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Heavenfield, battle of

Heavenfield, battle of, 634. Fought near Hexham, Oswald of Northumbria defeated and killed Cadwallon of Gwynedd, who had been ravaging the province after slaying Osric of Deira and Eanfrith of Bernicia (brother of Oswald) the year before. Through this victory Oswald secured his own position as king of both Bernicia and Deira and ensured that Northumbria would return to Christianity after a year of apostasy. The battle takes its name from the place where Oswald erected a wooden cross and prayed for victory before the engagement; the monastery of Hexham subsequently erected a church on the site and splinters from the cross were famed for miracles of healing.

Barbara Yorke

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