Friday, 13 April 2012

Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland

A-Z Challenge 2012 - L
Lindisfarne Castle

Lindisfarne Castle stands on a whinstone hill, the highest point of Holy Island.

Lindisfarne Castle - 2006
Holy Island – Lindisfarne – is world famous as an important centre of early English Christianity. The remote location led to St Aidan founding a monastery, Lindisfarne Priory, there in AD 635. Later in 684 St Cuthbert became the Bishop of Lindisfarne. At low tide each day a causeway links the island to the mainland.

The ghost of St Cuthbert is said to haunt the island, being seen on the craggy rocks down by the shore, He has also been seen on a stone slab inside the ruin of the old Priory. He is also allegedly responsible for what are known as “Cuddy’s beads.” On dark and stormy nights the sound of his hammering can be heard as he chips away at stone to make the beads.

Lindisfarne is home to other ghosts; a Cromwellian soldier seen at the castle, phantom monk who disappears through a wall, other monks seen walking across the causeway and a monk believed to be St Cuthbert himself.

Peter Underwood, in his book The Haunted Isle, says of the ghost of St Cuthbert:
Perhaps the most famous appearance of this ghost, if not the best authenticated, is the occasion when it was seen by Alfred the Great, who was a fugitive at the time. The saintly ghost indicated that all would be well and that Alfred would one day sit on the throne of England, and so it came to pass.

The castle is situated in what was once a volatile border area between England and Scotland. The island was frequently attacked by the Vikings and was sacked by Danish raiders in 873. The castle was built around 1550 with stones from the Priory when this went out of use. The fort created on the whinstone hill, known as Beblowe Crag, between 1570 and 1572 became the basis of the present castle.

Lindisfarne Castle - 2007
In 1901 the castle became the property of a publishing and magazine owner. Sir Edwin Lutyens converted it into a private house in 1903. The walled garden was designed by Gertrude Jekyll between 1906 and 1912. The castle, garden and nearby lime kilns have been cared for by the National Trust since 1944.

Hilary Melton-Butcher's castle yesterday K - Knepp Castle, West Sussex.

  • Image 1 Lindisfarne Castle 2006; sitting on an igneous rock; author Nigel Chadwick; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.
  • Image 2 Lindisfarne Castle 2007; author Matthew Hunt; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.


DW96 said...

To my eternal shame I have passed Lindisfarne hundreds of times when I've been travelling north, but I've never visited, and now I don't know whether my rickety knees would get me up the hill.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. loved the fact you've done Lindisfarne Castle - it is one of the most beautiful sites.

My father and I visited many many years ago .. it was such a hot week or 10 days we had .. we just sweltered and didn't do as much as we should have done. We stayed at Alnwick ..

The Castle, causeway etc made an impression on me and I really should come north and 'repeat' my trip ..

Especially now as I see Lutyens and Jekyll both had input into the building and gardens.

Delighted with this one and its history .. glad I didn't do it!

Cheers Hilary

Rob From Amersfoort said...

Very impressive! I would love to visit this (remote) place once. Or maybe do a sleepover to see if there are really ghosts ...

Jenni Steel said...

Now your on my home territory.

I have been there many times from young with my parents to later with friends, The atmosphere around the island is magical.

Practically everyone whoever visits it returns at some point or another.

Its is a very spiritual place for me! Thanks for reminding me how lovely it is.

Jenni Steel said...

Hi Bob,

Now your on my home territory. This is a beautiful spot. It has lots of spooky tales.

I have visited this spiritual place many times.. Thanks for allowing me to share in its memories!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I'm clicking on random blogs that catch my eye from the A to Z Challenge site.

This castle is so beautiful.

Marc Latham said...

I went there a couple of years ago, and it is a lovely relaxing place, with lots of interest and nice scenery. Cheers for reminding me.

Alan Burnett said...

Been there. But it was a misty and rainy day and didn't look half as attractive as it does in your photographs. I must go back when the sun shines.

Bish Denham said...

Some day I must cross the pond.I want to go to all these places. I want to walk where so many thousands of others have walked.

Ellen Brickley said...

I'd love to visit there, it looks really interesting - and obviously steeped in history. Thanks for sharing this.

Guilie said...

This sounds alluringly creepy :) Thanks for sharing, Bob!

Rosalind Adam said...

This is a castle that I HAVE visited. I can well understand why there are tales of ghosts around it. We went in the days when we had a dog. It was always my choice to wait outside these sorts of places with the dog so I didn't get to see Gertrude Jekyll's walled garden but Mr A did and he was very impressed.

Robyn Campbell said...

I'd love to do a castle tour, Bob. I am jotting all these down, because I will do one. I promise. They all seem to be haunted. :-)

Christine H. said...

I know that the National Trust rents out some properties for overnight stays. I suppose not this one though. Oh, probably just as well.