Saturday Snapshot: Views of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne is one of my favourite places, cut off from the mainland of Britain twice a day by the tides and accessed over a causeway. We went there last Tuesday and here are a few photos I took then together with one I took on an earlier visit.

Lindisfarne Priory was founded in 635 by Aidan, an Irish monk who came to the island from the monastery on Iona, founded by St Columba. It was the home of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

I took the photo below in February 2011, on a cold winter’s day. It shows the statue of St Aidan in the Priory grounds with Lindisfarne Castle, across the bay, in the background.

The monastery was originally wooden buildings  and the remains that we see today are those of the 12th century priory, probably standing on the site of the 7th century monastery. The Priory’s former grandeur is still there to see:Lindisfarne was also the home of Cuthbert, who became the prior in 685. Eleven years after his burial it became a shrine when his body was exhumed and was found to be undecayed. One hundred years later when the monks fled from the island during Viking raids they took his relics with them, eventually re-establishing his shrine in Durham Cathedral in 995.

This sculpture of St Cuthbert is cast in bronze, originally carved from an elm tree. It shows a contemplative Cuthbert:

Last Tuesday was one of the hottest days of the year. We had intended to visit the castle as well, but as so many other people had the same idea we just went for a walk round the foot of the castle, then along the coast and back inland.

We stopped for a look at the walled garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll in 1911.

And then carried on to the coast line: On the way home we stopped at The Barn at Beal, on the mainland, just over the causeway, for a cup of coffee.

A Saturday Snapshot post – see more on Alyce’s blog At Home with Books.

22 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot: Views of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

  1. Beautiful photos! Are the bits of paper at the foot of St Aidan’s statue prayers or just bits of trash?


  2. You always post such interesting visits, than you so much, I don’t think I’ll ever get there, but now I KNOW how lovely it is. Thank you again. Enjoy your coffee.


  3. Monasteries and cathedrals are places I always want to visit. They give me a feeling of contentment and serenity. Your photos are wonderful and the history gives a personal touch to the place.


  4. Thank you for the little photo vacation. What a pretty place. Other’s vacation photos are probably the only way I will ever see some other parts of the world.


  5. That looks like a beautiful place to visit – so full of history! Neat that it is only connected to the mainland part of the time.


  6. I haven’t heard of this, but the photos are lovely. I can see it’s a great place to visit. Being cut off from the mainland reminds me of Mont St. Michel in France, although with many fewer shops and tourists it looks like. Here’s Mine


  7. The only time I’ve been on Lindisfarne it was a freezing cold Easter with a wind coming off the North Sea that only the North Sea could manage, so I don’t think I appreciated it quite as much as I should have done. Clearly, I shall have to try and see it under better circumstances.


  8. Margaret, those are the most fabulous pictures. I know I keep saying this, but I so want to go to Lindisfarne. Actually, I’m just back from a week’up north’, but on the other side of the country to you, near Barrow in Furness, so I’m just catching up. . My Saturday Snapshot is at


  9. Unfortunately we haven’t been in the area at the right time for the tide. Now we’ll definitely have to be better organised and stay over in the area. I’d love to see the Jekyll garden too, I had no idea it was there. It’s great to see you looking so well!


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