the parish church in the fourteenth century. The nunnery in which Pandwyna or Pandiania lived was destroyed by the Danes.’
=*=*=
pictorial evidence that Pandwyna is still well remembered in Eltisley, Cambs, the village of whose church she is patron – but what’s that runic looking sign in the middle?
Holy Saint Pandwyna, pray to God for us.
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