The Golden Age of Northumbria was a Heritage Lottery funded project run by Berwick History Society in 2008 and 2009 to celebrate the Anglo-Saxon and early Christian heritage of North Northumberland.
The area we now know as Northumberland once lay at the heart of Northumbria, the most powerful kingdom in Anglo-Saxon Britain, stretching from the Humber to Fife in Scotland.
The period from the beginning of the 7th to the end of the 8th century AD s often called the “Golden Age of Northumbria”, When art, culture and learning flourished under a succession of Northumbrian kings, who ruled from their coastal fortress at Bamburgh and royal estates in the shadow of the Cheviot Hills.
Monks from the Holy island of Lindisfarne spread Christianity throughout Britain and beyond and created works of art such as the Lndisfarne Gospels The events of the time were recorded by the Northumbrian monk Bede, who wrote the first history of the English Church and People.
In 793AD,Lindisfarne suffered the first recorded raid on English soil, signalling the end of the Golden Age.
This special period of our region’s history was celebrated by a year-long Festival organised by Derek Sharman and Time to Explore, for Berwick History Society.
Local community groups, archaeological projects, churches, schools and historical re-enactors brought to life the stories of saints, kings and common people, and encouraged local people and visitors to explore the wild landscapes and historic sites associated with the Golden Age of Northumbria.
The activities and events were themed around the characters and lives of some of Northumbria’s best-loved saints including: