Lindisfarne is the Anglo-Saxon name of the island off the North-East coast of England which is more generally know as Holy Island, or as ‘The Holy Island of Lindisfarne’. It is a tidal island and is cut off from the mainland twice each day. A paved causeway connects it with the mainland for a few hours at low tide.
For many centuries the island was subject to raids from marauding Vikings. It became an important centre of Celtic Christianity, and the saints Aidan, Cuthbert, Eadffrith and Eadberht were prominent figures in its ecclesiastical history. It was St Aidan, coming from Iona in Scotland, who founded the first Priory on the island in the 7th Century. This became the base for the spread of Christianity throughout the North of England. St Aidan lived on the island until he died in 651. The famous illuminated manuscript known as the Lindisfarne Gospels was created at the Priory during the early years of the 8th Century.
Perhaps the most prominent, if not the most significant, feature on the island is its castle, positioned on an outcrop of rock at the water’s edge. Following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, it was built in 1550 in defence against attack by Scotland and their Spanish allies. In the 19th Century, in private ownership, the castle was renovated by Arts and Crafts architect Edwin Lutyens, and a small but enchanting walled garden was created there by Gertrude Jekyll.
The idyllic location of the Castle has intrigued and inspired for centuries. The view from the top is truly magnificent. The castle is now managed and maintained by the National Trust.
The Gallery below contains some of my own attempts to capture the unique nature and character of this fascinating place. Click on any one of the images to open a slide show containing 3 of my photographs and 3 of my pen and wash sketches, all with a view of Lindisfarne Castle . . .