Newest Review: ... presentation on the other side of the next doorway. Though Bede is best known as the author of the 'Ecclesiastical History of the En... more
The Golden Age Of Northumbria
Bedes World (Newcastle)
Member Name: ks.h
Bedes World (Newcastle)
Date: 20/04/02, updated on 06/07/03 (1315 review reads)
Advantages: Bede's World has something for everyone, Important heritage, Great day out
St. Bede was a genius, his books, some of which have been in continuous circulation for more that thirteen hundred years, tell us how he understood complex scientific principles, as well as explaining the Bible for others and this was in a time when most people could not even read. He wrote what is considered to be the definitive history of England from the coming of Christianity to his own time, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People and he solved the biggest scientific problem of his day in calculating a basis for setting the date of Easter, which is still used today. Bede also wrote about the world being round when it was commonly believed to be flat and he knew about the effect of the moon on tides before gravity had been discovered. People all over Europe looked to Bede for answers and his ideas still influence many people today.
Thirteen hundred years ago Jarrow was one of the most important places in the world, the monastery was the home of some very accomplished craftsmen who produced beautifully illustrated manuscripts for use all over Europe, it was also home to St. Bede who was medieval Europe's greatest scholar and his extraordinary life (673 to 735) created a rich
legacy of learning that is celebrated today in the stunning Bede?s World museum.
The aim of Bede's World is to help bring to life the story of Bede and the Anglo-Saxon people of his time, the museum is designed to tell the story in a way that enables everyone, of any age, background or ability to enjoy their visit and leave feeling they have gained something from the museum. The museum is divided into two sections
The museum building is housed in the eighteenth century Jarrow Hall (the exterior of which has been used in many Catherine Cookson films including the Cinder Path and the Glass Virgin). The tranquil setting of a Benedictine Monastery is re-created within the museum enhanced by soft Gregorian chanting in the background.
The main exhibition of Bede's World is 'The Age of Bede' this uses larger than life models, interactive displays and artefacts uncovered by archaeologists on the site to tell the story of Anglo- Saxon Northumbria, the events leading up to the building of the monastery at Jarrow and St. Bede. One stunning exhibit is of a seventh century stained glass window (made in Jarrow by the monastic craftsmen) and the colours appear as vivid today as when they were first made.
You are encouraged to try on the monk's vestments and are able to sit in peaceful alcoves and listen to recordings of someone portraying the voice of Bede reading from his books.
Also within the museum there is a shop selling copies of the tapes you hear in the museum, books, cards and other small souvenirs, a cafe serving delicious meals and refreshments and just outside there is a replica monastic herb garden.
Although Bede's World as we now know it opened in August 2000 there has been a museum in Jarrow Hall for about fifteen years and an Archaeologist Dig around the Hall started in about the late 1970's, I enjoyed a great couple of week-ends helping on the Dig during my ear
When one of my sons was about eleven he went to Jarrow Hall with his school and took part in a televised re-enactment of the Life and Times of St. Bede to help advertise the Museum. My son was one of ten boys who were asked to dress as monks working in the background of the short programme, I was lucky enough to record the programme on video and it is a great source of embarrassment to him on the odd occasion I put the tape on.
The Anglo-Saxon Farm
On an eleven-acre site next to the museum there is a working Anglo-Saxon farm called Gyrwe (pronounced Jeerwe, some people belief this was the Anglo-Saxon name of Jarrow), the farm is designed to recreate life outside the monastery walls.
Gyrwe gives adults and children the opportunity to see rare breeds of animals and ancient strains of cereal and vegetables as close as possible to the breeds and vegetation Bede himself would have seen.
The reconstructed timber buildings help visitors to really experience what living and working conditions might have been like for people in the seventh and eighth century.
Historic re-enactments demonstrate how medieval villagers lived and dressed and family events and activities add a further dimension, with costumed characters and activities, including pottery and other crafts, for all ages.
St. Paul's Church and Monastery
No trip to Bede's World is complete without a visit to the beautiful St. Paul's Church and Monastery ruins. Most people assume that this is part of Bede?s World however it is a not. The Church and Monastery are located at the opposite side of Druid?s Park (a small park with picnic area, children's swings and a green for ball games) it is about a three-minute walk through the park from the Museum to the Church.
St. Paul's Church and Monastery was built on land given by King Ecgrit
h of Northumbria in AD 681 and was founded by Benedict Biscop.
br>The chancel of St. Paul's is the original Anglo-Saxon church bu
ilt as a separate chapel and dedicated to Our Lady. A large Basilica was built on the site of the present nave and dedicated on 23rd April AD 685. The present nave and north aisle of the church are the work of the Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.
The monastery next to the church was were St. Bede lived, worked and worshipped and in the seventh and eighth centuries it was a thriving monastery however in AD 794 the Vikings sacked the church and monastery. In 1074 the church was repaired and the monastery re-founded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey and it became a daughter house of the Benedictine Community of Durham.
What to look for in the Church
Seventh Century Foundations
Exposed in the main aisle of the church you can see part of the north wall of the larger Anglo-Saxon Church.
In the centre of the North Nave Exhibition you can see the foot of an Anglo-Saxon Cross and read its Latin inscription, which when translated reads ?In this unique sign, life is restored to the world?.
The Dedication Stone
The original dedication stone has now been re-sited and can be seen high above the Chancel arch.
The Anglo-Saxon Chancel
In the Chancel there are three splayed Saxon windows, the middle window still contains Saxon glass made in the Monastic workshops. An ancient chair, which is believed to have been St. Bede?s, is on display here and on the north side of the Chancel you are able to sit in the late fifteenth century choir stalls.
Exhibition of Sculpture
There is a unique collection of Anglo-Saxon Sculpture on display in the North Aisle of the church, the three wooden sculptures 'The Risen Ascended Christ', 'The Venerable Bede' and 'St. Michael and the Devil' are the work of the local and well-known artist Fenwick Lawson.
The Monastic Site
side of the church are the remains of the domestic buildings of the Monastery. The standing ruins dating mostly from the eleventh century.
Visitor Information about St. Paul?s Church
The church is working Parish church with daily worship and everyone is welcome to join the service however it is also open daily for visitors.
Opening times are:
Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 4.30pm
Sunday 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Special services can be arranged in advance for Parishes or Groups who make a Pilgrimage to St. Paul's
For Information about St. Paul's contact:
St. Andrew's House, Borough Road, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, NE32 5BL
Telephone (0191) 489 3279 or (0191) 489 7052
Visitors to the Church and Monastery are welcome free of charge however there is a small Piety Stall in the Narthex of the church selling books, pens, postcards and other small souvenirs and all donations are gratefully accepted.
Visitor Information about Bede's World
Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 5.30pm
Sunday 12.00 noon to 5.30pm
April to October (November to March the Museum closes one hour earlier each day)
Last admission thirty minutes before closing
The Museum is open Bank Holidays
Concessions and children £2.50,
Family Ticket £9.00 (two adults and two children) Families with a UB40 £6.00
School Educational Visits £1.85 per pupil
Bede's World, Church Bank, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, NE32 3DY
Telephone (0191) 489 2106
Fax (0191) 428 2361
Jarrow lies on the South Bank of the River Tyne and approximately seven miles from Newcastle. To find Bede's World by car from the South take the A19 and ex
it right at the roundabout at the Tyne Tunnel entry, follow the signs for South Shields and take the first
left onto Church Bank, St. Paul's Church and Bede's World are located half way up Church Bank. Coming from the North take the second exit of the roundabout as soon as you come out of the Tyne Tunnel, follow the signs for South Shields and take the first left onto Church Bank.