Rainbow Arch

Tom Gomez

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

A section of the Rainbow Arch, part of the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory.

The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by Irish born Saint Aidan, who had been sent from Iona off the west coast of Scotland to Northumbria around AD 635. It became the base for Christian evangelising in the North of England and also sent a successful mission to Mercia. Monks from the community of Iona settled on the island.

In 793 a Viking raid on Lindisfarne caused much consternation throughout the Christian west, and is now often taken as the beginning of the age of Viking raids. A very famous passage in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reads:

“In this year fierce, foreboding omens came over the land of Northumbria. There were excessive whirlwinds, lightning storms, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the sky. These signs were followed by great famine, and on January 8th of the same year, the ravaging of heathen men destroyed God’s church at Lindesfarne.”

Eventually the monks fled the island (taking with them the body of St Cuthbert, which is now buried at the Cathedral in Durham). The priory was re-established in Norman times as a Benedictine house and continued until its dissolution in 1536 under Henry VIII. It is now a ruin in the care of English Heritage, who also run a museum/visitor centre nearby.

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Related shots can be found at: England.

Artwork Comments

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