Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Lindisfarne Priory (Lindisfarne)

Lindisfarne Priory is a very historic religious site at Lindisfarne, othrwise known as Holy Island, off the Northumberland coast.

It was originally founded by St. Aidan in 635, and became the first Christian diocese in the North of England. Aidan had been invited from Iona by King Oswald.

A later Bishop, St. Colman, led the Celtic party at the historic Synod of Whitby.

St. Cuthbert became Bishop in 664. He was originally buried at Lindisfarne, and this led to the island becoming a place of pilgrimage. But at the rime of the Danish invasions, his remains were taken by monks to avoid being desecrated, and eventually found a permanent resting place at Durham.

The Danish invaders destroyed the priory, but it was refounded from Durham in 1083 by the Benedictines.

The evocative ruins that remain today date from this period, and are still much visited by pilgrims. In particular, the rainbow arch that curves dramatically across the nave is much admired.

An exhibition tells the story of Lindisfarne, and gives an idea of the life of a monk.

Lindisfarne Priory is now in the care of English Heritage.

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