The eagle eyed visitors who have braved the weather over the past couple of weeks will have noticed we have some new additions to the play space at Jarrow Hall.

We have two new sculptures inspired by the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf poem carved by Tommy Craggs Tree Sculpting. The featured image is the carving of Grendel who is one of Beowulf’s enemies. In the poem the hero Beowulf removes Grendal’s arm and he nails it to the Mead Hall rafters, this is depicted in the second sculpture, along with another of the poems bad guys, the dragon.

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We are planning for this to be part of a wider site trail that will bring the epic poem to life, a carving of the warrior Beowulf himself will follow in Spring!

In spring 2020, some of our staff and Green Gym Volunteers joined Ruth from Sylvan Skills to create a willow enclosure and arch feature for the play space. The volunteers loved working alongside Ruth and her team, and both our staff and the volunteers learned new skills which will be put to good use this winter as we prepare the site for reopening in February 2021.

The other new addition is a great new climbing monolith created by Rockworks Climbing. It is styled on a similar cup and ring marked standing stone in Northumberland. A safety base has been applied to the ground beneath so children can enjoy climbing it. When spring arrives the grass will cover the matting and ground the feature into its surroundings.

This project has been made possible by an award from People’s Postcode Trust, a grant giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We are delighted that the trust have supported us to add these amazing features to our beautiful site.

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We have more plans to improve the play space for our visitors in the New Year so watch this space!