Tours > Coquetdale > Coquet Island |
Two miles east of Amble
Probably best known for its lighthouse today, Coquet Island, has become a beacon along the Northumberland Coast since 1841. This Victorian structure - once the home of Grace Darling's brother - is, however, built on the tower of a monastic cell which once belonged to Tynemouth Priory. Thus the origins of the island's settlement are betrayed
The Isle of Coquet was known as a place of peace and contemplation as far back as the 7th century. It was here that Abbess Elflaeda of Whitby visited St. Cuthbert, in AD 684, and persuaded him to accept the Bishopric of Lindisfarne. It was in Norman times, however, that it became famed as the home of St. Henry of Coquet. St. Henry was a Danish nobleman who wished to found a hermitage in a quiet retreat and was allowed to live on Coquet by the monks of Tynemouth. He became a renowned holy man and prophet, and his advice was sought by rich and poor alike. After his death in 1127, he was enshrined at Tynemouth.
The island is a Bird Sanctuary run by RSPB. Good views and boat trips are available from Amble.