The Synod of Whitby was called by King Oswiu of Northumbria in 664 to decide which liturgical customs should be followed: the Ionian (or Celtic) tradition, or that of Rome. The main issues do not seem that dramatic these days: the date of Easter and the correct tonsure of Monks.
  At that time, the monastery at Whitby (then known as Streonshalh) was a double monastery, run by the formidable Abbess Hilda (614 680). Wilfrid, with his depth of knowledge obtained in his time in Rome and elsewhere, promoted the Roman tradition, and ended up on the winning side: King Oswiu declared for this tradition. This did not please the monks from Lindisfarne: many of them headed for the island of Iona, and on to Ireland.
As with so many Northumbrian places, the monastery was destroyed by Danish raiders between 867 and 870. It was re-established in the 11th century, then completely rebuilt in the 1220s.


St Wilfrid page1                                                                    Home page - explore the site