Members and visitors were welcomed to the Parish Rooms by president Joan Little for the February meeting of Embleton WI.
The speaker was Nick Lewis, house steward for Lindisfarne Castle, who gave an excellent account of the history of the castle and brought us up to date on the restoration, which is coming to a climax.
During the period of 1536 until 1858, the castle was the scene of much action, with cannon fire during the reigns of several monarchs, and not the peaceful haven of today.
Many more facts in the history are coming to light with modern research.
In 1893 the castle was handed over to Sir William Crossman and this led to a very different phase in its history, with some very well-known visitors.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh came and produced some interesting sketches, Sir Edwin Lutyens visited, as did Gertrude Jekyll, who produced designs for the garden, which has created much interest over the years.
In 1944 the castle was handed over to the National Trust, so beginning another cycle in its history.
The second part of the story covered the period 2013 to 2018 when the urgent restoration project was undertaken.
This involved the building being enveloped in complex scaffolding and the use of many workers, from Glasgow to Durham.
The use of old photographs has helped to recreate many of the old features of the castle.
It is due to open in early April with an art project on a Jekyll theme, running from May to October. The furnishings will be returned at the end of the year when drying out is complete.
At the end of this very well presented history of one of our landmarks, a vote of thanks was given by Joan Little.
Tea and biscuits gave a break before the business meeting.
Several members had enjoyed an evening at the North Sunderland and Seahouses WI birthday party.
Dates were confirmed for the next group meeting and Embleton coffee morning, and for a centenary event at Howick.
Forthcoming county events were summarised, including a trip to Liverpool to see the Terracotta Army.
Competition results for an object ‘N’ were: 1 Lynne Harris; 2 Joan Littler; 3 Marjorie Hopper. Raffle prizes were won by Lynne Harris and a visitor.