Posted by: vikingsinspace | November 21, 2011

I.4.01.1.05. Visit Bede’s Tomb and Jarrow

Date accomplished: Summer of 2007

Bede’s Tomb

This is a strange goal as it is two different places wrapped in one goal – the point being that these are both areas associated with the Venerable Bede.  The first, being Bede’s tomb, is inside Durham Cathedral.  Bede actually has no connection to Durham since the Monastery there was no founded until several hundred years after his death (although the monastic community at Durham did have its beginnings on Lindisfarne Island during Bede’s life).  The monks of Durham took Bede’s remains in the twelfth century (I think…) and placed him in Durham Cathedral where he remains to this day.  Unfortunately, Durham Cathedral doesn’t allow photography, so I had to take this picture on the sly – hence why it is upside down, and not very good…)

St. Paul’s Church in Jarrow

Jarrow is a small town near Newcastle.  In Anglo-Saxon times, a monastery was built here where Bede lived and produced his writings.  Parts of that monastery still exist in the form of St. Paul’s church.  Much of the church was built in later times, but the rear-most chapel was a part of the original monastery.  The picture shown here is of the exterior of that chapel, and part of what indicates the age of the building is the very small windows.

Medieval Cows!

Nearby St. Paul’s Church is another destination worthy of a Bede pilgrimage: Bede’s World.  Bede’s World contains an excellent museum which tells the story of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria and the founding of the joint monastery of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow by Benedict Biscop.  However, the main lure of Bede’s World is the re-created Anglo-Saxon Farm.  Not only do they have many recreated Anglo-Saxon buildings using the same materials as the Saxons, but they have attempted to preserve or re-breed ancient types of farm animals that the Saxons would have kept. 

Anglo-Saxon House at Bede’s World

I have been fortunate to visit Bede’s World and Jarrow twice, and have visited Bede’s tomb in Durham many times since I lived so close by.  I have since moved back to America, and I find myself missing the ability to easily wonder to these wonderful Medieval sites that provide a real sense of how people lived over a thousand years ago.  I would highly recommend any and all of these places for people planning a visit to Northern England, or to anyone who enjoys Anglo-Saxon History or the writings of the Venerable Bede.

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