Last Updated on
St MARY the VIRGIN, Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne's parish church of St Mary's is thought to stand on the site of the wooden church built by St Aidan in 635 AD. The oldest part, the wall leading into the chancel, is Saxon work - so St Mary's can lay claim to being the oldest built structure on the island. Mostly, the church now dates from the 12th century - there is a possible 12th century memorial stone in the north wall of the sanctuary - but it was much restored in the 19th century. Other notable features include carpets made by local women using designs taken from the Lindisfarne Gospels, and the astonishing wooden sculpture, 'The Journey'. Crafted mostly using a chainsaw, the Journey, by Fenwick Lawson, depicts 6 larger than life monks carrying St Cuthbert's coffined body across the north of England and southern Scotland.
NB Holy Island is only accessible at certain times via a causeway across the sea that is covered twice a day. The tides come in very quickly; check carefully before setting out and be sure you have time to cross.