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Twin Monastery bids for World Heritage status

Jeremy Hunt said:

“The Twin Monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow looking out on to the North Sea coast, had a profound influence on learning in the Middle Ages and played a huge part in the emergence of European identity. The outstanding library and teaching assembled at Wearmouth-Jarrow by founder Benedict Biscop was unlike anything else available in its day and it became the primary intellectual centre of Western Europe.

“The Monastery’s cultural reputation owes much to the work of the well known scholar Bede a member of the community, born locally, whose writings helped establish England’s identity. Parts of the monastic churches that are still in use today date from Bede’s lifetime. I want to thank the bid partners across Sunderland and South Tyneside and all the people and organisations that have worked hard to develop the nomination document. I’m delighted to give the twin monastery my full support in its bid for World Heritage status and hope we are successful in securing another World Heritage Site in the UK.”

Chair of English Heritage Baroness Andrews said:

“The twin monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow is a milestone in the development of Christian Europe. Its physical remains provide a visible link between the past world of Classical antiquity and the coming world of the European Middle Ages and they are exceptional both in quality and quantity. Through the portal of Wearmouth and Jarrow, the skills and learning of late antiquity were not only translated to the northern limits of the civilised world, but were developed and exported back to Europe and beyond. English Heritage is proud to be part of this bid for World Heritage Status as custodian of St Paul’s Monastery, Jarrow, and as adviser to DCMS and the Wearmouth-Jarrow Partnership.”

Rt Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow and Wearmouth-Jarrow Partnership Chair, said:

“The submission of the Nomination of the Twin Monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow for inclusion on the World Heritage List is a massively significant milestone in more than a decade’s partnership working.   The organisations and communities responsible for this historic site have put an enormous amount of work in to seek recognition of Wearmouth-Jarrow as a World Heritage Site, to celebrate the vision and drive of its founder, Benedict Biscop. 

“He created a remarkable, forward-looking centre of learning, creativity and international cultural exchange.  The new architectural ideas and monastic plan he introduced can still be seen at the sites today, and through the legacy of Bede, his vision lives on.  On behalf of the Wearmouth-Jarrow Partnership, and the volunteers and communities who help look after the sites, I am delighted to celebrate the submission of the Nomination to commemorate this great cultural institution.”

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