Monument to St Cuthbert unveiled at Lindisfarne monastery

A new monument to St Cuthbert - one of Britain's holiest of saints - has been unveiled at the Lindisfarne monastery in Northumberland.

The unveiling of the new monument is accompanied by an exhibition of previously unseen treasures.

Britain's first known prayer bead necklace, one of the earliest surviving examples of knitting found in Europe, and a recently discovered Anglo-Saxon glass gaming counter are just a few of the treasures on display for the first time at Lindisfarne Priory.

The new museum display at Lindisfarne - also known as Holy Island - explores the island as one of the most important centres of early English Christianity and its fate at the hands of Viking raids, while the new monument in the priory ruins marks the spot of the original shrine to St Cuthbert, northern England's most revered saint.

Once one of the most important places in Anglo-Saxon England, Lindisfarne's close links to the Northumbrian kings and its connection to St Cuthbert brought great wealth to the monastery

St Cuthbert became Lindisfarne's greatest monk-bishop and the most important saint in northern England in the Middle Ages. He died on 20 March 687 and was buried in a stone coffin inside the main church on Lindisfarne. More than a decade later the monks opened his tomb and discovered that his body had not decayed - a sure sign, they argued, of his saintliness.

Miracles were soon reported at St Cuthbert's shrine and Lindisfarne was quickly established as the major pilgrimage centre, however, after a number of Viking raids, St Cuthbert's coffin was removed from Lindisfarne and eventually buried in Durham Cathedral.

As no evidence of his original shrine survives, English Heritage has commissioned a new monument, designed by sculptor Russ Coleman, to mark where the saint's original burial place and the site of the miracles may have been located.