7th century church discovered on Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Started by gash, July 24, 2017, 12:13:13 pm

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7th century church discovered on Holy Island of Lindisfarne may be 'one of the most important early medieval sites in Britain'
Experts have been digging on the island off the coast of Northumberland
They discovered a small rectangular building thought to be a church
It is believed to date from the same period as a monastery built in 635 AD
Experts believe St Aidan and St Cuthbert converted much of England to Christianity from this site

Archaeologists searching for clues about early English Christianity have discovered the remains of one of the country's earliest churches.

Excavations on Holy Island of Lindisfarne uncovered the stone foundations, which may be linked to two pivotal religious figures from the seventh century. 

Experts believe it was from this site that much of northern and central England was eventually converted to Christianity by St Aidan and St Cuthbert.

Archaeologists searching for clues about early English Christianity have discovered the remains of one of the country's earliest churches (pictured)  on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne   

LINDISFARNE ISLAND

Archaeologists searching for clues about early English Christianity have discovered the remains of one of the country's earliest churches.

A small rectangular building thought to date from the mid-seventh century was found at the top of an exposed area known as the Heugh.

The remote island holds a special place in history.

Known as the Cradle of Christianity in the North East, it was here that St Aidan established a monastery in 635 AD and set out to convert the pagan Northumbrians. 

The monastery developed into an international centre of learning and craftsmanship.

It was during this Golden Age of Northumbria that items such as the Lindisfarne Gospels were produced.

All this came to a crashing end with the arrival of the Vikings in the late eighth century, who ransacked the island.

Researchers from the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership Scheme made the discovery during excavations which took place over the past month.

Previous work on the island, located off the coast of Northumberland, has uncovered a number of rare finds, including the Lindisfarne Gospels, Britain's most celebrated illuminated manuscript.

It had previously been thought that the original Anglo-Saxon churches on the island stood down in the shelter of a high rocky ridge known as the Heugh.

This area is now occupied by the Parish Church and the Priory, which experts believed were built on top of the previous remains.

A small rectangular building, thought to be a church dating from the same period as a previous monastery in the mid-seventh century, was found at the top of this exposed area, just a few feet (two to three metres) from the cliff edge. 

Sara Rushton, conservation manager at the council, said: 'This latest discovery of a potential church building on the Heugh cements Holy Island as one of the most significant early medieval sites in Britain.

'It is incredible to think that we have uncovered two very significant buildings associated with the early Christian foundation of the priory that provide tangible links to both St Aidan and St Cuthbert.'

The remote island holds a special place in history.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4664478/One-earliest-churches-Britain-uncovered.html#ixzz4nk6U0VBz
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