Jarrow Hall, Anglo Saxon village and Bede Museum ~ November 2017 ~ Part 1

The History Bit

Known as The Venerable Bede,(AD 673-735,) Bede was an author, scholar, skilled linguist and translator who also composed works on astronomical timekeeping and the motions of the sun, Earth and Moon. He was widely regarded as the ‘father of English history’ as his most famous work, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People is one of the most important original references on Anglo-Saxon history. This work also played a key role in the development of an English national identity. He was an English monk who lived at the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Wearmouth-Jarrow, a double monastery at Jarrow and Monkwearmouth, England. and the Bede museum  tells the story of Bede and his time, from the beginnings of the Anglo-Saxon period through Bede’s life, death and extraordinary legacy.

Sophie and I wanted to go somewhere nearby, and as the museum had recently been reopened after a year of being shut down for lack of funds, this is where we went.

When we arrived the chap at reception asked us if we’d come to hear the lecture on that day, we hadn’t known there was one but said yes anyway and went in to see what it was all about. It was a fascinating talk by the Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of York and director of the Sutton Hoo Research Project Professor Martin Carver, and his talk was on the Anglo Saxon buriel site at Sutton Hoo. He was really interesting and humorous with it. Afterwards we had lunch at the cafe and then went around the Bede Museum itself.

The Venerable Bede

 

The museum takes you through the times that Bede lived in

One of the statues by a timeline display showing Bede’s vision of English origins.

 

6th-century inhumation grave from Norton, Cleveland,

 

replica of anglo Saxon helmet

 

replica of the Codex Amiatinus, the earliest surviving manuscript of the nearly complete Bible in the Latin Vulgate. Three versions were originally produced in the double monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow in around 700AD, and it is believed Bede had a personal involvement in their creation.  Commissioned by Ceolfrid in 692  the double monastery raised 2000 head of cattle to produce the vellum pages of these huge, beautifully illuminated manuscripts. Two versions have been lost and the only survivor, from which the Jarrow Hall copy and only one other have been made, now resides in the Laurentian Library in Florence.

 

The Franks Casket is a small Anglo-Saxon whale’s bone chest from the early 8th century, The casket is densely decorated with knife-cut narrative scenes in flat two-dimensional low-relief and with inscriptions mostly in Anglo-Saxon runes. Generally reckoned to be of Northumbrian origin, it is of unique importance for the insight it gives into early Anglo-Saxon art and culture. Both identifying the images and interpreting the runic inscriptions has generated a considerable amount of scholarship. The imagery is very diverse in its subject matter and derivations, and includes a single Christian image, the Adoration of the Magi, along with images derived from Roman history (Emperor Titus) and Roman mythology (Romulus and Remus), as well as a depiction of at least one legend indigenous to the Germanic peoples: that of Weyland the Smith. It has also been suggested that there may be an episode from the Sigurd legend, an otherwise lost episode from the life of Weyland’s brother Egil, a Homeric legend involving Achilles, and perhaps even an allusion to the legendary founding of England by Hengist and Horsa. The inscriptions “display a deliberate linguistic and alphabetic virtuosity; though they are mostly written in Old English and in runes, they shift into Latin and the Roman alphabet; then back into runes while still writing Latin”. Some are written upside down or back to front. This is a replica, the original being in the British Museum.

 

There are several pieces of medieval stonework on display

This is a fragment of cross arm and cross head dating from the first half of the 8th century.

 

as well as stained glass from the same time period.

Next time we’ll visit the Anglo Saxon farm and village, so stay tooned!

47 Comments

  1. I love that casket!
    Good to hear that you enjoyed the lecture. That was a real stroke of luck!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fascinating, Sutton Hoo is a place I’d love to visit but would probably be better to see all the finds at British Museum, too far for me to travel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not far from me. I might go there one day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What an awesome post and another FANTASTIC day for you and Sophie!😄🎊📸 I absolutely loved reading your post and felt like I was getting a great history lesson as well as looking at fascinating photos! I really like that bible! Great post as always Fraggle!😄🎆📸🎉💙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If there is one thing that I liked at school, it was history lessons. And that’s where my love for visiting museums still comes from I guess. It always amazes me that (well at least for me that is) there are still people in history that I have never heard of. This being one of them. This was a really interesting post, that I really enjoyed reading. Glad you had such a great day, and as always the pictures are awesome 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michel, he isn’t that well known really, but should be, here’s a short video about him, worth a watch if you’re interested, it covers his achievements anyway 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very mich for sharing: I will definitely check it out 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, I love the historical intro. This was all news to me! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks for coming along! Still to come are the monastery ruins and the medieval farm, it’s like travelling through time!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely fascinating history. The details of the objects as well as the books and bits of info – to be able to see it, something 1300 years old, is amazing to me (where anything more than 50 years old is antique!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is so much ancient stuff that I have access to living here, it’s a lovely feeling to be part of it.

