The Friends of the World of Bede AGM 2019

The AGM took place on Saturday 6th July 2019. The meeting was addressed by Leigh Venus, Strategic Cultural Development Manager at Groundwork. Leigh talked to us about the Heritage Master Plan for the Museum, and the 15 year strategic plan which will begin next year, including discussion on the themes, funding and staffing which will be involved. It was extremely interesting to hear about the efforts being made to plan the future of the museum, both in the short and long term. More information will be given as the plans start to unfold. The meeting also re-appointed officers and discussed forthcoming visits and events.

18th May event at Bede Museum

We had a busy and enjoyable programme at The Bede Museum, Jarrow Hall, on 18th May. We started with a presentation to Dame Rosemary Cramp to celebrate her 90th birthday. Dr Eric Cambridge made the presentation of a piece of calligraphy, created by our Friend Susan Moor, on behalf of the Committee and members of the Friends of the World of Bede.

Dame Rosemary then introduced an enjoyable talk by Belinda Burke about her book ‘The Codex Amiatinus and its sister manuscripts’, published by the Friends of the World of Bede.

Hannah Russ gave us a fascinating talk about the dig at Coldingham, the many animal (but not fish) bones found, and the Anglo-Saxon date.

After lunch the programme included Jonathan Adams on ‘From Bede to Benedict’ and the Benedict Biscop Gregorian Choir. Very many thanks to all contributors.

New book on the Codex Amiatinus

We’re pleased to announce the publication of a new book, written by Friends member Belinda Burke, and published by the Friends of the World of Bede.  The title is “The Codex Amiatinus and its sister manuscripts”.  Bede tells us of the establishment of the library of the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, and of how the monastic scribes created three magnificent copies of the bible; one for each of the monasteries and a third (the famous Codex Amiatinus) destined for the Pope in Rome. But what became of these manuscripts in later centuries? Whose hands did they pass through, and what evidence have they left behind? This booklet sets out to follow the trail.

We are currently arranging for Friends to have a free copy.  Copies can be purchased from the Bede Museum, Jarrow Hall, or contact for more details.

Anglo-Saxon vernacular music talk and demonstration 9th February, 2019

We enjoyed a marvellous talk and demonstration from Friends Richard and Liz Walsh, at the Bede Museum, Jarrow Hall. Having battled through high winds to attend, it was a great treat to be taken into the world of the Anglo-Saxon household and hall, and ponder on the sound landscape of another time. Richard’s interesting and informative exploration of what we can know from texts and archaeology about the music of the time was beautifully complemented by Liz’s music, explanation of the instruments (lyre, harp, whistles, syrinx) and readings.

Visit to the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition

A group of Friends enjoyed a marvellous visit to the British Library Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition on 29th November 2018.

The visit began with a fascinating and very information talk from Claire Breay, Head of Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts at the British Library, and Curator of the exhibition.  

The exhibition held a wealth of material, almost too much to take in. The highlight for the Friends was the Codex Amiatinus.  We are extremely grateful to The British Library for donating to us the case used to display the Codex.  It will be used to house the facsimile of the Codex in the Bede Museum – look out for news of this in 2019.

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