A revamped South Tyneside tourist attraction has enjoyed a bumper Easter relaunch.
Hundreds of visitors from across the North East passed through the doors at Jarrow Hall - the former Bede’s World - during the two-week school holiday.
Jarrow Hall, the world’s only Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, has reopened under new management by community-focused environmental charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN).
The site opened in October and has since welcomed more than 1,000 local pupils from the region’s schools with community and educational activities.
But the holidays saw the range of activities aimed at attracting the public, with live re-enactments and combat, authentic Anglo Saxon crafts, farm talks, guided tours, lectures, archery and birds of prey displays.
The fortnight attracted a total of 2,314 visitors.
The launch was a real statement of intent to get people interested in the site and everything yet to come and we’ll be continuing to forge links with the local community who are key to our continued success at Jarrow Hall.Leigh Venus
Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Alan Smith attended the launch along with the former Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear Sir Nigel Sherlock, Port of Tyne director of corporate affairs Susan Weir, Tyne and Wear Archives and museum director Iain Watson.
Archaeologist Dame Rosemary Cramp, whose digs at nearby St Paul’s Church resulted in the founding of the museum, delivered a lecture on how she excavated the Wearmouth and Jarrow site.
Audrey Barton, from Gosforth, visited with her children Bel, four, Esmee, three, and baby Zac: “I had no idea such a wonderful child-friendly visitor attraction was located just a few minutes down the road from Newcastle,” she said.
“Although my daughters are too young to appreciate the history, they’ve been able to enjoy the open spaces, play in the soft play area inside and the toddler trail outside, enjoy a mini-pony ride, see the farm yard animals and even hold a barn owl – a thoroughly great day out.”
Groundwork STAN culture and heritage operations manager Leigh Venus said: “We were delighted with the launch and thrilled to welcome so many visitors through the doors during the Easter Holidays to enjoy the newly reinvigorated site.
“It was great to meet and chat to some of the many families who came along to enjoy the activities and learn something about Anglo Saxon history and their own heritage along the way.
“The launch was a real statement of intent to get people interested in the site and everything yet to come and we’ll be continuing to forge links with the local community who are key to our continued success at Jarrow Hall.
“We have lots more planned for the months and years ahead and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors from the region and far beyond.”
More than £120,000 has been invested to date to support key improvement and renovation works.
Cultural historian, broadcaster and author Dr Janina Ramirez will deliver lectures at Jarrow Hall on June 15 and 16, one based on her book The Private Lives of Saints: Power and Passion in Anglo-Saxon England and another on her podcast Anglo-Saxon Art Detective.
For more information on the site including opening times please visit https://www.jarrowhall.org.uk/