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Lindisfarne Priory 1

A north view in ink of the Cathedral of Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island, off the Northumberland Coast, drawn in 1778 by S.H. Grimm.

St Aidan arrived on Holy island from Iona in 635, at the invitation of King Oswald, to found a Celtic monastery. Little is known of this first building, which was destroyed by the Vikings in 875. The present ruins are those of re-foundation of the monastery in 1083 as a cell of the Benedictine Cathedral Priory of Durham.

Unlike most other monasteries, the church was left standing after the Dissolution in the 16th century, perhaps because of its value as a landmark for mariners at sea. The central tower collapsed soon after Grimm made this drawing.

Find out more about Grimm and Northumberland in our virtual exhibition Grimm's Northumberland Sketchbooks

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