Northumberland – Places of Interest


Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh, Nothumberland, NE69-7DF.

Tel – 01668 214208

E-mail –


In the Anglo-Saxon era this high point was the capital of the Kingdom of Bernicia which in time joined with the Kingdom of Deira to become the Kingdom of Northumberland which means north of the Humber.

Opening times

Summer   1000 – 1700hrs

Winter      1000 – 1600hrs.

Admission charges

Adult   £15.50p

Child 5-16  £7.65p

Disabled  11.40p the carer is free.


There is a gift shop within the castle.


There is a cafe within the castle.



There is a car-park in the castle cost 3.00p for the day.


There is a coach/bus service between Berwick-on-Tweed and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


The station is at Belford.




Church Bank, Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, NE32-3DY.

Telephone – 0191 489 2106

This is a museum / place of interest in Jarrow dedicated to the life and times of Bede, a monk, author and scholar who lived at the Abbey church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Wearmouth-Jarrow, a double monastery at Jarrow (today part of South Tyneside) and Monkwearmouth, (today part of Sunderland).
St. Paul`s church is across the park with the remains of the monastery.

The main museum building features the `Age of Bede` exhibit, including excavated artifacts from the historic monastery such as stained glass, imported, pottery, coins and stone carvings, and exhibits about Anglo-Saxon culture, Bede`s life and works, the life of a monk, and the medieval Kingdom of Northumbria.

There is a working reconstructed Anglo-Saxon farm called Gyrewe (pronounced `Yeerweh`) after the Old English name for Jarrow, showing animal husbandary with full-size reconstructions of three timber buildings from Northumbria based on evidence of archaeological work. Thirlings hall is the largest with animal hide and other objects. The wood-burning fire in the form of a small pit / designated area is used throughout the year and allows for a great smell to filter through the building. The two other buildings, smaller in size, are a Grubenhaus a small sunken building used as a cold store, and a monk`s cell. All buildings are thatched and were built using traditional techniques.

Opening Times

April 2023 – September 2023

Mon – Sun 1000 – 1730 hrs

October 2022 – March 2023

Mon – Sun 1000 – 1630 hrs

Last admission museum / farm 1hr before closing.

Admission prices

Adults £8-00p

Concessions £5-00p
(inc children 5-16, students,
disabled, 60+)


The cafe at Jarrow hall is open 7 days a week.

Open daily from 1000 – 1600hrs.

How to get there


Bede`s world is located in Jarrow in the North-East on the south bank of the river Tyne and close to the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Located 2 minutes from the A19 Tyne tunnel coming up from the south on the A19, last turn off before the Tyne tunnel, look for the Brown signs with `Bede`s World`, 3rd turn off from the roundabout onto the B1297, Bede`s World is up the road on the right called church bank.
Coming from the North on the A19, first turn off from the tunnel, bear sharp left onto the roundabout 4th turn onto the B1297, same directions as above.
There is a free car-park at Bede`s World.

Bus Go North East, bus company.

The 27 & 27a service from Stand C at Jarrow bus station,
Newcastle & South shields.
has a regular service every day.

Train Metro Newcastle to South Shields line.

Use the Metro to Bede station or Jarrow station
20 mins walk 26 mins walk



Holy Island, Northumberland, TD15, OS grid reference NU129420

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England. It is also known just as Holy Island. It constitutes the civil parish of Holy island in Northumberland. holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century. being then an important centre of Celtic Christianity under saints Aidan of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindisfarne. the monastery was destroyed by the Vikings in late 8th century ,the monks finally left in the late 9th century, after the Norman Conquest a priory was reestablished.

The island of Lindisfarne appears under the Old Welsh name `Medcaut`


Warning signs urge visitors walking to the island to keep to the marked path, check tide times and weather carefully and to seek local advise if in doubt. For drivers, tide tables are prominently displayed at both ends of the causeway and also where the Holy Island road leaves the A1 Great North Road at Beal. The causeway is generally open from about three hours after high tide until two hours before the next high tide, but the period may be extended during stormy weather. Tide tables giving the safe crossing times.



