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Feastday: October 8

Also known as Treadwell, Tredwall, Triduna, Triduana, and Trallen.

A virgin who, according to tradition, assisted St. Regulus in his mission to Scotland during the fourth century.

According to legend Tredwell was one of a group of holy virgins (i.e. nuns) who accompanied St. Regulus to Scotland from Constantinople. They brought with them the relics of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. Their visit, in association with St. Boniface, was at the invitation of the Pictish King Nechtan, who had requested that a mission be dispatched throughout his domain.

However, Nechtan fell instantly in love with the beautiful Tredwell. Scandalised by his feelings for her, she asked what it was about her that he loved so much. He wrote her a love-letter, describing her matchless beauty, and telling her that her exquisite eyes set his heart aflame. On reading this, Tredwell is reported to have gouged out both her eyes, stuck them on thorns, and sent them to Nechtan immediately.

Subsequently, she settled in Lestalryk in Lothian (Restalrig, near Edinburgh). People began to associate her extreme act with saintliness, and attributed miraculous cures to her, particularly in those suffering from eye afflictions. Eventually, a shrine was built, and it became a place of pilgrimage for sufferers from eye diseases of all kinds. Thousands flocked to bathe their eyes in her well from the Middle Ages until its destruction in 1560 during the Scottish Reformation.

Tredwell also had a loch and chapel dedicated to her on the island of Papa Westray, Orkney, where legend has it she was ultimately buried. Excavation undertaken in the 1880's indeed discovered a single female skeleton. Though now ruined, this is still a renowned Orkney pilgrimage-centre, standing on a conical mound on a small peninsula inside the loch. The remains of the late medieval walls can still be seen, deliberately built over Iron Age remains, including an underground tunnel leading to a circular building or broch.

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