St Mary the Virgin

Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, is the site of a monastery founded by St Aidan in 635 AD. It marks the establishment of Christianity in the northeast and is still a centre of pilgrimage today.

Holy Island, Northumberland

Opening times

Visitors are always welcome.


Crossgate Lane
Holy Island
TD15 2RZ

Dating from between 1180 and 1300, the parish church is the oldest building on the island (older than the ruined Norman priory), though a round headed arch in the chancel, and a strange high level doorway, are certainly Saxon in style.

The long nave could indicate that this is one of the churches of the original monastery, or it could have been built by the Christianised Vikings, for whom this was an important place.

Inside, the chancel with its lancet windows is of the 13th century; the priest's door and a low side window in its south wall remain intact inside a new vestry. Within the church, the round arches of the north arcade are from the late 12th century, and the south arcade, together with the original windows of its aisle (now blocked), is from around1300.

The west end is capped by a typical Northumberland bellcote, perhaps of the same 1754 date as one of the bells, and the little 19th century north vestry once served as a mortuary for drowned sailors.

A modern sculpture of a party of monks carrying St Cuthbert's coffin is in the south aisle; after Viking raiders first struck in 793, they left Lindisfarne and eventually buried his body at Durham in around 920.

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Non-accessible toilets in church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Church shop or souvenirs

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Lindisfarne Priory

Holy Island, Northumberland

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient monks who built their priory here nearly 1,400 years ago, and explore the wild coastal beauty of Holy Island.

St Aidan

Bamburgh, Northumberland

A church was founded on this site in 635 by St Aidan; the site of his death is marked by a shrine within the present church which dates from the end of the 12th century.

St John the Baptist

Lowick, Northumberland

Visitors have described the church in the visitors book as 'impressive' and 'lovely'; they admire the particular peaceful quality of the building.