The northeast coast of England had been little settled by Roman civilians apart from the Tyne valley and Hadrian`s Wall, so the area is little affected by the Roman occupation. The countryside had been subject to raids from both Scots and Picts and was not one to attract Germanic settlement, king Ida


The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by an Irish monk who came from Iona off the west coast of Dal Riata, now Scotland, after King Oswald requested for someone to come and spread the Christian message, he gave Aidan the Island of Lindisfarne so he could build a Priory which was built at the end of 634, Aidan remained there until his passing in 651. The priory remained the only seat of a bishopric in Northumbria for nearly thirty years, Bishop Finian (651- 661) who took over after Aidan, built a timber church “suitable for a bishop`s seat”, but, St. Bede however, was critical of the fact that the church was not built of stone but only of hewn oak thatched with reeds. A later Bishop, Eadbert removed the thatch and covered both walls and roof in lead. An abbot, who could be the bishop, was elected by the brethren and led the community. St. Bede comments on this:

“And let no one be surprised that, though we have said above that in this island of Lindisfarne, small as it is, there is found the seat of a bishop, now we also say that it is the home of an abbot and monks; for it actually is so. For one and the same dwelling-place of the servants of God holds both; and indeed all are monks. Aidan, who was the first bishop of the place, was a monk and always lived according to monastic rule together with all his followers. Hence all the bishops of that place up to the present time exercise their episcopal functions in such a way that the abbot, who they themselves have chosen by the advise of the brethren, rules the monastery; ans all the priests, deacons, singers and readers and other ecclesiastical grades, together with the bishop himself, keep the monastic rule in all things.”

Lindisfarne became the base for Christian evangelising in the North of England and also sent a successful mission to Mercia. Monks from the Irish (Scots) community of Iona settled on the island. Northumberland`s patron saint, Saint Cuthbert, was a monk and later abbot of the monastery, and his miracles and life are recorded by the Venerable Bede. Cuthbert later became Bishop of Lindisfarne.
An anonymous life of Cuthbert written at Lindisfarne is the oldest extant piece of English historical writing, from its reference to “Aldfrith, who now reigns peacefully” it must date to between 685 and 704. Cuthbert was buried here, his remains later translated to Durham Cathedral (along with the relics of Saint Eadfrith of Lindisfarne). Eadberht of Lindisfarne, the next bishop (and saint) was buried in the place from which Cuthbert`s body was exhumed earlier the same year when the priory was abandoned in the late 9th century.

Cuthbert`s body was carried with the monks, eventually settling in Chester-le-Street before a final move to Durham. The siant`s shrine was the major pilgrimage centre for much of the region until its despoliation by Henry VIII`s commisioners in 1539 or 1540. The grave was preserved however and when opened in 1827 yielded a number of remarkable artefacts dating back to Lindisfarne. The inner (of three) coffins was of incised wood, the only decorated wood to survive from the period. It shows Jesus surrounded by the Four Evangelists. Within the coffin was a pectoral cross 2.5 in/6.4cm across made of gold and mounted with garnets and intricate tracery. There was a comb made of elephant ivory, a rare and expensive item in Northern England. Also inside was an embossed silver covered travelling altar. All were contemporary with the original burial on the island. When the body was placed in the shrine in 1104 other items were removed: a paten, scissors and a chalice of gold and onyx. Most remarkable of all was a gospel (known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel or Stoneyhurst Gospel form its association with the college). The manuscript is in an early, probably original, binding beautiful decorated with deeply embossed leather.

