Village Signs of Babingley – Babingley, England - Atlas Obscura

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Village Signs of Babingley

Babingley, England

Signs illustrate the bizarre legend of St. Felix's arrival in this English village, which led to the consecration of a beaver. 

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According to historical accounts, Babingley is believed to be the very place where St. Felix, who became Apostle to East Anglia, landed in the year 615. The Wuffingas, who were the East Anglian royal family, had invited Felix to evangelize to their kingdom. Aiming, naturally, for the East Anglian capital of Rendlesham, Felix is said to have instead arrived in Babingley after being shipwrecked during a violent storm on the River Babingley.  

Interestingly, a legend surrounding St Felix’s arrival in Babingley says that after being shipwrecked, Felix was saved from drowning by a colony of beavers. By guiding Felix to safety, the beavers’ intervention saved the saint’s life and allowed him to continue his mission. To express his gratitude for their aid, Felix is believed to have consecrated one of the beavers as a bishop there and then.

Even today, the village sign in Babingley commemorates this legend. The sign features St. Felix with his ship in the background and, above him, the image of a beaver in a bishop’s miter and cloak. This beaver bishop furthermore, with crosier in hand (or paw) is ministering to other beavers in true apostolic fashion.

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June 25, 2024

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