Eamont Bridge: The Future Decided


Eamont Bridge is a Cumbrian village, long and thin, grey and typical. Yet it was here on 12 July 927, that the general boundaries of our island nations were established. A great council took place between Donald, King of Strathclyde, Owain King of the Cumbria, Constantine of Scotland and Athelstan of England. Various petty kings surrendered their crowns and became tributary lords under the English Crown, and all paid homage to Athelstan as overlord, pledging to respect his borders. Having effectively created a recognisable border between England and Scotland (not quite corresponding to today’s), he set off south to give battle to the north Welsh who were resisting his ambitions.

Athelstan, Ripon Cathedral

Athelstan ruled for 14 years from 925-939 and his reputation was known throughout Europe as a warrior, legislator, art connoisseur and church benefactor. His grandfather, Alfred the Great, would have been proud of his heir. It seems strange that folk who lived so long ago with their strange names, dress and preoccupations, should have their actions felt even today. Contemporary issues about Scots and Welsh independence, the Midlothian Question, the Barnett Formula and formal links to the continent seem to owe something to Athelstan. What was discussed at the conference of 927 is still felt a thousand years later.

Thirty years ago, the Lord moved my young heart to call on Him and seek Christ’s salvation. Though my language was limited and my understanding partial, the consequences of that evening will be felt for eternity. In a thousand years time, I shall be walking with angels and beholding the Son because of that night He graciously called me. And so with your own day of rebirth. It might have been sixty years ago, it might have been yesterday- but it certainly affects eternity. So also our responses to the Lord’s call on our lives. To each one He gives a ministry, a service, a moving of the heart that others might be blessed. Responding now and obeying His prompts will be the talk of millenia.

Eamont Bridge bridge