St Paul's Monastery, 1862
St Paul's Monastery, 1862

Ordnance Survey, 1862

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St Paul's Monastery, 1899
St Paul's Monastery, 1899

Ordnance Survey, 1899

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St Paul's Monastery, 1946
St Paul's Monastery, 1946

Ordnance Survey, 1946

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St Paul's Monastery, 1862
St Paul's Monastery, 1862

Ordnance Survey, 1862

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StPauls1910

Name: St Paul's Monastery

Region: Jarrow, South Tyneside

Date of Origin: 7th - 9th Century

Site Type: Monastery

Condition: Ruined

Status: Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I Listed

Last Updated: 20/05/2020

"The remains of St Paul's standing today are from the medieval monastery, but part of the Anglo-Saxon monastery survives today as the chancel of St Paul's Church. St Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, along with St Peter’s at WearmouthSunderland, was one of Europe’s most influential centres of learning and culture in the 7th and 8th centuries. The  twin monastery of Wearmouth–Jarrow was developed by Benedict Biscop in the 7th century inspired by his visits to Rome. In 674 Biscop was given land by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria to establish the monastery of St Peter’s at Wearmouth, and then in 681 further land at Jarrow to found St Paul’s. The twin monastery once owned much of the land between the rivers Tyne and Wear. Biscop brought stonemasons and glaziers from France, who created some of the first stone buildings in Northumbria since the Roman period. The monastery’s reputation was spread throughout Europe by the prolific scholarly writings of the Venerable Bede. Bede entered St Peter’s in about 680 at the age of seven, and spent his life in the twin monastery of Wearmouth–Jarrow, which he described as 'one monastery in two places'. - Co-Curate

"Wearmouth–Jarrow was the creation of Northumbrian nobleman Benedict Biscop (about 628–90), who visited Rome and was inspired by the Christian life he saw there.

In 674 he approached King Ecgfrith of Northumbria for land for a monastery. He was first given a large estate to found St Peter’s, Wearmouth, and then in 681 received land at Jarrow to found St Paul’s. The twin monastery probably once owned much of the land between the rivers Tyne and Wear.

 

Biscop brought stonemasons and glaziers from France, who created some of the first stone buildings in Northumbria since the Roman period. Excavations have revealed that the earliest monastery had two churches, lying parallel to two large buildings, with a guesthouse close to the river.

It was not uncommon for Anglo-Saxon monasteries to have more than one church. The larger one may have served local people as well as the monks. The smaller church was perhaps reserved exclusively for monks, or may have been used as a funerary chapel.

 

Of the two other large buildings, one had settings in the floor that might have supported seating. Food debris such as fish bones was also found, suggesting that this was a refectory.

 

The other building contained a large, finely decorated room, probably used as a communal hall. In it was a central stone seat from which the abbot may have presided over meetings of the monks. Each building may have had an upper floor containing dormitories.

At the far left of this building was a suite of two rooms divided by a low screen. The finer room was perhaps an oratory, with an altar, and the other a living room.

T

he guesthouse by the riverside was finely decorated with painted plaster and coloured glass windows. Craft and industrial activity (such as metal- and glass-working) also took place on the riverside. There is evidence for terraced gardens on the south-facing slope towards the river, where vegetables and herbs were likely to have been grown." - English Heritage

ST PAUL'S MONASTERY

JARROW