Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Lindisfarne or Holy Island.

LINDISFARNE CASTLE Using stone from the dissolved priory; Lindisfarne Castle was built in about the middle of the sixteenth century to defcnd the harbour against Scottish raids. Although the Tudor fort lost much of its importance after England and Scotland were united under one king, James I, a garrison remained until the middle of the nineteenth century.

In 1635 SirWilliam Brereton recorded that the governor of the fort, Captain Rugg, 'is as famous for his generous and free entertainment of strangers as for his great bottle nose, which is the largest I have seen'. Strengthened during the Civil War, the garrison was reduced to seven men by 1715. In that same year the two men on duty were tricked into letting two Jacobite supporters capture the fort, albeit for only one night.

In 1903 Edwin Lutyens converted the castle into a country residence for Edward Hudson, the founder of Country Life magazine. The small walled garden to the north was designed by Gertrude Jekyll in about 1911. Both garden and castle were acquired by the National Trust in 1944.


In the vicinity of Lindisfarne harbour are a number of upturned boats that have been cut in half and converted into storehouses.The three in the photograph - placed near the steep ramp leading to Lindisfarne Castle by Edwin Lutyens in the early twentieth century - were used to store fuel and firewood.All serve as a reminder that the island once supported a flourishing herring-fishing industry.

In 1859, at the height of its prosperity,Walter White wrote in Northumberland & the Border 'We passed the beach where the fishing-boats come in, and saw the huge wooden vat - if vat it be - round which the women stand to clean the herrings, and on the other side of the road fourteen hundred herring-barrels in piles and rows, and two men industrious over their final preparation. "There wouldn't be any too many", they said,"nor yet half enough, if the boats did but have luck"

Not far from the castle are the remains of lime kilns, dating from the mid -nineteenth century. By 1900, the herring-fishing and lime industries on Lindisfarne had ceased to exist.

Back to Index Page