Due to the politics royals often spent time in exile in another kingdom than their own.
Oswald, a royal Northumbrian, spent his exile in Iona and became a Christian due to Iona’s influence. After the death of St Edwin in 633, he returned to the north east. After a vision of St Columba, St Oswald and his men erected a cross, prayed to Christ, and defeated their pagan opponents at Heavenfield. The site of the battlefield is marked by a church and a simple modern cross
It was usual in those days for the people to follow their king in matters of faith.
He became king over the two Anglian kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira with territory stretching right the way from the Firth of Forth in Scotland to the Humber and Mersey. He ruled for eight years before falling in battle at Oswestry where there is now a holy well.
!=. holy well.jpg!