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Jarrow, plan & elevation, October 1769

Another of Durham’s dependant priories was Jarrow. Its medieval incarnation as little more than a monastic cell was in sad contrast to its former Saxon glory as a major monastic centre in its own right. At that time the priories of Jarrow and Monkwearmouth housed six hundred monks between them. Famed as the home of the Venerable Bede, the Saxon scholar and historian, Jarrow has a pair of 7th-century churches linked by an early Norman tower.

This anonymous drawing, dated October 1769, shows the two churches in section and plan – a priceless architectural record of the larger western church, which served as the nave of medieval priory church, and subsequently as the parish church, but was rebuilt twice, in 1782 and 1866.

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