Creative Calligraphy scribes hand over Monk Cell artwork

My team of scribes have handed over an impressive selection of calligraphy samples to be used in a new attraction at Jarrow Hall.

The Anglo-Saxon farm, village and Bede Museum is creating a Monk Cell as part of site-wide renovations funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Volunteers have been trained in a variety of heritage skills, including calligraphy.

My weekly groups have contributed to the work by creating a variety of finished and ‘work in progress’ pieces that will be displayed in the Monk Cell.

They have now been presented to Molly Wyatt, cultural learning and participation officer at Jarrow Hall, who gave both groups a guided tour of the site and explained more about the plans for the Monk Cell.

Creating an authentic Monk Cell at Jarrow Hall

The look and feel of the Monk Cell has been inspired by an image of Ezra in the famous Codex Amiatinus, a facsimile of which resides in the museum at Jarrow Hall.

Molly affectionately compares it a ‘student dorm room’ as the only furniture will be a bed and a desk, with a raised writing table and foot rest.

The calligraphy, which features uncial script, illuminated letters and Celtic knotwork, will be spread out on the desk and around the room.

Molly said: “With this beautiful artwork we’re another step closer to bringing the Monk Cell to life. The artwork is incredible – a true testament to the groups.”

Jarrow Hall celebrates the life and time of The Venerable Bede, a monk, author and scholar who lived in the twin monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow in the early middle ages.

The museum first opened in 1993, which means the reconstructed buildings are now over 30 years old and showing signs of wear and tear.

Extensive improvements have been carried out at the site, however, since it was taken over by Groundwork South and North Tyneside in 2016.

The reconstructed Monk Cell is based on archaeological excavations carried out in the 1980s at a monastic site in Hartlepool.

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