Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lindisfarne, Holy Island

I will admit when my husband said he wanted to stop at Lindisfarne on our trip to Scotland, I asked, "what is Lindisfarne?" It did take me a bit to find information but I learned quite a bit before we even got there.

Lindisfarne is on Holy Island. The way to get there is driving the causeway when the tide is low. Opening times are dependent on the tide. It was safe to cross until 12:45 and then the tide comes in until 18:20.

The island is small and there is a parking lot as you come in. We parked and made our way to the Priory.

The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by an Irish monk Saint Aidan. He came from Iona off the coast of Scotland. The priory was founded around 634.

Lindisfarne was the base for evangelising in the North of England coming from Ireland and Iona.

I think one of the things that makes Lindisfarne well known is the Lindisfarne Gospels. The Lindisfarne Gospels are an illustrated Latin copy of the Gospels. These were made in the early 700's. (They are not on the island but rather at the British Museum.)

In 793 the Vikings attacked Lindisfarne. This attacked is now taken as the beginning of the Viking Age.

The priory was reestablished in 1093 as a Benedictine house and continued until 1536 when Henry VIII closed the monasteries.

There is a small church next to the priory which we wandered through.

I think some of the fun we had that day was walking along the beach.

We played around the beach just throwing rocks and climbing.

Most of the beaches here are pebble beaches. This one was a bit more of a stone beach. I enjoyed sitting watching the waves and listening to the water run over the stones. As we sat, we could see the tide going out and knew that it soon would be save to leave the island.

I enjoyed walking and looking at the sheep and flowers. We are close to the Scottish border and there were a number of thistles growing there.

There is also Lindisfarne castle which was built in the 1550's after the destruction of the monasteries. Some of the stones from the monastery were used to build the castle. We wandered over to the castle too late to visit. It was renovated in the early 1900's so it is not necessary a medical castle.

As we wandered back towards the priory we saw the bit of a harbour and guessed that it was probably there that the Vikings made their raid.

I learned quite a bit about Lindisfarne both before and after our visit. I am glad that we were able to stop.

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