New lease of life for former Bede’s World museum at Jarrow

Leigh Venus, Culture and Heritage Operations Manager at Jarrow Hall, with Andrew Watts, Chief Executive of Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle.
Leigh Venus, Culture and Heritage Operations Manager at Jarrow Hall, with Andrew Watts, Chief Executive of Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle.
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The past, present and future will come together this month when a renowned South Tyneside tourist attraction re-opens to the public.

Jarrow Hall Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum – based on the former Bede’s World site – will welcome its first visitors on Sunday, October 23.

The date coincides with school half-term holidays, welcoming families looking to mix learning with leisure for a great day out.

Now managed by communities charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN), visitors from October will see the plans Groundwork have to remodel the site in planned phases.

Working on these improvements and reconnecting with the community over the autumn and winter months, the charity will fully relaunch Jarrow Hall in Easter 2017, heralding in an exciting new age for the much-loved attraction.

New culture and heritage operations manager, Leigh Venus, 36, said: “This site is of regional, national and international renown, it’s really quite special and we intend to make it a great success.

“It has so much to offer to many different people – from past supporters who desperately want to see it thrive, to families and schoolchildren on visits or academics who can benefit from studying its unique artefacts.

“We need the public to support us by visiting often and enjoying what we have to offer all year-round. Together, we have a real chance to do something here that is quite outstanding.

“We want each visit to be memorable so that people come back time and again, always finding something new and interesting to enjoy, so we are planning year-round activities and events for all to support this, and are already looking four to five years into the future.”

The Church Bank attraction’s focus will remain the life and times of seventh century scholar the Venerable Bede.

This will be achieved through an existing Bede Museum and Anglo-Saxon farm – home to a collection of rare breed animals – and reconstruction settlement.

A new museum feature is the addition of a replica of the Codex Amiatinus, the earliest surviving manuscript of the nearly complete Bible in the Latin Vulgate, originally produced in the double monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow.

Groundwork STAN also plans to add commercial attractions, including work spaces and offices for hire to creatives and small businesses, alongside dedicated facilities for conferences, weddings and other celebrations.