Lindisfarne Castle

Distinct from the priory at Lindisfarne but with its own unique history is the Lindisfarne Castle.  It is a small castle built on a volcanic mound on the opposite side of the bay from the town of Lindisfarne and the former monastery.  It is easy to see in the distance as you walk through the town of 120 people and its old buildings.  The island which hosts the town, the castle and the former monastery is remote and chosen for this reason.  The monks who originally built the monastery were committed to peace and communing with God through nature.  They walked everywhere they went.

In 875 AD the Vikings landed and destroyed the wooden monastery.  They sacked the island but missed two important relics – the body/bones of St. Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Gospels which were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John transcribed in Latin by the Monks.  After the raid both managed to be carried to Durham about 50 miles south of Lindisfarne island.  Both of these important relics were given to Durham Cathedral.  A new monastery was built in 1150 (the remains shown here) until 1537 when the monastery was destroyed by Henry VIII during the time known as the Suppression of the Monasteries in which Parliament gave him papal authority over the English church.  He disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland and disposed of their assets, income and property.

Shortly after the monastery was destroyed Henry VIII used the stones from the monastery on Lindisfarne to build a castle nearby as a military outpost.   The castle today is within sight of the monastery whose stones were used to build.

Turn the volume up because Bill was a little embarrassed to do the last segment as there were a million people around listening to him on the top of the castle.  Just a note – Henry VIII is the one who ordered stones from the priory to be used to build the castle and Bill uses the work “pinched” which means stolen.  We had fun doing this.

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