Never before seen items owned by Anglo Saxon Kings and Queens from the British Museum and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust collections are returning to be displayed in Northumberland. An immersive experience will tell the story of the seventh century summer palace of Anglo Saxon Kings and Queens…
Words: Millie Sykes
The Great Hall of Ad Gefrin (Now known as Yeavering)
During the seventh century, Anglo Saxon Queens and Kings would spend their summers lounging around the extensive residence of Yeavering. It is the most thoroughly excavated Anglo-Saxon palace complex in Europe and tells many stories of the people who settled there and the intricacies of their lives. The site was discovered in 1949, excavated during the 1950s and 60s and is now managed and conserved by The Gefrin Trust.
Ad Gefrin Visitor Experience and Distillery
Ad Gefrin is a multi million pound remarkable experience, and whiskey distillery that will open its doors in February 2023 in Wooler, Northumberland.
This experience will exhibit unique and ancient Anglo Saxon objects that were found at the site of Ad Gefrin (Yeavering). The visitor experience will also recreate the Great Hall of the Royal Summer Palace of the seventh Century Northumbrian Anglo Saxon Kings and Queens. The Ad Gefrin experience will include a bistro, bar, tailored tours and tastings of Northumbria’s first English single malt whisky.
The objects have been chosen by Dr. Chris Ferguson, Director of the Visitor Experience at Ad Gefrin and Dr. Sue Brunning, Curator of European Early Medieval Collections at the British Museum.
A stunning square headed brooch and shield boss will be memorable items of the new visitor experience. The Castle Eden Claw Beaker will also be finding its way home to the North East after being kept in The British Museum for 32 years. The elaborate design reveals the importance that feasting had within their culture and it is one of the best surviving pieces of glass work from the Anglo Saxon period.
The Ferguson family
The Ferguson family have brought the idea to life through their own private donation in addition to funding from other Northern companies and groups. The whole Ferguson family envisioned creating this event in order to celebrate Northumbria’s rich history, bring people together and create a meaningful experience for visitors.
Dr. Chris Ferguson comments: “The return of those objects originating from Northumbria and the historical context provided by all of the loans will illuminate the intricate craftsmanship and richness of the culture to be found in the royal court at Yeavering –the jewellery, ceramics, weaponry and art on display were sumptuous – truly a ‘golden age of Northumbria.”