Lindisfarne blog

Our team are keeping on top of essential tasks at Lindisfarne Castle to make sure it is safe and secure. Each week you can find out more about what has been going on

A photograph of a boat trip to the Farne Islands in about 1910 showing Lindisfarne Castle caretaker Jack Lilburn at the back

Lindisfarne and the Farnes down the years

Lindisfarne Castle and the Farne Islands are now both in the care of the National Trust, but the links between the two places go back much further.

A detail from Johannes Blaeus map of Holy Island, 1645

The Kings Bridge 

The landscape on Holy Island is always changing, and even the road to the castle has not always been how it is today.

The Victorian lock on the West Bedroom door at Lindisfarne Castle

Cataloguing doors at Lindisfarne 

How many doors are there in the castle? Probably more than you think.

Summer at Lindisfarne Castle

How old is the castle? 

One of the most regular questions we get about the place is ‘when was it built?’, and while we do have an answer to give, it is interesting to look at the actual sources we have and how we come to that conclusion. The answer most would give is 1570, but is that really correct?

The garden at St Oswald's Cottage, Holy Island, Northumberland

St Oswalds Cottage, Holy Island 

Now that out holiday cottages are back open, it seems like a good time to tell the story of one of the most popular holiday cottages in the National Trust, St Oswald's cottage on Holy Island.

A detail from a plan of Lindisfarne Castle by James Tait 1820

Archives at Lindisfarne

How do we know what we know? What is left to learn?

The boat sheds next to Lindisfarne Castle

The boat sheds at the castle 

The tradition of using retired boats as sheds goes back centuries, particularly on the east coast of England. The sheds on Holy Island though are probably the best surviving examples.

The lime kilns on the headland near Lindisfarne Castle

The Castle Point lime kilns 

They shouldn’t really have ever been built in the first place, but why were the Castle Point kilns built and why were they used so briefly?