Who was 'Saint Robert of Knaresborough' + why is he being celebrated next year?

One of the driving forces behind 800th anniversary plans -  The Rev Garry Hinchcliffe of St John's Church. (1701094AM11)
One of the driving forces behind 800th anniversary plans - The Rev Garry Hinchcliffe of St John's Church. (1701094AM11)

Knaresborough is starting to gear up for another huge anniversary - this one involving a historic figure from 800 years ago!

Knaresborough is starting to gear up for another major anniversary - this one involving a historic figure from 800 years ago!
Little known now, ‘Saint Robert of Knaresborough' was once renowned acoss Europe before his death in 1218.
The town does not intend to let his 800th anniversary pass without a fanfare.
And a launch event is to take place on Sunday, September 24 at Gracious Street Methodist Church to highlight St Robert’s amazing life and start the ball rolling on a series of events to celebrate it next year.

St Robert's Cave in Knaresborough.

St Robert's Cave in Knaresborough.

Who was St Robert of Knaresborough?
Saint Robert of Knaresborough was renowned across Europe throughout the Middle Ages.
Writing in 1250, the historian Matthew Paris named Robert as one of the leading 'personalities' of the 13th century, along with St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Edmund of Pontigny.
The 13th century was a period of great religious and spiritual energy and devotion.
Although St. Robert is little known today, the cave in Abbey Road, Knaresborough where he lived brought pilgrims in great numbers for centuries, until the dissolution of the monasteries by King henry VIII between 1536-1541.

Plans for 800th anniversary events in Knaresborough
The Vicar at St John the Baptist Church in Knaresborough, the Rev Garry Hinchcliffe, is one of the driving forces behind the celebration plans.
Mr Hinchcliffe said: “Next year marks the 800th Anniversary of the death of Robert and some of us feel we should honour him for his links to our wonderful town.
“Although never officially canonised Robert has for many centuries held a very important place in the heart of Yorkshire and is one of the ‘saints’ vying for the prestigious title of Yorkshire’s patron saint.”
After a life full of incident, Robert ended his days as a hermit monk in a cave in Knaresborough where he was visited by King John.
The launch event, which runs at Gracious Street Methodist Church from 3pm to 5pm, will include a walk to that cave.