Holy island 9

Holy Island walk

The second day of our break consisted a trip to the Holy island of Lindisfarne, the islands recorded history goes back to the 6th Century. It was an important centre of Celtic Christianity under Saints Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert, Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindisfarne. After Viking invasions and the Norman conquest of England a priory was reestablished. A small castle was built upon it in 1550. The first thing to do on visiting this island is to check the tide information as the island is a tidal island with the only way across is a causeway just east of a small village of Beal (Map ), there is a small tidal info sheet just at the start also you can check them online at http://holy-island.info/lindisfarnecastle/2014/. Parking on the island costs £4 and the car park gets very full so get there early as possible, we visited the causeway when it was flooded under high tide and it really does cover the road intact there is a picture on a website with a car stranded under water so you have been warned. At the centre of the island people live in a few scatted houses and also you will find the local shops and a nice pub the crown and anchor, however it does get busy.

We decided to get away from the centre and take a long walk around the island, just head to the castle and then find the small track that leads around the island but keep an eye on the time, we managed about seven miles so it can take some time. There is a large
day mark for maritime navigation, a white brick pyramid, 35 feet high and built in 1810, positioned at a point called Emmanuel head (map) and this was our first point of call on the walk. The beaches are truly wonderful on the north of the island and then you can head through the massive sand dunes called the Links whilst heading back along the path near to St Cuthberts way, we had a great day out on this island and can’t recommend it enough, and if you have a spare six or so hours make sure you visit but don’t get stranded !

Lindisfarne Priory.
The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by Irish monk Saint Aidan, who had been sent from Iona off the west coast of Scotland to Northumbria at the request of King Oswald. The priory was founded before the end of 634 and Aidan remained there until his death in 651.[19] The priory remained the only seat of a bishopric in Northumbria for nearly thirty years.[19] Finian (bishop 651–661) built a timber church "suitable for a bishop's seat".[20] St. Bede however was critical of the fact that the church was not built of stone but only of hewn oak thatched with reeds. A later bishop, Eadbert removed the thatch and covered both walls and roof in lead.

LIndisfarne Castle
The castle is located in what was once the very volatile border area between England and Scotland. Not only did the English and Scots fight, but the area was frequently attacked by Vikings. The castle was built in 1550, around the time that
Lindisfarne Priory went out of use, and stones from the priory were used as building material. It is very small by the usual standards, and was more of a fort. The castle sits on the highest point of the island, a whinstone hill called Beblowe.

Lindisfarne Gospels
Lindisfarne Gospels (London, British Library Cotton MS Nero D.IV) is an illuminated manuscript gospel book produced around the year 700 in a monastery off the coast of Northumberland at Lindisfarne and which is now on display in the British Library in London. The manuscript is one of the finest works in the unique style of Hiberno-Saxon or Insular art, combining Mediterranean, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic elements.[1]