Viking longship, hill fort and Beowulf tribute among features revealed for new history-themed play park

Plans for a new ‘creative play space’ at a Jarrow visitor attraction have been given the green light by council planners.

Jarrow Hall.
Jarrow Hall.

In February 2020, proposals were lodged for a new facility within the grounds of Jarrow Hall off Church Bank.

The heritage attraction includes the Grade II-listed Jarrow Hall House, an Anglo-Saxon Farm and Village and Bede Museum.

The plans came from Groundwork South and North Tyneside and include a major redevelopment of a parcel of land at the site.

According to documents submitted with the planning application, the play area will bring together the themes of Jarrow Hall in a “creative accessible fashion to promote learning and exploration.”

A variety of structures and sculptures are planned with themed zones covering Celtic Britain, Romans and Anglo-Saxons alongside Early Christian, Viking and ‘The Wild’ areas.

Features include a hill top fort embankment, cist burial chamber, a ‘longhouse multi-activity structure’ and a chainsaw timber carving depicting the saga of Beowulf.

The Viking area would also include a longship and totem while ‘The Wild’ area would boast a wolf sculpture.

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South Tyneside Council planners concluded that the play space would not impact on any nearby listed buildings.

However, the Tyne and Wear Archaeology Officer requested a condition to be put in place due to the “archaeological significance of the site’.

In the event that any foundations or below ground works are required that exceed 800mm in depth, extra monitoring must be undertaken.

Following consultation, the plans were offically approved on Wednesday, May 6

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A brief for the creative play space, submitted to the council, outlines the vision for the project.

It goes on to say: “Myths and legends will be brought to life by unique sculptures and stone carvings by local artists, which will fire the imagination of visitors, young and old, and form the focal feature of the play area; and the basis for an exciting quest that links to the wider site.

“The play area will occupy a key location at the entrance to the Anglo-Saxon Farm and Village and will be one of the first things that visitors see as they enter the site.

“It will create excitement and promote adventure and learning within a controlled and safe environment that visitors can return to again and again.”

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As part of the proposed works, two existing duck sheds will be dismantled and stored elsewhere at Jarrow Hall for future repair or disposal.

Further details can be found by visiting South Tyneside Council’s planning portal and searching reference: ST/0062/20/FUL

For more information on Jarrow Hall, visit: www.jarrowhall.org.uk

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