Jarrow Hall sees encouraging early signs as visitors flock back after reopening
One of South Tyneside’s best tourist attractions has seen encouraging signs in the early days after its reopening.
Jarrow Hall has welcomed visitors again after months of lockdown. The venue was completely closed during the same period in 2020. Numbers are down on the same two-week spell in 2019, but only by about 10%.
This is despite social-distancing measures reducing capacity, online bookings being required for 30-minute slots, chilly weather and not all of the facilities being open yet.
Numbers at the 11-acre attraction are restricted to ensure everyone has plenty of space to safely move around the site. Numerous hand sanitiser stations are in place and masks must be worn in indoor areas.
Jarrow Hall’s Bede museum will not be open until after May 17 when the Government is expected to further ease lockdown restrictions.
Construction of the Grubenhaus in the Anglo-Saxon village is currently underway following a vandalism attack in May 2020. This has been funded by public donations.
Volunteers and staff have been working hard. Materials have been locally sourced, including timber from sister site West Boldon Lodge, with heather being brought from the Cheviot Hills.
Rebecca Maw, operations manager for Groundwork South & North Tyneside which operates the site, said: “We have had over 1600 visitors since we opened on 13th April 2021. In the same period in 2019 we had 1800.
“We have increased prices slightly, but are offering a visit once come as many times as you like during the 2021 season. We believe this offers really good value for money.
“Adults are £7, children aged five to 15 and concessions are £4, children and under five and carers are free.
“We have re-enactors in the village most weeks, a new exhibition on the farm, and there are new animals to see including four new kids who were born to our rescued Cheviot goats."
Other animals on show include curly-coated pigs, Dexter bullocks, sheep, ducks, chickens and more. These are the sort of animals which would have been present around 1,300 years ago in the Anglo-Saxon period.
Current opening hours are 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Saturday. For more information visit www.jarrowhall.com.