The Gefrin Trust Logo

Just outside the eastern entrance to what Brian Hope-Taylor believed to have been Edwin’s Great Hall, lay a grave containing the faintest trace of a skeleton buried on its back.

Also in the grave lay a goat skull and the remains of a sectional wooden staff with an iron spike at the base.

The staff was surmounted with what appears to have been a wooden goat-like animal effigy with bronze fittings.

Yeavering and Gefrin are names with a common root. They both identify the site as ‘the hill of the goats’. Hope-Taylor here literally unearths a real, tangible link between the past and where we stand now.

Of such a standard Bede wrote:

“So great was his (Edwin’s) majesty… he always used to be preceded by his standard bearer. Further, when he walked anywhere along the roads, there used to be carried before him the type of standard which the Romans call ‘tufa’ and the English call a ‘thuf.”

The Gefrin Trust adopted a stylised representation of the head piece of the standard discovered by Hope-Taylor in grave A-X, honouring Bede’s account of Edwin’s standard and using the still-powerful symbol to announce the Trust’s intentions for the site.

A reconstruction of the standard, created for our travelling exhibition, can be seen in the photograph here.