Winchester Cathedral

15th July: St. Swithun’s day.

“St. Swithun’s day, if thou dost rain,

For forty days it shall remain;

St. Swithun’s day, if thou be fair,

For forty days it shall rain no more”

 

St. Swithun a native of Winchester (above) was a very modest man who insisted on being buried outside the cathedral on his death as he considered himself unworthy.

150 years later it was decided that his remains should be exhumed and brought within the cathedral at which point the heaven’s opened and wept over the body of the saint and it rained thereafter for another 40 days. Hence the rhyme. Of course it’s all nonsense as the historical record shows.

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