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UK fine art landscape prints by David Ross

Lindisfarne statue, Holy Island, Northumberland

Fine art archival landscape print


Image ID: DSCF0182

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THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOGRAPH

David RossThis striking sculpture stands inside the church of St Mary on Holy Island, Northumberland. St Mary's stands on the site of the original monastery founded on Holy Island by St Aidan in 635AD. Parts of the church date to the 7th century, and it is located almost in the shadow of the later medieval monastery of Lindisfarne. The sculpture is completely in wood, and shows a group of monks carrying St Aidan's coffin. I tried several 'looks' before I came up with this tinted image which seems to me to convey something of the mood of the original, very moving sculpture.David Ross Photography signature

ABOUT LINDISFARNE

The Priory at Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, was founded in AD 653, and became one of the most important monasteries of its time. The monks produced the elaborately illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels in 698. Saint Cuthbert, the Priory's patron saint, became Bishop aged 50. The date was sometime around the end of the 7th Century. He is said to have been born the year the priory was founded. Cuthberts had no martyr's death, and his main claim to fame was an episode of clairvoyance, and miraculous healing of people who prayed at his grave. The miracles attracted pilgrims from far and wide, as well as the Vikings, who ended Lindisfarne's period of prosperity. In June 793, the a group of Vikings acted out their usual pillage-and-burn routine, killing or enslaving the monks, depending on their age, and destroying or stealing anything not nailed down, according to its value. The remaining monks moved to the mainland, along with St. Cuthbert's body, to escape further raids. Benedictine monks re-settled Holy Island sometime after 1066, with the saintly corpse, which was said to be preserved by divine means. Apparently, this was confirmed both at the time of resettlement, and during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537, when St.Cuthbert's Priory was abandoned. The island was once volcanic, an to this we attribute the formation of Beblowe Craig, the castle mound. The island is rocky, but dunes have formed on the north side. Today, the Holy Island appeals to many different people, and not just for its history. It has the Priory, and a 16th Century castle, but the island itself is an attraction. Its plant life has made it a nature reserve. It is a popular destination for birdwatchers. Its seaside location makes it a good place for just a simple holiday.

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Lindisfarne statue, Holy Island, Northumberland
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Image is © David Ross