Following Finian`s death, Coleman became bishop of Lindisfarne. Up to this point the Northumbrian (and latterly Mercian) churches had to look to Lindisfarne as the mother church. There were significant liturgical and theological differences with the fledgling Roman party based at Canterbury. According to Stenton:
“There is no trace of any intercourse between these bishops [the Mercians] and the see of Canterbury”.
The Synod of Whitby in 663 changed this. Allegiance switched southwards to Canterbury and thence to Rome. Colman departed his see for Iona and Lindisfarne ceased to be of such major importance.

In 735 the northern ecclesiatical provinces of England was established with the archbishopric at York. There were only three bishops under York: Hexham, Lindisfarne and Whithorn whereas Canterbury had the twelve envisaged by St. Augustine. The Diocese of York encompassed roughly the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Hexham covered County Durham and the southern part of Northumberland up to the River Coquet and eastwards into the Pennines. Whithorn covered most of Dumfries and Galloway region west of Dumfries itself. The remainder, Cumbria (Cumberland
& Westmorland), northern Northumbria, Lothian and much of the Kingdom of Strathclyde formed the Diocese of Lindisfarne.


At some point in the early 700s the famous illuminated manscript known as the Lindisfarne Latin copy of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, was made probably at Lindisfarne and the artist was possibly Eadfrith, who later became Bishop of Lindisfarne. sometimes in the second half of the 10th century a monk named Aldred added an Anglo-Saxon (Old English) gloss to the Latin text, producing the earliest surviving Old English copies of the Gospels. Aldred attributed the origianl to Eadfrith (bishop 698-721). The Gospels were written with a good hand, but it is the illustrations done in an insular style containing a fusion of Celtic, Germanic and roman elements that are truly outstanding. According to Aldred, Eadfrith`s successor AEthelwald was responsible for pressing and binding it and it was covered with a fine metal case made by a hermit called Billfrith. The Lindisfarne Gospels now reside in the British Library in London, somewhat to the annoyance of some Northumbrians. In 1971 professor Suzanne Kaufman of Rockford, Illinois presented a facsimile copy of the Gospels to the clergy of the islands.


In 793, there was a viking raid on Lindisfarne which caused much consternation throughout the Christian west and is often taken as the beginning of the Viking Age. The D and E versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle record:

“In this fierce, foreboding omens came over the land of the Northumbrians, and the wretched people shook; there were excessive whirlwinds, lightening, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the sky. these signs were followed by great famine, and a little after those, that same year one 6th ides of January, the ravaging of wretched heathen people destroyed God`s church at Lindisfarne.”

The generally accepted date for the Viking raid on Lindisfarne is in fact the 8th June; Michael Swanton writes: “vi id Ianr, presumably [is] an error for vi id lun (8th June) which is the date given by the Annals of Lindisfarne, when better sailing weather favour coastal raids.”

Alcuim, a Northumbrian scholar in Charlemagne court at the time, wrote:

“Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race. . . The heathen poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies of saints in the temple of God, like dung in the streets.”

The English seemed to have turn their back on the sea, unlike when they first came acting themselves as pirates themselves, so in time they became settled. Many monasteries were established on islands, peninsulas, river mouths and cliffs. Isolated like these were less susceptible to interference and the politics of the heartland, but made them very vunerable to sea going raiders, so the English were amazed at the raids from the sea must have been matched by the amazement of the raiders at such (to them) vulnerable, wealthy and unarmed settlements.

These initially raids were just that, they were unsettling, but were not followed up. on the west coast of England the raids were mainly by Danes, a little latter it was the Norse/Norway Vikings who passed over north Pictland raiding there, but also Dal Raita on west coast then over to Ireland, where they created Dublin. The monks continued living on Lindisfarne, where religious art continued to flourish, the Liber Vitae of Durham was started in the priory.

By the time of 866 the Danes were in York, defeating the Northumbrians who tried to take it back, and with this the collapse of Northumbria, except Bamborough who the Danes could not capture, with this the monks of Lindisfarne fled the island in 875 taking with them the relics of St. Cuthbert, wondering across the land so keep them safe from the Danes, (Cuthbert`s relics are now housed within Durham cathedral).

