A Guide To The Golden Age of Northumberland | Ad Gefrin

A Guide To The Golden Age of Northumberland

22nd June 2023

Nestled in the heart of Northumberland, Ad Gefrin stands as a testament to a defining era, often referred to as the Golden Age of Northumberland

This enchanting region in the north east of England, where Ad Gefrin calls home, boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty that has captivated generations of visitors. 

Join us as we embark on a journey to share the wonders of Northumberland's Golden Age of hospitality and history, exploring stories of Anglo Saxon Kings and Queens and the historical site of the royal court of Northumbria. 

Anglo Saxon History

The era of the Anglo Saxons, spanned from the early 5th century to the Norman Conquest in 1066. 

During the Anglo Saxon era, Northumberland flourished under the reign of King Edwin. 

Edwin's reign saw the expansion of Northumbria's influence and the embrace of Christianity, making it a pivotal chapter in the region's history.

The Significance of the Historical Site of Gefrin

Ad Gefrin is inspired by the nearby historical site of Gefrin, also known as Yeavering.

This ancient settlement was once the royal palace of the Anglo Saxon King Edwin of Northumbria and his queen Aethelburga, who reigned from 616 to 633 AD. 

Edwin's reign is thought of to many as the pinnacle of Northumberland's Golden Age, a time of peace, prosperity, and cultural flourishing.

Gefrin served as a centre focus for the rich culture of the Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon court. The royal palace hosted guests from far and wide, travelling from North Africa, Europe and Scandinavia to be a part of celebrations held at Gefrin, experiencing the warm and generous hospitality of Northumberland. 

The royal stories of Anglo Saxon Kings and Queens were captured in the writings of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People in AD 731, sharing tales of the hospitality of Edwin when he resided with his queen and guests at the royal palace of Gefrin. 

Archaeological Excavations at Gefrin

In 1949 a remarkable discovery emerged at Gefrin. Archaeologist Brian Hope-Taylor undertook a groundbreaking excavation from 1953 to1962, unearthing an extensive and complex structure of timber halls, an extraordinary wooden grandstand and support structures. This archaeological find catapulted Gefrin into the spotlight as one of the most pivotal archaeological sites of the 20th Century.

The archaeological site remains to this day an important site, preserved and managed by The Gefrin Trust. In partnership with The Gefrin Trust, Ad Gefrin works to shine a light on the importance of the archaeological site of Gefrin, as well as the rich culture and heritage of the Golden Age of Northumberland through our experience.

Learn About Northumberland’s Golden Age 

Our experience here at Ad Gefrin celebrates the history and shares the stories of Northumberland’s Golden Age. 

Our visitors can discover an immersive experience, starting the story with our great hall, where AV museum interpretation invites you into the heart of Anglo-Saxon Northumberland’s royal court. 

Discover our recreation of the Great Hall of the royal palace, where you can hear about the lives and stories of key characters from the past, bringing this rich, and largely untold, period of our history to life.

Visitors can explore our museum’s collections, with artefacts of national importance providing insights into what life was like in the Anglo-Saxon period. Our collection includes special artefacts such as the Castle Eden Claw Beaker, from the British Museum’s early medieval collections, as well as the Great Square Headed Brooch and Shield Boss loaned from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Discover Ad Gefrin

Discover Ad Gefrin, an immersive experience that allows you to learn about the rich history and culture of Anglo Saxon Northumberland, with captivating tales of the royal court of nearby Gefrin and an extraordinary collection of artefacts for you to enjoy as part of our museum and collections experience. 

As you step inside, you'll be transported back in time, experiencing the warm hospitality of the region and all that it has to offer with our experience.

Book your ticket online and discover for yourself Ad Gefrin’s Great Hall, museum and collections as part of your visit.  

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