Books and Paper….Cees Fun Foto Challenge



As soon as I read the topic for this week Cees Fun Foto Challenge, Books and Paper,  I recalled walking into the Library and Map Room at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.

It was many years ago (in the pre digital age) yet I can recall the drama, the smell of old books and the wish that I could be left alone to run amok and explore this treasure trove.  I don’t know just how many books there are in the Library, and they are all real,  not false fronts,  it just has to run to thousands. But apart from the books and maps it is also a welcoming space in which to sit and read or just reflect….. as you have probably guessed I could have spent hour upon hour in this magical and historic space

As I  say it was many years ago, pre Hogwarts Days, but just looking at the image takes me straight back.

If you have an idea for this weeks topic, pop along to Cees Blog :-


12th September

(C) David Oakes 2019


Wordless Wednesday…..Another Favourite Place


Location:-  Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland

22nd May

(C) David Oakes 2019

Silent Sunday…… So Off to Church


Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island, Northumberland


It is on a tiny Island, to become known as Holy Island, that King Oswald of Northumberland directed that a Monastery be built. He had already summoned Saint Aidan to travel from Iona to found a Celtic Christian community…this was in 635ad.

Lindisfarne as it was called became a powerful and influential Religious Centre.  It was Saint Aidan who took the challenge forward but there after he was followed by Cuthbert,  Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and then Eadberht of Lindisfarne.

The history is quite involved, so if you are really keen I suggest you read further, maybe the English Heritage site. Here is a very brief overview. It was 670 that Cuthbert joined the Monastic community.  He soon became both influential and also divisive. Perhaps it was after his death in 687 that his spiritual powers started to become part of the legend that is Lindisfarne. He was buried in a stone tomb within the Priory.  Then some 11 years later, in 689, he was exhumed…. his body had not decade and a ‘miracle’ of Saintly proportions was declared.  Instead of a reburial a Shrine was erected in the Priory which soon became a place of Pilgrimage  and Religious Fame.

From 710 to 725, Lindisfarne continue to grow in Monastic importance, a place of religious education and study…. most notably the publication of the Lindisfarne Gospels, still considered one of the most important Religious Writings.

Soon all fell apart when the first major Viking Invasion on mainland Britain occurred. Destruction and plunder followed. The Monks had foresight and removed Cuthbert’s remains to safety,  travelling across the north of England to keep one step ahead of any pursuit.

Peace of sorts returned shortly after 1069 and Cuthbert’s remains  were returned and by 1122 a Monastery under the guidance of Durham Cathedral was re-established.

Of course Religious buildings were never totally secure.  Lindisfarne suffered in the ‘Border Wars’ and of course in the Abolition Orders.


I should add as a footnote that Holy Island is a rather enchanting place.  Assessable only at low tide via a causeway, surrounded by the North Sea.  There is a Castle of much more modern date than the Priory and a small community that gets engulfed by hundreds of visitors every low tide.

But for me I have always founded it to have both a special feel, peace and having very special light.

10th February

(C) David Oakes 2019