Before this happening and the abandonment of Lindisfarne in common with other monasteries, they held large tracts of land which were managed directly or leased to farmers with a life interest only. So following the Danish occupation land was increasingly owned by individuals and so could be bought, sold and inherited, following the Battle of Corbridge in 914 Ragnald was able to seize the land of his followers Scula and Onlafbal.

The priory was re-established in Norman times in 1093 as a Benedictine house which continued until 1536 when it was suppressed by Henry VIII. The standing remains date from this time, which was built on the original site, the parish church occupies this site.


Holy Island, Northumberland, TD15-2RX.

Vicar tel +44 (0) 1289 389216 Telephone during the day not Monday.


Monday – Saturday

Matins / 0730hrs. Holy communion 0800hrs. Evensong 1730hrs.


Holy Communion 0800hrs. Village Communion 1045hrs. Evensong 1730hrs.



The Warden, Marygate house, Holy Island, Northumberland, TD15-2SD.

Tel +44 (0) 1289 389246 telephone between 1000 – 1300 hrs.



Marygate, Holy Island, Northumberland, TD15-2SD.

Tel 01289 389222 telephone during the week day.

e-mail on their web-site.



Nearest stations are Berwick upon Tweed & Chathill. This is on the East Coast mainline.


Route X15E
Service runs 7 days a week, between Newcastle, Haymarket Bus Station stop Q runs too Berwick Upon Tweed, Railway station.
Bus stop at Beal and walk down to Beal and onto Holy Island, remember the tide!

Route X18E
Service runs 7 days a week, between Newcastle, Haymarket bus Station stop Q runs too Berwick upon tweed, railway station.
bus stop at Beal and walk down to Beal and onto Holy Island, remember the tide! This bus route is a longer than the previous one and in frequent.

Route 477
Service runs 7 days a week between Berwick Upon Tweed, Railway station and Holy island.
This service runs twice in the day and the time will vary depending on the tide and will end on 27th June.


Can drive to Holy island, but be mindful of the tide.


Can walk to Holy Island between the tide, there is a marked path with a refuge if the tide catches you out.



North Yorkshire Moors, Lilla howe, O/S 889 987 Explorer Map OL 27.



The cross is set on Lilla Howe and a plaque reads:-



Lilla was faithful friend and minister to King Edwin of Northumbria, who himself had been cheated by his uncle King of Bernicia, (kingdom between the River Tees and Stirling), who took over the kingdom of Deira (kingdom between the River Humber & River Tees) on the death of Edwin`s father King Alla, thus creating Northumbria (north of the Humber).
After many hardships King Redwald of East Anglia (Bretwalda / high King) sheltered Edwin, who was enticed by Ethelred to murder Edwin, but in the end supported Edwin in Battle to defeat his uncle and in time himself became Bretwalda.
Edwin married Ethelberga who was daughter of King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha, he was the first Christian King in England, who was baptized by Augustine, he being the first Archbishop of Canterbury, to become St. Augustine.
On the eve of Pasha/Easter in 625, not only his wife gave birth to a daughter who was named Eanfleda, but an attempt upon his life by a messenger named Eumer who had come from the West Saxon King Quichelm, Lilla was close by the king and on seeing Eumer lunge at the king with a dagger in hand which had been hidden within his clothing, managed to get between the the king and would be assassin and so took the full force of the attack, but such was the force of this, that the dagger went through Lila`s body and wounded the king, Lilla died there and then and did Eumer who was quickly dispached by the king`s guard, maybe the shook of what took place made the queen give birth to her daughter?
It is believed here was the site of the murder of Lilla, it has been excavated previously, no body was found only late Anglo-Saxon jewellery so who knows?
On recovery Edwin told Bishop Paulinus that his wife`s prayers had saved him but he allowed his daughter to baptized on Pentecost and he formed his army and routed the West Saxon King Quichelm completely.
Edwin was baptized some years later.

