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Steeped in legends of miracles, this mysteriously romantic site is heightened by its desolate location off the coast of Northumberland. Recognised as an important Christian centre in Anglo-Saxon England, Lindisfarne Priory is one of those places where the anticipation of a visit is far outweighed by the actual experience.
In 635 a simple monastery was founded by St Aiden at Lindisfarne. Towards the end of the 7th century Cuthbert was persuaded to give up his life as a hermit and become Bishop of the monastery. Shortly after his death, the famous Lindisfarne Gospels were produced, possibly in celebration of St Cuthbert's enshrinement in the monastic church. Firmly established as a place of pilgrimage, it continued to grow in wealth and power, but its treasures eventually attracted the unwanted attention of Danish raiders. After eight long decades of suffering, the monks finally abandoned their island monastery and fled to the mainland. On reaching Durham with their precious relics, including the body of St Cuthbert, they settled into community life until the end of the 11th century.
Despite there being few walls existing to a good height today, the bold round pillars and distinctive Norman arches of the nave arcade still present a daunting spectacle in their weather-tinted stone. The image of this powerful, dark red priory fortress surrounded by religion and mystique, must surely have been a formidable one during the Middle Ages. All the more so for the fact that it was virtually cut off from the mainland during high tide and, quite probably, clouded in thick mists for many weeks.
Lindisfarne Priory is not just another ruined site on the list of 'must visits'. It is a magical place. A place where imagination is more important than seeing the physical evidence. Almost unwillingly you will be drawn back to the harsh, religious life led by Cuthbert, you will visualise the Vikings causing havoc in this gentle community, and you will feel the pain of those early monks who fled with the sacred treasures back to the safety of Durham. Once visited, Holy Island will live in your memory forever.

Taken yesterday on the mystical Holy Island

Vicky, jhm, psandboge, hugolef, j_mcquillen, johnhopkins, jmdaoudal, Georges, naturegirl heeft deze opmerking als nuttig gemarkeerd

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Additional Photos by Peter Traynor (chefcop) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 48 W: 0 N: 53] (275)
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