Christmas comes early at South Tyneside’s newest visitor attraction

Cheryl Lumley prepares to share her arts and crafts expertise with visitors.
Cheryl Lumley prepares to share her arts and crafts expertise with visitors.
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Christmas came early to South Tyneside’s newest visitor attraction when it threw open its doors last weekend.

Hundreds of people attended Jarrow Hall, Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, in Church Bank, for a two-day festive food and gift fair.

Over 30 businesses offered produce from stalls at the event.

Over 30 businesses offered produce from stalls at the event.

Over 30 established and niche businesses offered produce from under covered stalls at the Church Bank site.

Items sold included tasty treats and festive food, original prints and paintings, custom cards, Christmas decorations, handmade jewellery, and arts and crafts.

The free event was organised by communities’ charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN), which operates the venue.

It was held in a marquee in a sheltered garden at the rear of Jarrow Hall House, an 18th Century Grade II listed building and one of the site’s main tourist attractions.

The fayre proved such a success that we are now looking to hold seasonal craft fairs throughout 2017

Leigh Venus

Some visitors also paid to enter the venue’s Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, for festive arts activities with creative artist Cheryl Lumley.

Leigh Venus, Groundwork’s operations manager heritage and culture, said: “It was great to see so many people come to support the fayre and the many local businesses who took part.

“The fayre proved such a success that we are now looking to hold seasonal craft fairs throughout 2017.

“Although entry to the fayre was free, a lot of visitors paid to look around the overall tourist attraction, with many saying they wanted to see the farm animals one last time before we close for Christmas.

“Some of them also tried their hand at creative Christmas crafts with Cheryl, who helped with some inspirational activities.

“The good news for the people of South Tyneside and the North East is that we will be re-opening the full Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum before to the public on January 7.”

Groundwork STAN reopened Jarrow Hall, Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, previously known as Bede’s World, to the public in October.

Jarrow Hall House is being redeveloped by Groundwork as part of its long-term plans for the venue, which has limited weekend opening until April, when it will fully reopen.

Unlimited passes, which give access to the entire site until April 2018, are on offer.

They cost £15 for adults and £10 for children, and day admission is also available at a reduced rate, and free to carers and children under four.