The cross is NE from RAF Fylingdale, about 1.2m/2km away, RAF station has the large spheres looking like golf balls.

How to get there.

From A169. Car-park at O/S 856 985 west of road at junction on road to Goathland. walk south down A169 about .2m/1/3 km to Eller Beck Bridge, strike east on footpath by bridge, follow path for just over 1.8m/3km on south side will see the cross on open moorland.

From A 171. Car-park at O/S 945 003 west of road, there is an information access point here. walk west on the path for over 3.4m/5.5km to the cross which is on the south side of the path on open moorland

Bus Services

Service No 840

Leeds city Bus Station stand 25, York city, Pickering & Whitby.

7 days service will take the A 169 road.

Service No X93

Scarborough Station, Whitby, & Middlesborough Bus Station.

7 day service will take the A 171 road.


Scarborough :- Has a railway station.

Whitby :- Has a railway station, the route comes by the Esk Valley.


Kirknewton, Northumberland, NE71-6HF Grid Ref NT935305.

Yeavering is a very small hamlet in the north-east corner of the parish of Kirknewton in Northumberland, being located on the River Glen at the northern edge of the Cheviot Hills. It has been found to be a large Anglo-Saxon settlement where archaeologists have uncovered what is believed to a royal seat, being held by the kings of Bernicia in the 7th century AD.

Evidence for human activity in the vicinity has been found from the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, although it would be in the Iron Age that significant settlement first occurred at Yeavering. In this period, a hillfort was constructed on Yeavering Bell which appears to have been a major settlement at the time, being heavily inhabited.

According to Bede in his Ecclesiastical History (Book 2, Chapter 14) of the Venerable Bede (680-735). In the year 627 Bishop Paulinus of York accompanied the Northumbrian King Edwin and his queen AEthelburg to their royal vill, (the Latin term is villa regia), Adgefrin, where Paulinus spent 36 days preaching and baptizing converts in the River Glen. The place-name Gefrin, which is a Brittonic name meaning `hill of the goats`, survives as the modern Yeavering.


Yeavering is situated at the western end of a valley known as Glendale, Northumberland, where the Cheviots foothills give way to the Tweed Valley, which is an area of fertile plain. Yeavering most prominent feature is the twin-peaked hill, the height of Yeavering Bell is 1184ft/361m, which was used as a hillfort in the Iron Age. To the north of the Bell, the land drops off to a terrace which is 236ft/72m above sea level, this land is commonly known as the `whaleback`, which is where the Anglo-Saxon settlement was located. The River Glen cuts through the whaleback, creating a relatively wide but shallow channel that lies 164ft/50m above sea level, the Glen has made large areas of neighbouring land around the whaleback waterlogged and boggy, which has made it difficult for development for living in, but with modern development of drainage systems this has been largely removed, and simply leaving some marshy areas on the north and east side of the Yeavering whaleback.

As the area is between high hills it is subject to persistent high winds from a westerly or south-westerly direction, often reaching gale strength, force 8 and sometimes even hurricane strength, force 12.



Through archaeological digs it has been found that humans have been living in the Glen Valley during the Mesolithic period, such people would have been hunter-gatherers, moving around in small family or tribal groups in their quest for food and other resources. There presence has been shown as evident with the stones tools which have been found in the valley, from this time period.
With the later periods of the Neolithic and Bronze Age where people started to settle down in permanent communities where farming was developed in producing grain and domestic animals, there is evidence of human activity in the valley which dates from this period, with such things as ritual pits and cremation burials.


It was during this period that the hill fort was constructed to be called `Yeavering bell`having dry stone walls surrounding both `Bells` peaks which made this well defensive fort, with what has been found of over hundred Iron Age round houses, so could support a large population, being the largest of its kind in Northumberland, the tribal group were called the Votadini.
But in the first century AD, this all changed when the Roman Empire invaded southern and central Britain, who took this area under their dominion, whether they continued with this when they constructed Hadrian`s Wall to the south of this area and only had watch type towers to recce the area for enemy movements. But in 410 AD all things changed when the Roman Empire vacated the British Isles and told the Britons they must secure their own administration and defence.
No doubt Yeavering continued as a political base for this area on Northumberland, possibly the areas between the rivers Tweed and Tyne.


