Jarrow Hall and Anglo-Saxon Re-enactments

This is an advertisement based on a press visit in 2020. Any subsequent shares of this post have not been asked or paid for. 

Jarrow Hall is a Anglo-Saxon Village and Farm in South Tyneside, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Tyne Tunnel / A19. Admission is super reasonable and if you buy a ticket now, your ticket will provide you with unlimited entry throughout the year which provides very good value. 

Spring at Jarrow Hall 

Jarrow Hall Farm & Village re-opens on 13 April 2021. Visits must be pre-booked online. Your ticket provides you with unlimited entry throughout the year but for the moment, you still need to book a time slot. Once you have entered, you can stay as long as you like. 

Toilets are open.

The Hive Coffee Company is open with outdoor seating, pre-order if you can (see here for menus/info) although they will try and accommodate.

Dogs cannot be brought on site at the moment and birds are currently being kept away from public areas due to avian flu. 

At the moment, an annual pass is £7 per adult, £4 per child/concession and under 4s/carers go free. 

April 2021 Events 

  • 13 April - 30 June  : Anglo-Saxon Farming Exhibition and Children's Trail (ask for a trail sheet on arrival). 
  • 17 - 18 April : Acle Re-enactors groups bringing Anglo-Saxon life back to the replica village (scroll down this post for a bit of an idea of what to expect. 

This blog post is based on a visit in August 2020 with tweens and teens. I think Jarrow Hall is perfect for all ages though and you can read about a trip with toddlers here (although things are a little different now thanks to COVID). Most of Jarrow Hall is suitable for pushchair / wheelchairs (see here for their accessibility statement) and dogs are welcome on leads. 

At the moment, all tickets should be pre-booked online ahead of your visit, including annual pass holders. Tickets are released every Friday for the following week. You are welcome to stay as long as you like until closing at 4pm. Click here to purchase tickets/check prices. 

I was really impressed with the COVID-19 safety measures in place. These include hand sanitiser, limited numbers, most of the attraction being outdoors, admission staff wearing PPE, one way systems in place when required and extra hand washing facilities. At the moment, face coverings are required inside museums. 

Most of Jarrow Hall’s indoor areas are closed at the moment so you only really need to wear a face covering at the entrance, if you visit the Writings on the Wall exhibition and if you enter the Hive Coffee Shop building. 

We were welcomed at the entrance by a lovely member of staff who reminded us to socially distance, asked us to sanitise our hands, provided us with animal feed and a map and went through the changed and how to access the toilets (which were open).

Picnic Area & Natural Play

You are welcome to bring your own picnic and there are plenty of seats near the entrance. You can also enjoy the small natural play area - my three (and Steve) enjoyed balancing on the logs and climbing aboard a replica Viking Ship. 

Farm Animals to Meet & Feed

Farming played an important role in Anglo-Saxon life and wandering around the farm has been designed to replicate what a farm might have been like 1300 years ago. Expect lots of rare breeds including pigs, goats, bullocks, Ponies, sheep, geese and ducks.

For those who are interested, the Farm animals here are not used for their bodies and live out all of their days here. 

Honestly, animals bring our family so much joy and we absolutely loved interacting with the animals here. We laughed as the pigs grunted and scratched their backs and are pretty sure we caught some goats doing yoga. The chickens were so funny as they scratched about our feet for seed and the sheep were as greedy as ever. 

During the pandemic, it is best practice not to hand feed animals but you can scatter the feed into their fields and they will come right up to the fence. Hand washing stations are available. 

Children should be supervised - some animals may bite and it is important to not feed the ponies as it can can make them poorly. You can walk around the farm animals as much as you like. Because there are a few rare breeds here, they are a little different and quirkier than your typical farm animals. 

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Anglo-Saxon Village & Re-Enactments 

The Anglo-Saxon Village is a permanent feature and I am sure many of your kids will have enjoyed a school trip here. You can wander in and out of the various huts, read the information signs and discover what like was like in Anglo-Saxon times. The village really brings history to life. 

Sometimes as an extra special treat, there are re-enactments on site too. Over August Bank Holiday Weekend (Sat-Mon), Acle Early Medieval Reenactment Group have taken over the village. I have heard a few rumours that they may be back for October Half Term too. Keep an eye on Jarrow Hall’s Social Media  for updates. 

