Advent Calendar of Castles: December 9th: Lindisfarne Castle

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This is the first and only in this series that is not strictly speaking a medieval castle, but it is such an interesting castle that I have decided to include it anyway. It stands on the tidal island of Lindisfarne close to the stunning Lindisfarne Priory, which I have included a photo of for anyone who is pining for a medieval site. I will write about that at a later date.

Lindisfarne Castle was an Elizabethan fort originally. It was built to protect the Lindisfarne Island harbour which at the time was the last deep water port before the Scottish border. Building began in c. 1570 and a significant quantity of the stone came from Lindisfarne Priory, so part of the castle is technically medieval. Prior to this under Henry VIII the rock on which the castle stands had been fortified to an extent, but it wasn’t a castle.

It didn’t really see any significant battle apart from briefly in the Jacobite wars, but it was consistently garrisoned for 300 years which shows just how important it was seen to be to national security.

The guns and soldiers were removed in 1893 and after it had been used for nothing in particular for a while it was bought by Edward Hudson, who was the founder of the Country Life Magazine. He commissioned his friend Edward Luytens to turn it into a comfortable holiday home, but to retain its character, and this is the building that remains today. The castle was sold a number of times and came into National Trust hands in 1970.

 

References:

Site visit 2012

National trust brochures on the castle

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lindisfarne-castle/features/the-castle-peeling-back-the-layers

The photos are all mine.

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