Catholic Encyclopedia – Saint Herbert of Derwentwater


(Hereberht) Date of birth unknown; died 20 March 687; an anchorite of the seventh century, who dwelt for many years on the little island still known as Saint Herbert’s Isle, in the Lake of Derwentwater. He was for long the friend and disciple of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. Little is known about him, save that it was his custom every year to visit Saint Cuthbert for the purpose of receiving his direction in spiritual matters. In the year 686, hearing that his friend was visiting Carlisle for the purpose of giving the veil to Queen Eormenburg, he went to see him there, instead of at Lindisfarne as was usual. After they had spoken together, Saint Cuthbert said, “Brother Herbert, tell to me now all that you have need to ask or speak, for never shall we see one another again in this world. For I know that the time of my decease is at hand.” Then Herbert fell weeping at his feet and begged that Saint Cuthbert would obtain for him the grace that they might both be admitted to praise God in heaven at the same time. And Saint Cuthbert prayed and then made answer, “Rise, my brother, weep not, but rejoice that the mercy of God has granted our desire.” And so it happened. For Herbert, returning to his hermitage, fell ill of a long sickness, and, purified of his imperfections, passed to God on the very day on which Saint Cuthbert died on Holy Island. It is said that the remains of Saint Herbert’s chapel and cell may still be traced at the northern end of the island on which he lived. In 1374 Thomas Appleby, Bishop of Carlisle, granted an indulgence of forty days to all who, in honour of Saint Herbert, visited the island in Derwentwater and were present at the Mass of Saint Cuthbert to be sung annually by the Vicar of Crosthwaite.

MLA Citation

  • Leslie Toke. “Saint Herbert of Derwentwater”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 February 2014. Web. 21 February 2019. <>