Bede’s World medieval museum could re-open after funding meltdown

Local charity in talks to take over heritage site dedicated to the venerable religious scholar

by Gareth Harris  |  9 March 2016
Bede’s World medieval museum could re-open after funding meltdown
Homilary, Portrait of the Venerable Bede, Walters Art Museum
A major heritage attraction in the north of England could be saved after closing in February due to a financial crisis. Bede’s World, the Anglo-Saxon site in Church Bank, Jarrow, was shut down due to “a lack of funds” according to the trustees.

The site includes an 11-acre Anglo-Saxon farm and museum dedicated to the Venerable Bede, a scholar born in 673AD who wrote extensively about the Bible.

The writer Melvyn Bragg told The Independent newspaper that “the decision to close Bede’s World is depressingly characteristic [of the harsh climate for local museums]. The Venerable Bede is one of the greatest figures in British history. In fact, his own books and the contemporary Lindisfarne Gospels were the foundations of British culture.”

The venue was run by Bede’s World Charitable Trust, with additional funding from the council. But the trust became insolvent, with the ownership of the land and buildings reverting back to South Tyneside council.

The council says it is in discussions with the local charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle about taking on the lease of the Bede’s World site.

“The aim is to grow the educational and training elements of the attraction while retaining the museum and driving up visitor numbers by offering a wider range of family fun activities,’ says a council statement.

In 2014, an exhibition of medieval treasures on loan from the British Museum called Banners of the North opened at the museum.

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