Anglo Saxon’s and great coffee? Bet that’s a sentence you thought you’d never hear? Well, there is a place that exists between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields that does just that. A heady mix of coffee and erm, well, northern Anglo Saxon history.
There is nowhere else in the UK that quite does that. We’ll get onto the coffee later! Jarrow Hall underwent a full £1m, Georgian-era renovation in twenty-seventeen – in conjunction with Durham University. Jarrow was was restored this year to its former splendour with the help of paints from Dulux’s Heritage Collection. The Hall itself has a long history with Durham and the Bede (formally Bede’s World) site was excavated between 1965-78 by Durham’s own Professor Rosemary Cramp. In 1974 it also benefited from a £50,000 restoration project to become Bede Monastery Museum.
The hall maintains a medieval herb garden, designed on the 9th Century, Plan of Saint Gall, a project of both Professor Rosemary Cramp (of Durham University) and Richard Kilburn commissioned in 1978.
As a multifaceted home of British heritage the Bede Museum walks you through the story of the Jarrow Hall area. From how the Anglo Saxons lived and worked to the life and works of the Venerable Bede also known as the ‘father of British History’. His works were the original and important 7/8th Century comment on the Anglo Saxon British identity. His text the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the Church and English People’ is perhaps the most famous.
Bede Museum is home to one of the copies of the Ceolfrid 692 codex. Rare as “two have been lost to history” and only one remains. If you aren’t a history buff and all of this means nothing to you, it doesn’t matter. Step back in time and admire the work that lowly and learned monks placed into crafting ‘illuminated’ vellum manuscripts. The chosen few who could read and write had the luxury of contemplating both the past and future of British history. A reference historians still use today.The Anglo Saxon farm and village at Jarrow Hall is an eleven acre site, home to anything you might find within Northumbrian, Anglo Saxon farm life thirteen-hundred years ago. Mud, chickens, ducks, pigs and people…the buildings are all timber framed, wattle and daub accents from time.
Finally, if you’re tired out from taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Jarrow Hall’s Anglo Saxon farm and village, the decadence of the Georgian-era hall and lastly, the learned illuminated works of Ceolfrid and Bede themselves you might need a bit of refreshment.
Jarrow is home to local coffee company Hive Coffee Company. It’s food is locally made and sourced, the brain-child of founders Sarah Daglish and Eve McPadden. Hive is a “space for people to share and connect”. The coffee company is a progressive, independent coffee house in the Tyne & Wear area which has been founded with the help of the Prince’s Trust and Groundwork South Tyneside & Newcastle.
What can we say? The whole package given to you by Jarrow Hall is community driven from the ground up. We urge you to put your wellies on and visit!