Lindisfarne (Holy Island)
Sited atop the volcanic mound known as Beblowe Craig, Lindisfarne Castle is
one of the most distinct and picturesque features of the Island and can be
seen for many miles around. Following the dissolution of the monasteries by
Henry VIII, it was built in 1550 in defence of the realm against attack by
and in pursuit of their Spanish allies. Constructed of stone taken from the
Priory the most interesting recent feature (1997) has been the re-facing of
which featured the use of Yak hair in the render.
The castle is excellently
maintained by the National Trust and the view from the top truly magnificent
- it is also unique.
If visiting the castle area of the Island, do also visit the Lime Kilns
which are situated under the eastern embankment.
Up until the turn of the last century slaked lime featured highly in the
Island's economy. Best viewed from seaward the well formed arches are well worth
a look too.
the convenience of its many customers, the castle administrators have
produced a schedule of varying opening times based on the Island's
This schedule is based on an opening core time of
12:00-15:00. (Note: The castle is closed on Fridays.) Entry is free to
National Trust members.
(We are advised that the Castle will be open from 1st April.)
For further information: phone 01289 389244
Following the Norman conquest and the
ensuing religious changes the famous Benedictine Priory was built during the
late 11th century. Contrary to popular belief it appears not to have been
built on the site of the Franciscan monastery founded by St.Aidan. Indeed
there may be evidence that the new landlords went to a great deal of trouble
to remove all traces of the old order. Nevertheless, the Priory was
undoubtedly, even for its time, a great feat of civil engineering. There are
many unique features for the visitor to discover and it is certainly well
worth spending some time in the associated museum. While you are there, do
look around the parish church which does have connections with the ancient
monastery as well as traces of Saxon architecture
HOLY ISLAND HARBOUR
Holy Island harbour is characterised world-wide by pictures of the large,
upturned fishing boats lining the beach.
Now no longer seaworthy and used as work sheds for the small remaining
seagoing fraternity, many of these boats were part of one of the largest
Herring Fleets to sail off the east coast of England.
The fleet operated
from Holy Island harbour up until the turn of the 19th century. It is often
claimed (and even more often contested with nearby Craister!) that the first
oak-smoked Herring was prepared in the adjacent Herring Houses. Whilst
making for a lovely, tranquil stroll on a Summer evening, the views from the
harbour of the tremendous seas breaking over the other Farne islands during
severe Winter gales are absolutely spectacular - particularly knowing that
one can then return to the comfort and warmth of one of the local friendly
During the 7th century and at the request
of King Oswald, the missionary community of Iona were invited to introduce
Christianity into northeast England. Under this Celtic influence Northumbria
became one of the mightiest of all English Kingdoms.
Choosing to settle on Lindisfarne, the Celtic Christian influence which
swelled down into England surpassed even that of Canterbury for quite some
There remain many communities all over the world who have drawn
inspiration from the religious teachings and doctrine of Lindisfarne. Even
today there are many who make their joint or private pilgrimage to our
ancient shores. For those prepared to heed the call of the Island, The spark
that set all those fires alight throughout the ages, is still here and
burning even stronger - not only for Christians but for people of all
more information on our religious history please visit the following web
The Religious History of Lindisfarne
The Life of St.Cuthbert (to us 'Cuddy')
The Body of St.Cuthbert