Lindisfarne Priory

Things to see and do

The Priory

Lindisfarne was one of the most important centres of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England for over a century until monks abandoned it after the infamous Viking raid of AD 793. The ruins you see today are from the early 12th century, when Norman monks from Durham Cathedral founded a new community here.

As you wander through the richly decorated ruins, you’ll see the 'Rainbow Arch', one of Lindisfarne Priory's most dramatic features that survived the collapse of the tower above it over 200 years ago. Look out for the magnificent carvings on the west doorway and remains of defensive features built to guard against attacks and raids from the Scots.

The Museum

Head to the museum to discover rare Christian and Anglo-Saxon artefacts, many of which have never been on display before. Look out for Britain’s earliest-known prayer bead necklace, a beautiful Anglo-Saxon gaming counter and fragments of a knitted woollen sleeve, which is one of the earliest surviving examples of knitting in Europe. You can also see a spearhead, the 9th-century ‘Viking Domesday’ stone and 21 unique ‘name stones’, carved with the names of some of Lindisfarne’s Anglo-Saxon residents.

Monument to St Cuthbert

St Cuthbert is one of England’s most famous saints, and his shrine at Lindisfarne was a site of Anglo-Saxon pilgrimage and miracles. Now 1,300 years after his death, a new monument is marking the site of his original burial place, welcoming pilgrims once again. Carved by sculptor Russ Coleman, the artwork, called Feather Star Mantle, is made with local basalt and Frosterly marble, and sits on a Swaledale plinth containing fossilised sea creatures.

Immerse yourself in art and poetry

Olivia Lomenech-Gill, artist and the illustrator of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has created a large-scale, mixed-media artwork in response to The Refuge Box, a poem by Katrina Porteous. The poem uses the wooden refuge box on Holy Island causeway to consider ideas of sanctuary. You can scan a QR code to listen to a new recording of the poem as you wander through the priory ruins. 

Families can explore Lindisfarne on a new trail being brought to life with new artwork by Lomenech-Gill. Explore the museum to discover and seek out the birds and beasts, with activities included to do on Holy Island and at home.  

The Shop

Lindisfarne Priory's recently refurbished shop has a new range of stained glass clothing and accessories, exclusive to English Heritage.

Taking inspiration from the intricate designs and bright colours in the Lindisfarne Gospels and stained glass at English Heritage properties; the range features unique, bold and colourful patterns with a nod to the Medieval stories at our Abbeys and Priories.

Find out more
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