The Old Church, Horncliffe

Facts About Holy Island


Beyond Bamburgh additionally the tidal estuary-like dirt flats of Budle Bay, is Holy Island, a magical location, however frequently known by its even more ancient title of Lindisfarne. It is just accesible from the mainland at low wave by way of a causeway, which may be achieved from town of Beal.

Lindisfarne Priory with Lindisfarne castle into the distance : David Simpson

South associated with newer road-surface causeway, a series of stakes mark the old course across on area labeled as the 'Pilgrims Method' that has been found in ancient times by visitors to the great Christian centre of Lindisfarne. Again this could be crossed only at reduced tide, a situation completely explained by Sir Walter Scott;

For aided by the flow and ebb, its design
Varies from continent to isle;
Dry shood o'er sands, two times daily,
The pilgrims towards shrine discover means;
Twice every day the waves efface
Of staves and sandelled foot the trace.

The present day causeway is approximately a mile long and reaches the area at a spot called the snook, on western tip of an extended sandy peninsula, leading the street into the appealing Holy Island village additionally the nearby damages of a Norman priory. The area itself is about 3 miles wide from west to east about half that encompasses the slim snook nevertheless the main the main island is approximately one-and-a-half miles from north to south.

Around 180 folks go on the island although number of individuals present regarding island whenever you want increases substantially during summer months particularly at those instances when the wave has gone out.

View of Bamburgh from Lindisfarne causeway : David Simpson

Anciently the area was recognized to the indigenous Britons in belated Celtic times as Medcaut or in Latin as Insula Medicata. The old name is considered to are based on the Latin definition 'healing island', maybe from medicinal natural herbs that expanded indeed there or from an allusion on healing nature of this receding tide which bridges the space with all the mainland. Title Welsh title Medcaut (or Medgoet in Irish) was avove the age of title Lindisfarne that will attended into use due to Roman impact.

Although recommendations have linked the Anglo-Saxon title 'Lindisfarne' for some style of flow, historians and place-name specialists consider your name's one way or another linked to a people labeled as the Lindissi of Lincolnshire. Whenever Angles (from the German/Danish/Frisian coastline) invaded Britain when you look at the 6th century the area across the River Humber was an important area for his or her first settlement. The individuals which settled on both sides of this estuary were known as the Humbresnes and a tribal group from the south-side in Lincolnshire had been known as the Lindisfarona.

It will be possible your brand new invaders from that region in addition relocated north along the coastline and colonised the area of Medcaut because could have provided an ideal landing base for an intrusion associated with Celtic mainland. It's known for certain an Angle main Ida seized the nearby Celtic stronghold of Bamburgh in 547AD hence later on, Ida's son Theodoric (whoever title means king-king) had been assaulted in a siege upon the area. The three-day siege ended up being led by Urien the Celtic Prince associated with Cumbrian-based Kingdom of Rheged. Urien had been the principal leader within the defence regarding the Celtic north resistant to the Angles.

In the end the Angles would be effective within their invasion and colonisation for the north establishing a kingdom called Bernicia inside part of the region centered on a youthful Celtic kingdom of an equivalent title. The Pagan Angles together with the Saxons just who colonised the south of England would eventually convert to Christianity. When you look at the north the Angle Kingdom of Northumbria created and became a major centre of Christianity and Lindisfarne was an important focus for brand new belief.


The ruins of Lindisfarne's Norman priory stand-on or nearby the website for the Anglo-Saxon monastery founded by St Aidan in A.D 635, on land issued by Oswald, King and Saint of Northumbria. Aidan is known to have chosen the area web site due to its separation and proximity into Northumbrian capital at Bamburgh.

Aidan the first Bishop of Lindisfarne, an Irish-Celtic monk from Scotish isle of Iona, travelled widely throughout Northumbria and with the help of King Oswald as interpreter, began the transformation of this pagan Northumbrians to Chrisatianity. The conversion of this Northumbrians to Christianity by Aidan and Oswald, cannot have already been a facile task.

The Northumbrians had been the descendants of a heathen competition of people who had been in lots of ways no longer civilised compared to the Scandinavian Vikings, which invaded Britain hundreds of years later on. St Aidan's demise in 651 A.D, is believed to are associated in a vision to a young shepherd boy labeled as Cuthbert just who lived-in the hills somewhere close to the River Tweed.

The church, Holy Island : David Simpson

The sight convinced Cuthbert which he should use up the life of a monk as well as age sixteen, he joined the Northumbrian monastery of Melrose in Tweeddale (now within the southern boundaries of Scotland).

In 654 Cuthbert found Lindisfarne, in which his reputed gift of healing and popular capability to work wonders, attained far-reaching fame for area. Cuthbert was elected Bishop of Hexham in 684 A.D but exchanged the see for Lindisfarne, to become the 5th successor to Bishop Aidan.

Whenever Cuthbert died in 687 A.D, he was burried according to his desires from the area of Lindisfarne, but eleven years after his death, their human body was discovered to stay in an incorrupt condition by the amazed monks of area. The monks had been now convinced that Cuthbert had been a saint and pilgrims continued to flock to Lindisfarne in numbers as great as during Cuthbert's life time.

Damages of this Norman priory, Lindisfarne : David Simpson


In 793 A.D Lindisfarne was to witness the very first Viking raid on coastline of Britain, that was recalled with much crisis by an informative record of period labeled as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle;

" 793. Inside year terrible portents showed up over Northumbria, which sorely affrighted the inhabitants: there have been exemplary flashes of lightning, and fiery dragons had been seen flying through environment. A great famine accompanied hard upon these indications; and some later on in that exact same year, in the 8th Summer, the harrying of the heathen miserably damaged Jesus's chapel by rapine and slaughter. "

It absolutely was a horrific and devastaing minute for Northumbria nevertheless the Anglo-Saxon chroniclers had been largely responsible for offering the Vikings the 'bad press' which they have today. The chroniclers did not mention that the Anglo-Saxons had invaded Britain in much the same way, two and a half centuries earlier.

Viking raids on Lindisfarne's affluent coastal monastery continued throughout the following century and in 875 A.D the monks of Lindisfarne fled their particular Holy Island because of the human body of Cuthbert, recalling the dying desires of the saint;-

copyright Hobthrush Lindisfarne Castle Lindisfarne Castle

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