      Like

  6. It’s amazing that that little bone casket has survived. I know very little about the Anglo-Saxons, but I’ve just finished a book set in the fifth century and I’m reading another set in the seventh. The impression I’m getting is that they mainly liked killing people, but they did, of course, produce many beautiful works of art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it all fascinating, how England came about during this time, from being so tribal and from many ‘kingdoms’. Between the Romans leaving and the Norman conquest there was so much upheaval. I imagine the little people just wanted to farm and survive, but with the invasions from the angles, the seaxe, the Danes and other Norsemen they had a hard time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is interesting and I ought to pay more attention to them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well if you ever fancy it Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles are absolutely the best place to start, here’s a clip from a review by Neil Walsh- “Cornwell paints us a gruesomely vivid picture of what life must have been like in the 5th to 6th centuries. We are shown a Britain divided by Britons and Saxons, with Rome’s shadow fading rapidly, and a Britain divided by pagans and Christians, with the ghosts of Rome’s mystery cults (Mithras, Isis, and hints of others) still haunting the landscape. He gives us the terrible brutality of battle, glorifying it only as much as the story demands. He gives us the hardships of daily life, with its joys and its sorrows, its laughter and its pains, petty annoyances and cruel vengeance.”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sounds good. I read his book about Crecy and enjoyed it

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I read that too lol, and Azincourt etc!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done, Fraggle! What an amazing post. Really fascinating, and your photos brought it to life. Wow… such a long, long time ago. I’m glad they were able to reopen the museum. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. 😊

      Like

  8. Wonderful post…at the risk of seeming repetitive…your shots are amazing!particularly for museum shots…so close and amazing detail. Were the pieces behind glass?Love this area of history too. I was an extra in Vikings on the Anglo Saxon set…mind you that was a couple of centuries later, but it was still wonderful to be in that world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Clare. What movie was it or TV prog? I would love to be an extra in that time frame. Looking forward to Britannia coming to the TV soon. Yes all behind glass, good thing or some nutter would steal them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I can never get shots like that through glass..you will have to run a master class sometime!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just use a wide angle lens and stick the front of it on the glass! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah!…clever!…I must get me a wide angled lens!

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh just realised it was Vikings!! I am SO jealous!! What episode I’ll look out for you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was so brilliant..the set was amazing. I did five or six days..or more. It was like being there in those times. We all got treated like stars and fed cake and had our hair fixed constantly 😀 I couldve lived there forever. I am in season 4 but I havent watched it yet. I dont think I am visible much though!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. the second half of season 4 is starting on the history channel this week, will look out for you! I’m SO jealous! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It was brilliant…I am even jealous of me back then!!they did a close up of my hands fonding fruit so look out for that!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. hah you lot fruit fondler you! Will do! 🍑

            Liked by 1 person

  9. The carvings on that casket are just amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes so intricate, amazing artwork back then.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good to hear this place is open again – I’ve never visited and it was shut when I was last over that way. It looks fascinating – where would we be without the Venomous Bead 🙂 Re Sutton Hoo, this might be of interest – http://bitaboutbritain.com/stories-behind-sutton-hoo/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike I’ll check it out.

      Like

  11. Oh, the casket thing is really cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jay it seems to be a favourite.

      Like

  12. […] on from visiting Bede’s Museum and the Anglo~Saxon farm and village  Sophie and I walked down the road to visit St.Pauls Church […]

    Like

  13. Cool, didn’t even know about this place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was happy to hear it had re-opened. Cheers Stevie.

      Like

  14. I remember my dad bought me a Folio Society edition of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of The English People for my birthday years ago.

    It was a very interesting and well written book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a downloaded version of it, isn’t it sometimes awe inspiring how things are still the same in spite of ‘civilisation’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s like that old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Deepak Sardar

    It’s very useful information!
    https://www.famousbiblestories.com/

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.