Moll Aiello

Moll Aiello

Modified & Updated: 11 Oct 2023


Saint Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, located in the beautiful North East England, is a hidden gem rich with history and significance. This extraordinary landmark holds a special place in the hearts of historians, archaeologists, and religious enthusiasts alike. With its origins dating back to the 7th century, it is one of the oldest monastic sites in the country. Saint Paul’s Monastery witnessed the scholarly pursuits of the Venerable Bede, one of Britain’s early intellectuals who made significant contributions to theology, history, and science. The monastery’s historical significance extends beyond its connection to Bede. It played a crucial role in preserving and promoting Christianity during a tumultuous period in England’s history. Today, visitors can explore the remains of this iconic structure and immerse themselves in the captivating stories of the past. Let’s delve into the extraordinary facts that make Saint Paul’s Monastery a must-visit destination.

Table of Contents

Saint Paul’s Monastery has a rich history dating back to the 7th century.

Founded in 681 AD, Saint Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, England, holds a significant place in the religious and cultural heritage of the region. It was established by Benedict Biscop, a nobleman and monk, with the purpose of spreading Christianity and fostering learning.

The monastery was home to the Venerable Bede, a renowned scholar and historian.

Venerable Bede, also known as Saint Bede, lived and worked at Saint Paul’s Monastery in the 8th century. He is credited with writing the influential “Ecclesiastical History of the English People,” which provides valuable insights into the early history of England.

Saint Paul’s Monastery was a center of learning and intellectual activity.

The monastery boasted an impressive library that housed numerous manuscripts and texts. Monks at Jarrow engaged in the study of theology, science, philosophy, and other disciplines, contributing to the preservation and advancement of knowledge during the Dark Ages.

The Codex Amiatinus, one of the oldest surviving complete Bibles, was produced at the monastery.

This remarkable Bible, which dates back to the early 8th century, is written in Latin and contains the complete Old and New Testaments. It is now preserved in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence, Italy.

Saint Paul’s Monastery was a hub for book production and illumination.

The monks at Jarrow were skilled scribes and illuminators, known for their precise handwriting and intricate artwork. They produced numerous beautifully illuminated manuscripts, showcasing their talent and dedication to preserving important texts.

The monastery’s scriptorium was a bustling center for copying and creating books.

At the scriptorium, monks meticulously copied and illustrated religious texts, classical works, and scientific treatises. These copies played a crucial role in transmitting knowledge throughout the medieval period and beyond.

The monastery had its own farm and gardens for self-sustainability.

To support the needs of the community, Saint Paul’s Monastery maintained agricultural lands and cultivated gardens. The monks grew crops, raised livestock, and tended to orchards, ensuring a self-sustaining environment.

Saint Paul’s Monastery suffered Viking raids and subsequent decline.

During the turbulent Viking Age, the monastery faced multiple attacks, resulting in destruction and decline. The raids disrupted the peaceful existence of the monastic community and led to the loss of valuable treasures and manuscripts.

Restoration efforts revived the monastery in the 19th century.

After centuries of abandonment and neglect, Saint Paul’s Monastery was restored and revived in the 19th century. Today, it stands as a testament to the resilience of heritage and serves as a place of historical and spiritual significance.

The monastery is a designated World Heritage Site and attracts visitors from around the globe.

In recognition of its historical importance, Saint Paul’s Monastery, along with nearby Saint Peter’s Church, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. People from all over the world visit this remarkable site to explore its ancient ruins and learn about its fascinating past.

The legacy of Saint Paul’s Monastery lives on in the modern world.

Through its contributions to knowledge, scholarship, and spirituality, Saint Paul’s Monastery has left an indelible mark on history. Its influence can be seen in the preservation of ancient texts, the pursuit of learning, and the continuation of the Christian faith.

As we delve into the 11 extraordinary facts about Saint Paul’s Monastery, Jarrow, we uncover a treasure trove of historical and cultural significance. From its role as a center of learning to the production of ancient manuscripts, the monastery’s legacy continues to inspire and captivate visitors from far and wide.


Saint Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow is undeniably a remarkable landmark that showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of the region. With its fascinating historical significance, exquisite architecture, and serene surroundings, it is truly an extraordinary destination for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and those seeking moments of tranquility.

From the impressive remnants of the Anglo-Saxon monastery to the renowned Codex Amiatinus, Saint Paul’s Monastery offers a unique glimpse into the past. Its connection to the influential scholar Bede further adds to its allure.

Whether you are exploring the ancient library, admiring the beautiful stone carvings, or simply relishing the peaceful ambiance, a visit to Saint Paul’s Monastery is a memorable experience that highlights the rich legacy of the region.

So, whether you are a history enthusiast or simply looking for an extraordinary outing, make sure to add Saint Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow to your must-visit list!


1. What is the history behind Saint Paul’s Monastery?

The monastery was founded in the 7th century and played a significant role in the spread of Christianity in the region. It is also renowned for being the workplace of the celebrated scholar Bede.

2. Can visitors explore the library at Saint Paul’s Monastery?

Yes, visitors have the opportunity to explore the ancient library, which houses a collection of priceless books and manuscripts of historical significance.

3. Is there an entrance fee to visit Saint Paul’s Monastery?

No, Saint Paul’s Monastery has no entrance fee. It is open to the public, allowing everyone to delve into its history and marvel at its architecture free of charge.

4. Is photography allowed inside the monastery?

Yes, photography is generally allowed inside the monastery. However, it is advised to check with the staff for any specific restrictions or guidelines.

5. Are there guided tours available at Saint Paul’s Monastery?

Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to have a comprehensive understanding of the monastery’s history and its significance. These tours provide valuable insights and enrich the overall experience.