north northumberland
Lindisfarne Priory - The Rainbow Arch Lindisfarne Priory

graphicStunning views of the Northumbrian coast
graphicTranquil and spiritual surroundings
graphicEvocative ruins and centuries of history
Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island was one of the most important centres of early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. It is still a place of pilgrimage today, the dramatic approach across the causeway adding to the fascination of the site.
St Aidan founded the monastery in AD 635, but St Cuthbert, prior of Lindisfarne, is the most celebrated of the priory's holy men. Buried in the priory, his remains were transferred to a pilgrim shrine there after 11 years, and found still undecayed - a sure sign of sanctity.
Lindisfarne Priory - The Lindisfarne Gospels
From the end of the 8th century, the isolated island with its rich monastery was easy prey for Viking raiders. In 875 the monks left, carrying Cuthbert's remains, which after long wanderings were enshrined in Durham Cathedral in 1104, where they still rest. Only after that time did Durham monks re-establish a priory on Lindisfarne: the evocative ruins of the richly decorated priory church they built in c. 1150 still stand, with their famous 'rainbow arch' - a vault-rib of the now vanished crossing tower. The small community lived quietly on Holy Island until the suppression of the monastery in 1537.
The museum offers visitors clear and lively interpretation of the story of St Cuthbert and the development of Lindisfarne Priory.
English Heritage hosts a programme of living history events at the priory during the summer. For more information visit our information page.
Lindisfarne Priory - Overview The causeway floods at high tide, so it is very important to check the tide times before crossing. There are tide tables at each side of the causeway. Details are available from the Berwick-upon-Tweed Tourist Information Centre (01289 330733) or you can check the causeway opening times on the Holy Island website.
English Heritage exists to protect and promote England's spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is researched and understood. Click here for more details of English Heritage sites in North Northumberland.
Lindisfarne Priory - Click for more information
north northumberland

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