Shropshire Star

History and archaeology group looking forward to talk

At Oswestry & Border History & Archaeology Group's forthcoming meeting on Friday, Dr Victoria Yuskaitis, FHEA, will be talking about her research which focuses on medieval religious recluses called anchorites, men and women, who withdrew from the world as much as was practicable, to devote their life, alone, to prayer and contemplation, living in a small, four walled cell, built next to a church or chapel.

Dr Victoria Yuskaitis

The only contact an anchorite had with the outside world was through a small window, one of which, often called a squint by modern researchers, was used to observe the Eucharist being performed at the church altar: a major aspect of an anchorite’s vocation, and necessary to his/her contemplations of God.

The talk will consider the surviving archaeology of examples from Shropshire including at St Martin's, and specifically the connection to the anchorite squint/cell at Ellesmere, Ruyton-XI-Towns, Acton Burnell, Great Ness, Stanton-on-Hine-Heath, Much Wenlock, and Church Preen.

OBHAG’s chair John Pryce-Jones commented that the talk promises to be a fascinating insight into this little known practice, throwing light on local examples.

Originally from the USA, Victoria Yuskaitis graduated with a PhD in Medieval Studies at Leeds in 2021 and currently works at the University of Southampton as an Academic Skills Officer.

The talk will take place on Friday, June 14 at the Methodist Church Hall, Castle Street, Oswestry, starting at 7.30pm.

Full details of Oswestry & Border History & Archaeology Group’s activities including monthly talks and lectures, and summer walks and visits are available on the group’s website at:

New members and visitors are always very welcome; entry fee, OBHAG members £2, visitors £5. For all enquiries and for information about how to join please contact OBHAG the Membership Secretary, Margaret Harrison

By Heather Hidden - Contributor

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