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Lindisfarne Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Holy Island; Holy Iland; Beblow Fort; Belbowe Fort; Biblawe Fort; Beblowe

In the civil parish of Holy Island.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NU13634175
Latitude 55.66904° Longitude -1.78472°

Lindisfarne Castle has been described as a certain Artillery Fort.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Small fort built during the reign of Henry VIII, possibly on the site of an earlier look-out tower. Construction began in 1542 and it was completed in 1550 and was built from the stone of the ruined priory. It was restored in 1902 as a house by Sir Edward Lutyens and given to the National Trust in 1944. (PastScape)

By 1545 3 bulwarks had been built on Holy Island, one of them presumably being on the site of the later castle, or a little to the east of it. A survey of 1561 shows that all that had been built at Beblowe then was a platform on the top with an earth wall, much of which had collapsed. The bulwark was regarded as indefensible. By 1567 a 12 foot high earth wall had been built. The present castle was commenced in 1570 and had an upper court or keep and a lower court. The defensive power was arrayed at the highest elevation to the west, the so-called High battery'. This was walled in ashlar with cannon loops through the battlements. (PastScape ref. HKW)

Castle. C16 converted into house 1902 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Edward Hudson. Sandstone and whinstone with pantiled roofs. Irregular polygonal plan on 3 levels of former batteries, in dramatic situation. South side has cobbled ramp up to entrance with Tudor-style surround, portcullis and oak door. Scattered fenestration with chamfered mullioned windows under original relieving arches. To right of door a projecting section on original corbels has Lutyen's cruciform arrow slits. Projecting stone water spouts. North side has similar windows and also 3 large round-headed windows with Decorated tracery. Former garderobe tower with pyramidal roof to left. To right, on upper battery, higher building with semi-octagonal end and mullioned windows. Irregular roofs including prominent hipped roof with hipped dormers to middle battery. Tall clustered octagonal chimneys with stepped tops. Interior has several C16 doorways. Also C16 vaulted passages. 2 rooms at lowest level have steeply-pointed tunnel vaults. Other features by Lutyens, including entrance hall with round piers and segmental arches dying into imposts; many fireplaces in Tudor style, panelling and doors with characteristic latches, moulded beams and decorative brick floors. (Listed Building Report)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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