In the Early Mediaeval period, Yeavering was situated in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Bernicia, this would become the northern half of Northumberland or Northumbria, the lands north of the River Humber.


The Kingdom of Bernicia went north from the River Tee to the Forth in what is now Scotland, at one point Bernicia went as far as Stirling, also the kingdom was on the east side of Britain, the British Kingdom of Strathclyde stretching up to Glasgow (happy family), from the Lake district was on the west.
The archaeologist Brian Hope-Taylor believed that the Kingdom of Bernicia monarchs had ruled over a kingdom of two people, one was the Britons who were the descendants of Romano-British and the other the Anglo-Saxons who were migrants from the continent of Europe. he speculated that the Anglo-Saxons were primarily settled on the coastal areas of Bernicia, where trade and other links were going on by sea routes with other Anglo-Saxons. He argued this as there was evidence in that area of the heavily Anglicised place-names, whereas on the other hand he thought that the British population were larger in the central areas of Bernicia, where there was fewer artifacts of Anglo-Saxon origin in Early Mediaeval burials. For this reason, he suspected that the Bernician rulers, in an attempt to govern both groups of people, had two royal seats of power, one at Bamburgh on the coast and the other at Yeavering, which was the site of power in the British-dominated area of their`s in Bernicia, so it made sense to do this, also this area held very good agricultural land.


An Anglo-Saxon burial dated to the early 7th century, which was found amidst the buildings at Yeavering. Hope-Taylor said of it “one of the strangest and most interesting minor features of the site” and it contained the diffuse outline of an adult body which had been interned in an east-west alignment. Various oxidised remnants of what were originally metal objects were found with the body, as was the remnants of a goat skull, which had been positioned eastward. after examination one of them was concluded to be a seven-foot /2.5m log bronze-bound wooden pole, possibly a staff or a standard used for ceremonial purposes.
Archaeologists have also identified a series of graves at the eastern end of the site, for it to be called the Eastern Cemetery. Hope-Taylor`s team identified these burials as having undergone five separate phases, indicating that it had been used for a relatively long time.


One of the best sources of information that contemporary historians have about the Anglo-Saxon period of English history are the records made by an Anglo-Saxon monk named Bede (672-735) who lived at the monastery in Jarrow. Considered to be “the Father of English History”, Bede wrote a number of texts dealing with the Anglo-Saxon migration and conversion, most notably `The Historia Ecclestistica gentis Anglorum` (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), completed circa 731 and divided up into various books. It was the second book that Bede mentioned the royal township of, Ad Gefrin, which he located as being at a point along the River Glen. He described how King Edwin of Bernicia, shortly after being converted to Christianity, brought a Christian bishop called Paulinus who being the preacher for King Edwin`s queen who had originated from Kent, he had come with them to Ad Gefrin where he had preached the Christian Gospel and in so doing converted local people from their pagan beliefs, baptizing them in the River Glen.
Bede`s passage goes thus;

So great was then the fervour of the faith, as is reported and the desire of the washing of salvation among the nation of the Northumbrians, that Paulinus at a certain time coming with the king and queen to the royal country seat, which is called Ad Gefrin, stayed with them thirty-six days, fully occupied in catechising and baptising, during which days, from morning till night, he did nothing else but instruct the people resorting from all villages and places, in Christ`s saving word; and when instructed, he washed them with the water of absolution in the river Glen which is close. This town, under the following kings, was abandoned, and another built instead of it, at the place called Melmin.

Brian Hope-Taylor believed beyond reasonable doubt that Yeavering was indeed Bede`s Ad Gefrin.



For information on train and bus services :-