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This site is currently closed. Unfortunately current restrictions mean that we cannot open Lindisfarne Priory safely for our visitors, Members or staff. We will continue to review this and return to normal winter opening hours as soon as we are able. Any tickets pre-booked for the closed period will be cancelled and refunded. This will be done automatically, so there’s no need to contact us.
Oswald, King of Northumbria, summons Irish monk Aidan from Iona to be bishop of his kingdom. Oswald grants Lindisfarne to Aidan for his monastery.
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A monk named Cuthbert joins. He is eventually made Prior, but when his reforms prove unpopular, he retires to a small island nearby as a hermit.
King Ecgfrith makes Cuthbert a bishop. He gains a great reputation as a pastor, seer and healer.
Cuthbert dies and is buried in a stone coffin. After monks later find his body undecayed, his remains are raised to a ground-level coffin-shrine.
Miracles are reported at St Cuthbert's shrine. Lindisfarne becomes the major Northumbrian pilgrimage centre. The monastery grows in power and wealth.
At least 23 carved stones show that the Christian burial ground at Lindisfarne remains in use throughout the Viking invasions.
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The monastery produces the Lindisfarne Gospels, masterpieces of early medieval art.
Viking pirates make a devastating raid on Lindisfarne. The monks abandon the island, wandering for seven years carrying St Cuthbert's coffin and treasures. They eventually settle in Chester-le-Street.
St Cuthbert's relics are moved again and eventually enshrined at Durham. A wealthy monastic community grows up around them.
Durham monks return to Lindisfarne. They build a church with a cenotaph marking Cuthbert's original grave.
Edward I invades Scotland. The monks fortify the priory but cannot afford a garrison. They later ask Richard II for permission to remove the fortifications.
Henry VIII orders the priory to be closed. The buildings remain, probably proving useful to the Crown's defence strategy in the north.
Antiquarians and artists are attracted to the ruins. Drawings and descriptions reveal that the church survives until about 1780.
Local landowner Mr Selby buys the site. Despite his efforts, the west front collapses. Sir William Crossman excavates the monastic buildings. The church is also excavated and the walls strengthened.
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