Following 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 and Monastery ruins. The monastery site is under the care of English Heritage, but the church is still in use.
A bit more history
St Paul’s Church and Monastery was built on land given by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria in AD681.It was founded by Benedict Biscop, who seven years ealier had built the church and monastery of St. Peter’s at Wearmouth (Sunderland).The chancel of St. Paul’s is the original Saxon church, built as a separate chapel and possibly dedicated to the Virgin Mary.A large basilica was built on the site of the present nave and dedicated on 23rd April AD685.The present nave and north aisle are the work of the Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.The monastery to which the Venerable Bede came as a boy, thrived in the 7th and 8th centuries. It was here that Bede lived, worked and worshipped. His bones now lie in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral. In AD794 the Vikings sacked the church and monastery.In 1074 the church was repaired and the monastery refounded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire. The monastery then became a daughter house of the Benedictine Community at Durham. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries, St. Paul’s became a Parish Church.
And English heritage have Kindly put up a plaque to show which bit of the church is which.
The Church wasn’t open, so we wandered the site of the Monastery ruins just behind where I stood to shoot the church. The monastery’s reputation had spread throughout Europe, chiefly because of the scholarly writings of the Venerable Bede. Bede entered St Peter’s in about 680 at the age of seven, and spent his life in the twin monastery of Wearmouth–Jarrow, which he described as ‘one monastery in two places’.
Unfortunately we were not alone, two ladies (I use the term loosely and have deleted my original description) and their loud and (deleted) children were also enjoying the site, they on their smart phones, the children clambering over the ruins.
they didn’t seem to be going anytime soon so I took my shots with them in it as the light was going. I suppose they give it scale 😀
The River Don runs along the side of the Monastery, so we wandered down to the river to take a few shots before going home (and to escape the shouty brats)
and were lucky to find a bevy of swans on the river
and it was lovely and peaceful, until guess who turned up and started yelling and throwing sticks in the water, not at the birds at least, the swans and us made a rapid exit and Sophie and I went home.
Over the past 3 posts I’ve used the following pages for reference
and there are extra photo’s from all 3 posts on my site HERE
Hope you stay tooned for the next adventure when we’ll be visiting the Diwali Festival in Sunderland.