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The Church of St. Mary and St. Cuthbert
Chester-Le-Street is an ancient and historic town. A Roman cavalry fort known as Concangis was founded here in around 216 AD. The site of the fort remained important after the Romans left. When the Vikings attacked the monastery at Lindisfarne in 793 AD the monks left Holy Island with the body of St Cuthbert and the famous Lindisfarne Gospels. After a period of wandering they arrived at Chester-Le-Street, where they founded a new monastery. It was here that the Bishop of Lindisfarne, Eardwulf, became the first Bishop of Chester-Le-Street. The monastery was established within the walls of the old Roman fort on the site of the present church of St Mary and St Cuthbert. Aldred, one of the monks at Chester-Le-Street, carried out the first translation of the Lindisfarne Gospels from Latin into Old English in about 960 AD. The monastery remained at Chester-Le-Street until 995 AD, when following further raids, the monks took refuge at Durham, where the great shrine to St Cuthbert was built. The church of St Mary and St Cuthbert was rebuilt in 1262, and a large spire added in 1409.