The Norman Benedictine Priory, built in 1083 stands open to the sky, but still has that air of serenity, almost a thousand years after it first became one of the most important centres of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England.
Before that time, in the middle of the seventh century, the religious life of Lindisfarne began.
In 634, Aidan and a group of Irish monks came from Iona, at the request of King Oswald to set up a monastic community. They built the first primitive settlement, which would be little more than a group of huts, but from this simple beginning they evangelised the whole of Northumberland. It was into this setting that Cuthbert came in 664 as Prior. Later, after a short spell away as Bishop of Hexham, he returned as Bishop of Lindisfarne. He died on Inner Farne, to which he had gone for peace and solitude, in 687AD.
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