"St Mary’s Church" Top 5 Page for this destination Lindisfarne Things to Do Tip by toonsarah
Lindisfarne Things to Do: 41 reviews and 119 photos
Immediately next door to the Priory is the parish church of the island, St Mary’s. This stands on the site of a wooden church built by St. Aidan in 635 AD, which was later replaced by a small stone church. When the Benedictine monks of Durham began to build the second monastery in the 12th century they decided this should be the parish church of the village, a role it has performed ever since. It has been enlarged several times (in the 12th and 13th centuries) but parts of the original Saxon church still remain in one wall.
Over the centuries it fell into some disrepair but was thoroughly restored in the 1860s, largely to the state we now see, though the plastering of the interior walls, done then, has since been removed. The church oozes history, and is in fact the oldest building on the Island with a roof on it! There is no charge to visit, and a leaflet describing the main features can be picked up for free – however, an old building like this costs money to maintain, especially when battered by the harsh North Sea winter winds, so do leave a donation.
There is a lot to see in the church. I especially liked “The Journey” – a modern wooden carving (by Fenwick Lawson) of six monks carrying St Cuthbert’s body from the island on a journey across the north of England to keep it safe during the times of the Viking raids on this region (see photo four).
Look out too for the carpets designed by local women, inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels, and for the many reminders of Saints Aidan and Cuthbert, including the reredos (altar screen).
It is not far from the church to St Cuthbert’s Isle, subject of my next tip.
Directions: On the southern side of the village, next to the Priory, with which it shares a gate (but no need to pay if only visiting the church). You’ll need to park in the main visitors’ car-park on the outskirts and walk
More Reviews (11)
- Heed the warnings – don’t get stranded!
- Comfortable and central B&B
- See All Cuddy’s beads
- See All The north shore
toonsarah's Related Pages
Explore the World
Have you been to Lindisfarne?Share Your Travels