The Re-enactments are included with admission. We absolutely love this kind of thing and it is a good opportunity for both kids and adults to learn more about history. 

We spent ages chatting with the villagers and they had the kids captivated - especially the gruesome tales of how axes may have been used in battle. 

You are free to walk around the village, watch traditional crafts and chat with the experts. It is a bit of a feast for the senses, we could feel the heat from the bread over, smell the yeast, listen to the sounds of battle and even managed to touch some beautiful silk. 

Our first stop in the village was the bread maker. We learned the traditional method for making bread and how it can be a little bit of trial and error to get the temperature just right. Bread was made alongside ale and we were able to have a peek at the dough too. If we had been an hour later, we would have been able to see the bread fresh from the oven too. 

Then it was over to the traditional craft area where two ladies shared stories of how beautiful silk robes were created using silk from silkworms. You can see a real life version in Durham Cathedral. We loved seeing a real silkworm and cannot imagine how much time and effort must have gone into creating some of the elaborate robes. I just would not have the patience. 

Our final (and probably favourite) stop around the village was at the weapon area. There are swords and shields for kids to try their own moves and if you ask nicely, you can try the proper spears, helmets and shields too. 

We listened to how Anglo-Saxon battles were fought and it was actually a lot different to how I imagined. There were a few demos and it ended with a kind of Horrible Histories vibe as the kids asked for gruesome stories of how axes were used in battle. 

I like it when we learn something from a day out and I definitely left a little wiser today. In Northumberland (and probably most of the UK), Anglo-Saxons is part of the curriculum in Year 4 and 7. 

There isn’t much inside at the moment but a lovely gent asked the kids if they would like their names to be written in the style of 2000 years ago. Who were we to decline an offer like this? It is free and something nice for the kids to take home and remember their day. 

Writing On The Wall Exhibition 

The Writing On The Wall Exhibition is the main indoor area at the moment. The exhibition is a collection of Northumberland Calligraphy and is on display until 3 October. I have been dying to visit a gallery and although small, I was just pleased to see something like this. Due to limited numbers, we were the only ones in the space and a one way system was in operation. 

Hive Coffee Company 

Jarrow Hall shares a site with Hive Coffee Company. With things constantly changing at the moment, it is best to check their Facebook page for up-to-date opening hours, procedures and menus. 

It has a bit of a cult following with locals - they serve delicious salads, homemade cakes, snacks and drinks. On the day of our visit, only outdoor seating was available. We just rocked up and ordered cakes and drinks but I was jealous of those who had pre-ordered and simply popped their head around the door to collect their bag of treats and coffees. 

On a sunny day, I bet it is busy here and reserving a table is recommended. As we visited on a day where the weather wasn’t the best and towards closing, we had our pick of the tables. It was a lovely way to end our day, the outdoor area is a lovely setting. 

Herb Garden

Don’t miss the herb garden - free to visit and just at the bottom of Hive Coffee Company’s seating area. There is a link to the Anglo-Saxons with info sharing which herbs they would have grown. I don’t know this is weird but as a family we are a little obsessed with smelling rosemary - I can confirm the rosemary at Jarrow Hall smells lush. 

We spent 2 hours at Jarrow Hall. We had a brilliant time despite the not-so-great weather. Jarrow Hall is accessible via public transport & there is a large free car park opposite the site (see here for details).

For me, it has all of the ingredients for a fantastic half day out and it is suitable for all ages. The mix of animals and history is a good one and the admission cost is very reasonable, especially if you use your ticket to re-visit later in the year. 

Tickets for all visits should be pre-booked online at the moment. If you fancy the Re-enactments this Sunday / Monday, I would book asap as numbers are limited. 

Find out more and book tickets here: https://www.jarrowhall.org.uk/

If you wish to make a day of it, Jarrow Hall is not far from South Shields and there is lots to see and do in the seaside town. 

Please remember social distancing guidelines, do not visit if you are feeling unwell, take all of your litter home, follow local lockdown rules, remember a face covering and take all of your rubbish home. 

Let me know if you fancy a visit. 


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