Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1996)
3 user

The Sanctuary Sparrow 

Liliwin is a poor acrobat hired to entertain at an Aurifaber wedding. But when he is dismissed and the master of the house is found unconscious and robbed, Cadfael must find the real thief before the mob takes vengeance.


Graham Theakston


Russell Lewis (screenplay), Edith Pargeter (novel) (as Ellis Peters)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Jacobi ... Brother Cadfael
Sean Pertwee ... Hugh Beringar
Peter Copley ... Abbot Heribert
Michael Culver ... Prior Robert
Julian Firth ... Brother Jerome
Roy Barraclough ... Walter Aurifaber
Rosalie Crutchley ... Juliana Aurifaber
Fiona Gillies ... Susanna Aurifaber
Maria Miles Maria Miles ... Margery Aurifaber
Hugh Bonneville ... Daniel Aurifaber (as Richard Bonneville)
Steven Mackintosh ... Liliwin
Patrick Brennan Patrick Brennan ... John Boneth
Roger Booth ... Baldwin Peche
Sara Stephens Sara Stephens ... Rannilt
David Tysall David Tysall ... Iestyn


Lilwin, a traveling minstrel, entertains at the wedding feast of the son of wealthy Walter Aurifaber but incurs the wrath of the bride's grandmother when he accidentally breaks a piece of crockery. When the wealthy man is apparently bludgeoned to death and a great deal of money stolen, suspicion falls on the young man, who becomes the sparrow of the title when he seeks sanctuary at the abbey from an angry mob. Although it later turns out that Aurifaber survived his attacker, further complications arise from Lilwin's romantic involvement with one of the household's serving girls, the murder of a blackmailing gossip, and the rivalry between the young bride and her controlling sister-in-law. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

5 June 1994 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carlton, Central Films See more »
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Technical Specs




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Did You Know?


Hugh Bonneville (Daniel Aurifaber) and Derek Jacobi (Brother Cadfael) have both played Edward Masterson in adaptations of the 1934 novel "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie: Bonneville in Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010) and Jacobi in Murder on the Orient Express (2017). See more »


(at around 39 mins) When the assistant is being questioned. See more »


Brother Cadfael: [to Juliana Aurifaber] I wonder I shouldn't be telling you to stamp about the house all day. Hm? Then perhaps you might do the opposite.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although the first season of this series was 1994, the credits for these episodes mistakenly say MCMLXIV, which is 1964. It should be MCMXCIV for 1994. See more »

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User Reviews

A Couple
3 July 2008 | by tedgSee all my reviews

I'm amazed at how uninteresting these Cadfael episodes are.

But in this one, I found two remarkable things. The first is how bluntly and exclusively it features copulation. I think there are five or six couplings; it is as if the author though he missed it in previous volumes and wanted to make up all in a hurry. Its pretty much the whole story — sexual urge.

The second thing, far more interesting, is watching two actors who appear in minor roles. Toby Stephens and Natascha McElhone. Both of these seem more intense than those surrounding. Both have gone on to careers as effective but uncelebrated screen actors — a rare thing. I have counted them both as valued guides into obscure places.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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