A popular historical South Tyneside tourist attraction is gearing up to celebrate Easter and a new era.
Jarrow Hall, which features an Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, is opening its doors full-time this weekend following on from its take-over by Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN).
Formerly know as Bede’s World - which celebrated the life and times of the Venerable Bede - the venue closed in February 2016 due to financial problems.
On Saturday, the site is to be officially relaunched and will be open throughout the two week Easter holidays, with lots of fun and educational events, talks, crafts and lectures taking place.
Presented by Groundwork STAN in partnership with South Tyneside Council and supported by Port of Tyne, more than £120,000 has been invested to date to support key improvement and renovation works.
This has included working with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and the development of masterplans to continually improve the site while ensuring the Venerable Bede and the history of the local area remain at the heart of a sustainable attraction.
We want to ensure the venue has a long-term future.Andrew Watts
Leigh Venus, culture and heritage operations manager for Groundwork STAN, said: “With this as the start of an exciting new period for Jarrow Hall, we are committed to preserving the historical elements at the same time as providing a range of activities that will entertain the entire family and ensure the site is enjoyable for all.
“Visitors will be able to witness the Anglo-Saxon village being renovated by authentically-attired workers using traditional wattle and daub building techniques.
“We had a choice to renovate the site behind closed doors or actually show the public how and what the renovations will consist of, so this will be taking place at the same time as the battle re-enactments and crafts.”
Groundwork is also hosting a renewable energy event at the Eco-Centre in Hebburn tomorrow. This caps a busy few weeks for the charity which has recently taken over the management of Shields Market in partnership with South Tyneside Council.
Andrew Watts, chief executive of Groundwork, said: “We are really excited to be able to open our doors with our full launch so people from the local area and beyond can see the work that has gone into restoring this treasured piece of local history.
“Working in partnership with South Tyneside Council, and with the support of Port of Tyne, we want to ensure the venue has a long-term future for the people of South Tyneside, the wider region and beyond.”
At Saturday’s launch event, which runs from 10am to 4pm, visitors can meet rare ancient-breed of animals at the working Anglo-Saxon demonstration farm; discover the incredible life story of the father of English history and see the stunning Codex Amiatinus - the only full-sized replica in the world of a Bible created more than 1,000 years ago - in the Bede Museum; explore the grounds and the experimental reconstruction Anglo-Saxon dwellings; enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat at Hive Coffee Company, the new coffee shop in Jarrow Hall House.