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 31b. Jarrow (2) St Pauls Church, Jarrow Monastery

 See also 31a. Bede's World Museum, Jarrow  and 28. Sunderland (2) St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth

A few fragments of late 7th century stained glass in the chancel of St Pauls'. This small pieces of Saxon glass were made in the monastic workshops of Jarrow monastery.


St Paul's Church Jarrow and the west wall of the L shaped remnants of the 11th century monastery. St Paul's Church and Monastery was founded in AD 684 by Bishop Biscop built on land granted by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria in AD 681. Bishop Biscop had previously founded the church and monastery at Wearmouth (Monkwearmouth).

 PLEASE leave a donation to help with the upkeep of this fine ancient historic church, which I may say, is beautifully looked after and the visitor afforded a most friendly and helpful welcome!

The south facing wall remains of the 11th century monastery. The tower of St Pauls stands in the background.


The tower of st Paul's church.


On the right is the present chancel, which was the nave of the late 8th century church. Three small splayed Saxon round-headed windows survive and shown below in more detail (exterior). Some roundheaded doorways also survive but are all filled in e.g. the one in the south wall of the base of the tower.



The 13th century wooden doors of the western entrance to the 'new' Victorian nave with their original decorative ironwork. Interesting to compare this iron-work with that of the door at St Helen's Church, Stillingfleet, Yorkshire.


High above the chancel arch is the original dedication stone of the Jarrow church and monastery and reproduction of how it would have looked. The monastery's first abbot was Ceolfrid (Ceolfrith) and the dedication stone reads DEDICATIO BASILICAE SCI PAULI VIII KL MAI ANNO XV ECFRIDI REG CEOLFRIDI ABB EIUSDEMQ Q ECCL DO AUCTORE CONDITORIS ANNO IIII.

Jarrow monastery is the establishment the Venerable Bede cam to as a boy and where he worked and worshiped. Bede's bones now lie in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral. Jarrow monastery thrived in the late 7th and into the 8th centuries but it was sacked by the Vikings in AD 794. In 1074, after the Norman Conquest, the church was repaired and the monastery re-founded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire and became a daughter house of the Benedictine Community of Durham.


Looking through the medieval chancel arch under the tower and into the chancel, altar and east window. The present day chancel is the original Saxon church built as a separate chapel of the monastery.


sculpture by Fenwick Lawson


Looking into the chancel and its south wall on the right.


Medieval rib-vaulting below the tower. The tower stands between the nave and the chancel which is essentially a crossing tower and probably dates from the restoration of Prior Aldwin around 1075. The tower is built n four stages with twin openings in the upper two stages - round arched Romanesque in design.


Looking down the chancel.


The east window above the altar and the north-east window of the chancel. The three lighted windows were inserted in late 13th and 14th centuries.


On the left is the east stained glass window above the altar and a small modern window inserted in the late 7th century window of the original nave.


Details of the east window, 'expressionistic' design (Pevsner's comment) by L. C. Evetts in 1950.



The so-called Bede's Chair, which probably dates from the 14th century. It is very plain medieval woodwork with a high back of blanks and diagonally trimmed planks as arms.


The late 7th century Saxon splayed windows in the original south wall of the nave of the same date. The fine stonework of faced and squared blocks is attributed to the stone masons brought by Bishop Benedict Bishop from France.


One of the windows of the south wall is made up of fragments of the earliest stained glass found by archaeologists.


The beautifully carved medieval choir stalls dating from the 1490's.


Good carvings!


Details from the carved heads at the ends of the choir stalls, a 'Deo Gloria' angel? and a two-headed devil!


Looking west down the Victorian chancel with the arcades of the north aisle on the right. The present nave and north aisle were designed by the Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.


Looking east down the Victorian chancel with the arcades of the north aisle on the left and you can see through into the present day chancel i.e. the late 7th century nave.


Fragments of stone carvings from the earlier medieval church e.g. decorative plant scrolls etc.


part of a frieze?

My HOMEPAGE for Newcastle Upon Tyne, County Durham and NorthumbriaHOMEPAGE for all of Phil and Molly's Pics See also 31a. Bede's World Museum, Jarrow  and

28. Sunderland (2) St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth

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