Abandoned monastery on Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne - the 'Holy Island'
On the tidal island of Lindisfarne the causeway is uncovered twice a day, and twice a day again, the sea reclaims it.
Monks arrived here to establish the site in AD 635. St Aidan and his followers were on a mission that would transform a nation. The 'Holy Island' was their launch pad to convert pagan England to Christianity.
In the year 793, the arrival of Viking raiders from North East Europe threatened the monks and their Gospel. The monasteries were exceptionally rich and the monks were ill-prepared to fend off the raiders: Lindisfarne was an easy target. By AD 995 the monks fled to Durham where they and the Gospel took refuge.
Close up of monastery
The mission here was finally abandoned when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1530s.
But despite centuries of conflict and religious schism, a Christian England has endured - thanks in large part to the seed sown by St Aidan 1,370 years ago here on the holy isle, Lindisfarne.
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last updated: 12/12/2007 at 08:39