Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, is one of Northumbria's best known landmarks - the island being cut off at high tide and reached at low tide by driving over The Causeway. It is here that St. Cuthbert was initially laid to rest; later being taken to Durham to protect his remains from Viking raids.
The Castle, which is often called Holy Island Castle, was first constructed as a small square fort in 1548 (an earlier fort often confused with the Castle stood east of here). In 1561 the Fort was referred rather disparigingly as "nothing but a high rock and a platform made on top". It stayed this way until 1570 when it was rebuilt using stone from Lindisfarne Abbey. It was decaying once more by 1594.
It was rebuilt once more by Sir William Brereton, a renowned Parliamentarian. It was initially held by the Royalists (under one Captain Rugg) in the Civil War, but was taken in 1643 without much effort. By 1661 the upper story had been added and the Castle was in more or less the form we have today.
In 1715 it was taken for the Jacobite cause in the first Jacobite Rebellion by Lancelot Errington who raised the Pretender's colours over the Castle and waited for support which never arrived. Lancelot and his son were imprisoned in Berwick gaol. Incredibly they seem to have dug their way out and escaped. A pardon was later issued to those who took part in the Rebellion and Lancelot lived out the rest of his life as a publican in Newcastle-upon-Tyne before dying in 1747, reputedly of a broken heart because of the failure of the second Jacobite Uprising.
The Castle remained garrisoned until 1820 and was briefly a coast guard station before it was rebuilt by Sir Edwin Lutyens on the orders of Edward Hudson in 1902.
The Castle is now owned by the National Trust and is open at times which rather annoyingly often conflict with the tidetable during the summer months.
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