Oswestry was once a proud town in the proud Kingdom of Mercia from its inception to the Heptarchy, but Oswestry also has numerous links with Northumbria to such an extent one could be forgiven for thinking King Oswald was victorious at the Battle of Maserfield in 642.

We start our find in the Lancashire town of Oswaldtwistle. The name derives from two words: ‘Oswald’ and ‘Twistle’. King Oswald and his army travelled through Oswaldtwistle on his way to Maserfield, possibly stopping the night while on the journey. The word ‘twistle’ is an Old English word meaning “brooks meet”, which gives the name ‘Oswald’s Twistle’, eventually shortened to ‘Oswaldtwistle’. Oswaldtwistle is most remembered for being the location of the 1826 Power Loom Riots and for being the family seat of Sir. Robert Peel, founder of the modern British police force.

Following his death at Maserfield, Oswald’s brother retrieved the body and took it on a journey through Oswaldtwistle and through the Cumberland village of Kirkoswald, near Penrith. Like the Ayrshire village, Kirkoswald’s name also originates from its parish church, which was dedicated to Saint Oswald; but unlike the Ayrshire village, the parish church was not dedicated to him for a victorious battle but for the fact his body passed through the village, and was temporarily laid in the church, on his way to Durham.

Upon arrival, Oswald’s body was laid to rest at Durham Cathedral, alongside Saint Cuthbert of Lindesfarne.

Please note: each of the locations mentioned in this article were all settlements of the historic Kingdom of Northumbria; and although have no ceremonial links to Oswestry, all play a part in the journey to and from Oswestry.