Screen Shot 08-28-23 at 10.52 PM

This September marks the second season of excavations by the Gefrin Trust taking place on one of the most significant sites in early Northumbrian history – the Anglo-Saxon royal palace and township of Ad Gefrin. Free guided, on-site visits are being organised by Ad Gefrin Museum & Distillery.


Built entirely of timber, this royal township is mentioned by Bede in 735AD as the royal township of the powerful early Anglo-Saxon ruler, King Edwin, but the site was then lost until its rediscovery from the air in 1949. Excavation by Brian Hope-Taylor in the 1950’s revealed a later 6th-early 7th century centre of royal administration, with royal halls, service buildings and a grandstand for large public assemblies.


Directed by Sarah Semple, Tudor Skinner, Roger Miket and Brian Buchanan on behalf of the Gefrin Trust and Durham University, the team with a small group of students will be excavating to the north of the royal palace buildings and examining the outer palisade trench of the large enclosure at the eastern end of the site.


The excavation team is a small one and the close, intensive work ongoing daily will be slow and demanding. For this reason, the excavation site itself will be closed to casual visitors, and Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum & Distillery have arranged for a series of free guided on-site visits to be available at the following times through pre-booking.


1 hour tours will take place every day at 3pm, Wednesday – Monday (inclusive).

Tickets are only available through pre-booking via Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum & Distillery and must be pre-booked by calling 01668 281554.

There will also be a limited number of tickets available on the day.

Further details are available via the website: or via