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Lindisfarne Castle is seen here, located on the eastern tip of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on the Northumberland coast. Across the water, about 10km away to the south, the very much larger Bamburgh Castle can be seen (21km by road).

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is where St Aidan, who came from the island of Iona (off Scotland's west coast), founded a monastery in AD 635; he was followed by a series of Celtic Chrstian Saints - Cuthbert, Eadfrith and Eadberht. In time it became one of Europe's most important centres of Christian evangelism. Vikings began raiding the island in AD 793, and the monks left it in 875 - taking St Cuthbert's bones with them - when the Vikings took control of Northumbria. In 1570 a Tudor castle fortress was completed, but it was of little use by then as the cannons of the day could easily penetrate castle walls. In more recent times a part of the castle has been used from time to time as a holiday home. Renovations commissioned by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901 enabled the preservation of the castle, which would probably have otherwise fallen into ruin.

The island itself - its civilised history based mainly on fishing and limestone production - is about 3.5 by 2.5 kilometres in area, and cut off from the mainland only by the daily high tides. One can drive on to it and off it, as we did, between the times advertised very prominently at the start of the causeway. The tide began to come in about an hour after I took this picture. In truth, the village and various nautical things are picturesque and interesting enough in their own right to make a visit worthwhile, and the nearby village pub, which served good beer, seemed a better option at the time than a walk right up to the castle rock.

A higher resolution version can be seen on the beta site.

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2874 W: 101 N: 4800] (18551)
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