St Oswald's Cottage

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St Oswald's cottage was built around 1911 by Edward Hudson, the tenant of Lindisfarne Castle and was apparently designed by the architect working on his renovation of the Castle, Edwin Lutyens.

It appears that the building of the cottage arose from a dispute of sorts between Hudson and local man, Thomas Fender, who owned a building nearby the Castle field. Hudson wanted to buy the house and move Fender on, either because Fender was threatening to extend his building and affect Hudson's view, or that the building itself was offensive in some way to Hudson. Whatever the truth was, in return for the piece of land which housed the building, Hudson organised for Lutyens to design a small cottage for Fender on a small plot near the harbour. The conveyance showing this agreement was dated 7 March 1913.

The exterior is quite typically of Lutyens' character; the very steep tiled roof and windows below the eves. The interior has one curious space in particular, now and possibly always a bathroom; a triangular shaped room set between chimneys which unite in a single stack above.

It is unknown how long Fender used the house, but it later came to be home to members of the Lilburn family who were housekeepers in the Castle. After the National Trust was given the Castle in 1944 by Sir Edward de Stein (and following his sister Gladys' death in 1968) Linda Lilburn and her sister in law Jean Lilburn were living in the cottage. It would also serve on occasions as a doctor's surgery. The cottage was acquired by the National Trust following the death in 2007 of Linda Rutherford nee Lilburn, the last Holy Island Lilburn.

The cottage was restored and renovated in 2008/9 and now comprises of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, living room and two gardens. The back garden in particular has unimpeded views of the Castle and harbour. It is a perfect base for a family exploring the area, or even a couple who want to experience of the Island when the tide has come in. In the summer the garden is glorious, particularly in the evenings while in the winter there is nothing better than cosying-up to the log-burner inside.

Since its construction the Castle has always been a part of the lives of the occupants of St Oswald’s, even if it was simply the spectacular view in the morning from the living room or the back garden. Guests today can be part of this ongoing story by taking a break in this spacious cottage, the last house on the road to the Castle.

For booking information and prices, including our latest special offers, please visit our holiday cottages site