Lindisfarne Castle stock check throws up some surprising results

Lindisfarne Castle.Lindisfarne Castle.
Lindisfarne Castle.
A painstaking review of the 1,300 individual objects at Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island has begun.

And it has already thrown up some surprising results, including the discovery of items which belonged to Edward Hudson when he owned the castle more than 100 years ago.

“It’s been a fascinating process so far,” revealed National Trust house steward Nick Lewis in his monthly column in the Island newsletter.

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“We have been able to give strong provenance to objects that were previously thought to be relatively mundane items.

The Lutyens dining table at Lindisfarne Castle.The Lutyens dining table at Lindisfarne Castle.
The Lutyens dining table at Lindisfarne Castle.

“For example, a set of ceramic bon-bon dishes were found to be in a 1906 photograph of the Long Gallery and, even better than that, some objects can be identified in photographs of the Deanery Garden, Edward Hudson's home prior to Lindisfarne down in Berkshire (now inhabited by Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin).

“Knowing he brought those objects with him to the castle gives them that little extra boost in terms of significance.”

The castle is now back open for the 2020 season with a notable return from storage being the Sir Edwin Lutyens dining room table, kitchen table, a Dutch wall clock and a couple of bedrooms-worth of furniture.

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The castle underwent a £3million restoration programme between late 2016 and early 2018 but there is always winter maintenance work to be carried out.

“The castle needs a lot of care and attention and following the restoration work it is vital to maintain the place to the standards set during that project,” said Nick.

“There have been masons, joiners, plumbers, painters, rock technicians and conservators here over the last couple of months, all doing their bit to get the castle ready.

“Even something as simple as a coat of paint in the Loo with a View has made a huge difference, whilst elsewhere we have put paint on some internal walls to see how it reacts to another year on the Island.

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“This will be especially useful ahead of the planned painting work throughout the castle this coming winter.”

A new installation, Limelight, by artists Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer, opens on Thursday, March 26.