A modern cross in the churchyard commemorates St Caedmon, the Northumbrian poet (c. 670), who was a monk at the abbey and there died.
It was Caedmon, the cowherd.
"Caedmon, the keeper of the cows," answered the chief cook.
Caedmon! all shouted together.
In his safe, warm place in the straw, Caedmon soon fell asleep.
Then Caedmon had a strange dream.
Caedmon, sing for me.
Then Caedmon, with only the cows as his hearers, opened his mouth and began to sing.
[Illustration: Caedmon signing in the cow byre]
So Caedmon was led into the great hall of the abbey.
And Caedmon, the poor cowherd of the abbey, was the first great poet of England.