Anglo-Saxon Farm and Village
Discover why farming was so important in daily Anglo-Saxon life. Home to curly-coated pigs, Dexter bullocks, sheep, goats, ducks, chickens and more, our farm houses rare breed and rescued individuals which are representatives of the kinds of animals that would have been present 1300 years ago.
Generally smaller than those we see today, these breeds give a feel for what animals would have been like during Bede’s time. Anglo-Saxons used the bird species for their meat, feathers and eggs, cattle would have worked daily on farms to pull ploughs or carts, while sheep were kept mainly for their wool which was spun and woven into cloth.
Today, our animals are not used for their bodies and live out their days - often to ripe old age - on our safe and comfortable site. We're embarking on a mission to develop an animal sanctuary while enhancing the story we tell about how the Anglo-Saxons lived with animals. Donations support essential improvements for our residents.
The farm is complemented by a number of experimental replica wattle-and-daub and timber-framed buildings based on structures excavated within Anglo-Saxon Northumbria; Thirlings Hall represents a great space where everyone gathered for feasts and meetings, the Monastic Workshop built for praying and reading, and the Grubenhaus, which fulfilled various functions including a grain store, weaving shed or sleeping accommodation.