Brian Hope-Taylor’s Excavations on Yeavering Bell

Author: Roger Miket 

We would like to thank the Newcastle upon Tyne Society of Antiquaries for granting us permission to add this article to our on line publications.

From Archaeologia Aeliana Series 5 Vol.42. 2013, pp133-160.
Copyright Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

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Rediscovering the Landscape of the Northumbrian Kings

Authors: Roger Miket and Sarah Semple
ISBN: 987-1-873402-29-5

Through the kind support of Historic England, Northumberland National Park and Northumberland County Council, the Gefrin Trust produced a travelling exhibition on Yeavering. A booklet was produced to accompany the exhibition, here available as a PDF file.

Published by Northumberland County Council

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Yeavering: an Anglo-British Centre of Early Northumbria.

Yeavering cover page068.jpg

Author: Hope-Taylor, B.K. 1977 
London HMSO.

Brian Hope-Taylor’s report on his excavations, ‘Yeavering; An Anglo-British Centre of Early Northumbria’ is today a difficult to access and a rarity in the sale catalogues of antiquarian booksellers.

The Gefrin Trust has been fortunate in securing the rights from HMSO to offer here access to the full published text and illustrations as a PDF file.

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  View and Download A3 Foldout Pages (2.9MB)

Ad Gefrin: A Handlist of Site Finds and their Records.



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The dating and significance of the buckle loop from Yeavering

Martin G Welch

In this article Martin Welch provides a more detailed biography for the inlaid iron buckle loop found in the demolition of the Great Enclosure, showing it to have been a Frankish import dateable to between c. 570-80 and c. 630-40 AD.

This, together with the gold washed copper alloy copy of a Merovingian gold triens probably struck in the 630s or 640s.fits well with the historical evidence of Bede for contact between Northumbria and Kent in the reign of Edwin. 

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Yeavering Bell Leaflet

As part of their 'Hillforts Project', 'the Northumberland National Park produced a series of excellent descriptive leaflets on hillforts in the Park.

Now out of print, the Northumberland National Park have allowed us to offer here that on Yeavering Bell and the 6th-7th century AD settlement, together with their useful Teaching Pack on the hillfort and Anglo-British seettlement which you can find below.

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The Lost Palace

Produced by the Northumberland National Park this is a four part shared text for the literacy hour. A glossary of archaeological terms is included.

What the Goats Saw - Generations of goats have lived on Yeavering Bell for thousands of years. This is their view of the story.

Bede and Beowulf - Real life accounts of what life was like at Yeavering in the millennium before last.

How the Palace was Found - A non-fiction account of the discovery of the Ad Grfin palace.

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Medieval Archaeology

In a section devoted to recording the latest medieval discoveries in the very first volume of the newly established Society for Medieval Archaeology, readers were understandably amazed to read Brian Hope-Taylor’s  Excavation Summary of work carried out at Yeavering between 1953 and 1956 and of the remarkable discoveries then being made in a small field in north Northumberland.

The impact of this brief summary derives not only from the quality of the archaeology, the product of technical skill, but also by revealing the extent to which Brian Hope-Taylor’s thinking had evolved within the brief span of three years since beginning excavations. It demonstrates that by 1956 many of the major themes that were not to appear more publicly in more developed form until over twenty years later had already formulated in his mind. In particular, the major structural sequences, the evolution of architectural styles, and archaeology’s close ‘shadowing’ of the historical texts, in which it was asserted that individual structures tangible to the trowel were both raised and razed by powerful historical figures.  

In the light of subsequent statements some modification of thought is also evident. As for example a belief that the Great Enclosure was of late 6th century date and the starling assertion that, ‘one building of more primitive type is interpreted as a native servants house’ (surely the round-house established on the site of D3 following its demolition). The degree to which Ecgfrith’s defeat at Nechtansmere might have been directly responsible for the abandonment of the site is also more lightly stressed in the final report on the site.

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  View and Download Medieval Archaeology 24 265-270 (0.5MB)

  View and Download Medieval Archaeology 25 150-153 (0.3MB)

  View and Download Medieval Archaeology 35, 1-5 (2.0MB)

  View and Download MedievalArchaeology 35, 29-43 (5.0MB)

  View and DownloadMedieval Archaeology 35, 44-50 (2.5MB)

  View and Download Medieval Archaeology 35, 51-63 (4.0MB)

  View and Download Medieval Archaeology 35, 6-28 (9.8MB)