A Lindisfarne lap with Barbie Lutyens
Join your guides, Barbie and Betty Lutyens, for this easy walk where you will explore the magnificent lime kilns, stroll along grassy paths to the enchanting Jekyll garden and of course take in the views of the mighty castle itself.
See how Lutyens and Jekyll transformed Lindisfarne
The recent history of the Castle is dominated by the design genius of Edwin 'Ned' Lutyens and Gertrude 'Bumps' Jekyll, along with the man who brought them to Holy Island, Edward Hudson.
Castle field gate, grid ref: NU135417
When we got back from the village my sister Betty and I went through the castle gate. The old lime kiln jetties were on our right and the new garden designed by Miss Jekyll was on the horizon to the left. We walked along the grassy path to the garden, although we considered a wander along either of the roads in front of us; it would still have been a nice walk.
Miss Jekyll's garden was planted in 1911 and was where the soldiers used to grow vegetables; they lived here before Daddy did his work here.
Miss Jekyll's Garden
Miss Jekyll wanted the garden to be in full bloom in July and August for Mr Hudson to see on his holidays.
At the end of the path we turned right and joined the old wagon way to the lime kilns. We sometimes explore the north and east coast of Holy Island (where lots of birds live) by leaving the castle field through the gate on the left.
Mr Hudson said walking along the wagon way retraced the steps of the workers and their ponies who hauled limestone to the kilns from the quarries on the north shore. By going under the wooden bridge, he said we would once have bumped into more men and ponies; delivering coal from the jetties to the kilns.
Following the path under the bridge we saw mounds of lime waste on the left.
Mr Hudson says these white, wind-sculpted heaps are mostly covered in grass, but tell us about the industry that was once here. Soon we reached the kilns themselves.
Daddy and Mr Hudson told us to be careful down here. "You can go into the kilns girls", they said, "or head up the steps to the right to get back to the castle or, if the tide is out and you promise to be careful, you can turn left and walk back below the castle." We liked going along the beach at low tide though. There is an old buoy buried in the stones, a boundary marker with 'W D' on it and the castle seems to look down on you.
This time we went up the steps though. Mr Jack Lilburn, the caretaker, said the rocky crag, smaller than the one under the castle once had a fort on it even older than the castle. In 1548, 20 years before the castle was finished, he said a small fort was built on this crag. Jack said to look for stone on the top of the slope nearest the castle. He thinks it is part of a doorway. This fort could have protected the men working on the main castle from attack.
Going back past Mr Hudson's funny-looking boat sheds we get back to the castle entrance. Soon we were out of the wind in the warmth of the castle, but our walk was well worth the trouble.
Jack used to be a fisherman and he said people on Holy Island always do this with their old boats.
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