Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island, Northumberland
Just one of the stone arches that remain as markers to the grand scale of what was once Lindisfarne Priory.
But before I show you more I should explain that these extensive ruins, whilst old, dating back to the 1100’s, they are not the original religious settlement on Holy island.
Holy Island (once I am told known as the Healing Isle) is located on the North East coast of England, just short of the Scottish border, in the county of Northumberland. For several centuries the community at Lindisfarne was credited as a major centre for Celtic Christianity. Saint Aidan and Saint Cuthbert, Eadfrith and the Venerable Bede all have direct involvement with establishing and leading the Islands Christian Community. An important influence across Northumberland and into many parts of England and no doubt Scotland. One of the most notable religious contributions was the creation of the Lindisfarne Gospels (circa 710ad), a treasure now in the keeping of the British Library*
For several centuries there was no large stone built Priory, but a more rustic collection of simple wood and stone constructions. Its initial downfall was following a bloody Viking invasion followed a little later by a Danish invasion.
It was only following the Norman Conquest that major changes occurred across England. Lindisfarne Priory was re-established in the 11th century, the building and expansion continued across 3 further centuries.
So what you can see today are just a small, but still significant, part of the Lindisfarne story.
The Priory fell fowl of King Henry VIII act for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1557, a sad end to this one time religious strong hold of great influence.
Look closely at the above image. You can just see Lindisfarne Castle ( Circa 1570- rebuilt 1901) poised on a rocky outcrop. Just another excuse to visit this wonderful Island that is only accessible at low tide across a narrow causeway….. and adventure in its own right.
- I understand there were plans to bring back the Lindisfarne Gospels for a visit to the North East, possibly Durham Cathedral as host. The date was suggested as 2022. Worth keeping and watchful ear for more updates
Where ever you are today…..
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2021