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Farne Islands, 1848

FARN-ISLANDS, a cluster of seventeen small islands, in the parish of Holy-Island, union of Berwick, in Islandshire, county of Northumberland; extending about 7 miles (S.E.) from Holy-Island, and containing 15 inhabitants. The largest of these isles, anciently Farne, and now called House Island, lies nearly two miles to the east of Bambrough Castle, and is remarkable as the spot where St. Cuthbert passed a few of the later years of his life, and where a priory subordinate to Durham was subsequently founded for Benedictine monks, whose revenue at the Dissolution was £12. 17. 8. Ethelwold, St. Bartholomew, and Thomas, prior of Durham, among other celebrated devotees, since the time of St. Cuthbert, sequestered themselves in the place. A square tower, the ruins of a church, and other buildings, are still remaining; also a stone coffin, wherein it is said the body of St. Cuthbert was first laid. At the northern end of the isle is a deep chasm, through which, in stormy weather, the sea forces its way with such violence as to form a fine jet d'eau sixty feet high, called the Churn.

Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.

Farne Islands Holy Island Parish, 1848


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