History of the Farne Islands

The stained glass window in St Cuthbert's Chapel on the Farne Islands

From hermits to lighthouses Farne Islands, Northumberland, has many interesting tales to tell, help the National Trust ensure its future by discovering its past.

St Cuthbert

St Cuthbert spent over 10 years living as a hermit on Inner Farne and was on the island when, in 684, he was informed he had been elected Bishop of Lindisfarne. Cuthbert had moved to the island in 676 and died here in 687. He was buried on nearby Lindisfarne. The present complex of buildings occupies the site of Cuthbert's original cell.
St Cuthbert

The Chapel

St Cuthbert's Chapel still links the Island to its monastic past. The building dates from the 1300’s but was heavily restored in the 19th-century when the present furnishings were introduced.
The Chapel of St Cuthbert

Living on the Farnes

People have been living on the islands for centuries; hermits, monks, lighthouse keepers, soldiers and even shipwrecked sailors. Visit us and find out more about those who lived here.
Life on the Farnes - The Darlings

Prior Castell's Tower

Prior Castell's Tower, named after the Prior of Durham at the time of construction, is a classic Pele Tower showing all the hallmarks of a strong border fortress, albeit with unrivalled sea views.
The Tower on Inner Farne

Lighthouses on the Farne Islands

The Farne Islands have been home to many lighthouses over the centuries, from simple fire baskets to electronically controlled, unmanned towers. Two are still in use today including the famous Longstone lighthouse, forever associated with the Victorian heroine Grace Darling. 
The lighthouses of the Farnes