It contains four monasteries, the remains of the famous anchorite settlement of Nitriae.
Having assumed the monastic habit in the monastery of Deerhurst, he pased thence to Bath, where he became an anchorite and ultimately abbot, distinguishing himself by his piety and the austerity of his life.
He lived first as an anchorite in the forest of Mendonk, and afterwards in the monastery founded with his assistance by Amandus at Ghent.
In 676 he became an anchorite on the island of Farne, and it is said that he performed miracles there.
On entering the order of St Basil, he adopted the name of an old Egyptian anchorite Bessarion, whose story he has related.