Keys to the Past

Anglo-Saxon Sites in County Durham and Northumberland

The Anglo-Saxon period is often called the Golden Age of Northumbria. Its monasteries were filled with great learning and housed many skilfull craftsmen. Traces of the churches and remains of the stone crosses carved at this period can still be seen across the north-east.

County Durham

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral contains the remains of Cuthbert, the saintly seventh-century bishop of Lindisfarne; it also holds the tomb of Bede, the chronicler of Cuthbert's life and the first English historian. An important collection of Anglo-Saxon carved stone can be seen in the Cathedral library.

Escomb Church

Escomb Saxon Church is a Saxon church dating from 7th Century and built of stone from Binchester Roman Fort. Now restored, it is one of the finest examples of early Christian architecture in Northern Europe.

Saint Mary and Saint Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street

The cathedral church and shrine of St. Cuthbert from 883AD to 995AD. While at Chester-le-Street Aldred added the Saxon Gloss to the Lindisfarne Gospels.


Lindisfarne Priory

A holy site since AD635, Lindisfarne Priory remains a place of pilgrimage today. Lindisfarne Priory was the site of one of the most important early centres of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. As well as the ruins of the Priory itself, there is an exhibition about the history of the monastery and community of St Cuthbert.

For further information about visiting this site, visit the English Heritage website.

Lindisfarne Heritage Centre

The Lindisfarne Heritage Centre is wholly owned and managed by the people of The Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Come and visit the beautiful Island village where the monk Eadfrid created the magnificent illuminated manuscript, the Lindisfarne Gospels, in 698AD. Experience its beauty through the use of the 'Turning the Pages' electronic version of the book and see our exhibition about life on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

Hexham Abbey

Hexham Abbey - There has been a church on this site over for 1300 years since Queen Etheldreda made a grant of lands to Wilfrid, Bishop of York c.674. Of Wilfrid's abbey, the Saxon crypt and apse still remain.

Tyne and Wear

Jarrow Hall

Anglo-Saxon farm, village and Bede Museum at Jarrow Hall