Tyne and Wear HER(14650): Jarrow, Church Bank, ditch - Details
Jarrow, Church Bank, ditch
In 1989-90 Tyne and Wear Museums carried out a series of archaeological excavations on the site of a post-war Shell Oil depot. This land is now part of the Bede's World site and lies north of Old Jarrow Hall. In one of the excavation areas a complex of large re-cut ditches were recorded. The ditches were several metres wide. A 80m length of the ditch lay within the excavation area. The fill contained 12th to 14th century pottery. The ditches were replaced by a stone wall with facing stones facing the river and a possible turf bank to the rear. There was evidence of a possible stock enclosure attached to the landward side. Speak suggested that the ditch could represent the vallum of the Saxon monastery, which had been reduced in the medieval period to a low rubble bank or silted-up ditch. The ditch lay 325m north of the monastery and could have formed an enclosure around the monastery in the bend of the River Don. Few other monastic valla are recorded (Whitby has been suggested) but a 13 feet wide foundation found 18m north-east of St. Paul's by Radford in 1954 was interpreted as part of a vallum.
CAR Radford, 1954, St. Paul's Church, Jarrow, Archaeological Journal, 1955, CXI, pp 203-209; S. Speak, Tyne and Wear Museums Service, 1991, Excavations at Church Bank, Jarrow; Medieval Settlement Research Group, 1990, Annual Report 5