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.
687-98Cult of St Cuthbert
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.
8th CenturyLindisfarne Miracles
Miracles are reported at St Cuthbert's shrine. Lindisfarne becomes the major Northumbrian pilgrimage centre. The monastery grows in power and wealth.
8th-10th CenturyChristian Resilience
At least 23 carved stones show that the Christian burial ground at Lindisfarne remains in use throughout the Viking invasions.
See highlights from the collection at Lindisfarne Priory
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.
11th-13th CenturiesReturn to the Island
Durham monks return to Lindisfarne. They build a church with a cenotaph marking Cuthbert's original grave.
13th-14th CenturiesMonastic Fortifications
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.
18th CenturyRomantic Ruins
Antiquarians and artists are attracted to the ruins. Drawings and descriptions reveal that the church survives until about 1780.
19th-20th CenturiesConservation and Excavations
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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