I read some books on early Northumbrian development last year (7th century), and it only reinvigorated the wish in me to see the places which gave life to its original greatness. Finally, my journeying this weekend took me to the Holy Island. Lindisfarne, it is known by others, but, I think, especially after having been there that the name of the ‘Holy Island’ is perfectly suitable.
Admittedly, the castle is presently in the process of reconstruction which should be over by the March of 2018. Hence, entry to the castle was forbidden and all visitors can do is walk about here and there. Therefore, I did not actually stay for too long, but I still got a sense of the area.
Now, before I continue too far, this castle was begun in 1550 and hence some of what I will say below will not readily apply. Warfare on the borders and internally had (with some notable exceptions) ceased by this point, and the kingdoms on this island would soon be unified. However, even so there would have been a period of at least thirty to forty years when it was militarily relevant.
The castle has also been portrayed in several films and thereby has claim to an iconic status. What I considered more iconic, however, was the view across the bay to where Bamburgh rules the skyline. What the people garrisoned here must have thought, seeing their comrades-in-arms so close (and yet so far). What must have the people in Bamburgh thought when the Norsemen raided and pillaged in Lindisfarne to begin with…
The rest of the island, and particularly the priory, are probably more thought-inspiring but even so, this was worth visiting.