Thursday, 22 April 2010

St Cuthbert

There's much more to Holy Island than the castle and the sea. The village of Lindisfarne itself is very attractive and good for exploring (not to mention eating the fudge and tasting the Lindisfarne mead!) The island and surrounding bay is also a National Nature Reserve: a wintering ground for pale-bellied brent geese, eider ducks and all manner of waders and other birds.

But this tiny island was also the place where, during the Dark Ages after the Roman occupation, Celtic Christianity took root and spread throughout the north of England. In 635 AD, the Irish monk St Aidan came from the Scottish island of Iona and founded a Benedictine monastery on Lindisfarne, at the invitation of the Anglo-Saxon Christian King Oswald at the nearby castle of Bamburgh. The monks worked as missionaries, spreading the gospel throughout pagan Northumbria. It was one of the great seats of Christian learning and was where the Lindisfarne Gospels - beautifully illuminated manuscripts now in the British Library - were written.
In 665, St Cuthbert became the abbey's Prior, before living as a hermit for ten years on the island called Inner Farne, and then becoming Bishop of Northumbria. He died on Inner Farne and was buried at Lindisfarne. Many healing miracles were claimed and his relics became venerated. In 875, Vikings attacked the island and some of the monks escaped with the body of St Cuthbert, which was eventually reburied in Durham. His shrine is now part of the great Norman cathedral there.

(You will note that I've been putting into practice what I learned this week on my course - 3D frames! I think it's not bad for a first attempt...)

PS I have just learned through Bob's Durham Daily Photo blog that the sculpture is "The Journey" by Fenwick Lawson. This is made in elm and there is a similar work cast in bronze in Durham's Millennium Square. Thanks Bob!


  1. Great framing, jennyfreckles!

  2. I think you did a fantastic job!

  3. The 3D framing is very cool, something I have never happened to see before. And that fudge eating sounds mightly good to me too. ~Lili


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