Well, sharing my creative crisis with the world has developed my thinking. What about Bobminster and/ or Abbots Trebford as English synonyms that the monastery at Bobbio could have picked up, as generations of Old English pilgrims poddled their way back and forth?
Also, I forgot to mention Mondsee Abbey, named after the nearby lake up in the Austrian Alps overlooked by the Drachenbergs, beneath which Sigward slew Fafnir.
Mondsee means ‘Lake of the Moon’ in German. Now disbelievers may scoff, but it’s a hard fact that paragraph nineteen of Wonders of the East speaks of “another place in which there are foreign men” and how “two lakes are there, one the sun’s, the other the moon’s. That which is the sun’s is hot by day and cold by night. And that which is the moon’s is hot by night and cold by day.” I have failed to find any connection or any special reason why there should be one, so this may be mere co-incidence. Yet I note it here in case others have anything to add.
Mondsee Abbey was not founded by an Old English missionary but by one Odilo, duke of Bavaria, and some monks from Monte Cassino in AD 748. Yet the germanic Kulturkreis was, frankly, crawling with Old English influence at this time and for generations afterwards. Somewhere between AD 741-2 Saint Boniface had founded the bishoprics of Würzburg, Erfurt and Büraburg ( though Erfurt survived only as a monastery and Büraburg drops off the radar entirely), the siblings Willibald, Wynnebald and Walpurga “worked closely with Boniface in Hesse” and Willibald became bishop of Eichstätt. Three Mercians, Lull, Burchard and Denehard definitely became archbishop of Fulda, bishop of Würzburg, and acted as a courier to England, respectively. Then “notably Fulda, Frizlar, Tauberbischofsheim, Ochsenfurt, Hersfeld, Karlburg and Holzkirchen, were established in these regions, staffed with Englishmen and women, who came out to assist Boniface, as well as native Franks, Bavarians and Thuringians ( Map 3)” I have here. “Mainz, Echternach, Werden, Fulda, Hersfeld and Würzburg used the Insular scripts of Anglo-Saxon missionaries” according to Germany in the Early Middle Ages 800-1056 by T. Reuters and the “monasteries of Stafelsee, Freising, Tegernsee, St Emmeram at Regensburg, Salzburg and Mondsee followed Insular scribal practices” such that “Anglo-Saxon runes were used for W and TH” and “Anglo-Saxon book riddles were copied widely on the Continent.”
“It is well known that numerous Carolingian manuscripts of the ninth and tenth centuries preserve what are called ‘Insular symptoms’ which betray copying from an Insular exemplar” which led to a lot of “garbled Old English”, seemingly. Lioba may have been from Wessex and she “became abbess of Tauberbischofsheim” in Hesse-Thuringia, other monasteries established here by the Old English being Hersfeld again, Amorbach, Weissenberg “and others”.
Scribes at Fulda, it says, “continued to write Anglo-Saxon minuscule script into the second and third decade of the ninth century, after Caroline miniscule had prevailed elsewhere.” And I could go on about how Echternach, Mainz, Werden and Fulda were major “Anglo-Saxon centres on the Continent” but I think you’re getting the idea. But for the Viking incursions we’d have had ’em playing cricket by King Alfred’s day.
I’m under the impression that Wonders of the East is the proto-bestiary and enjoyed a certain amount of currency in literate circles in our period, so it needn’t raise any eyebrows that East Frankish monks knew of its contents.
Also you may wish to google up the Fraubillen Cross/ Fraubillenkreuz up in Germany’s Eifel Mountains. This is or was a menhir the upper half of which has been carven into a crucifix by, traditionally, Willibald of Mercia.
It certainly seems in character for an Old English missionary. One wonders whether this was a one-off initiative, or whether the carver was working within some established, general idea? Did some Old English stone crosses we know - Ruthwell why not? – begin as menhirs of Heathen significance, or that somebody like St Augustine, St Chad or St Beren just thought they looked too idolatrous by half?
Can tests be done on the stone, I wonder? If my geography serves menhirs may originate as “glacial erratics” or something, meaning that they were left behind by retreating glaciers in areas where they don’t fit in with the geology around them.
The moral right of the author to be identified as a water-cooler sensation has been asserted.