Famous Names in North East England

| 25 April 1999

St Aidan brought the Christian Gospel to Northumbria in 635, and with hissuccessors St Cuthbert and St Bede, the region became a centre of learning. DuringTudor times, the Border became almost a separate state with its own laws to controlconstant unrest between the English and the Scots. The direct ancestors of AmericanPresident George Washington lived at Washington Old Hall. Thomas Bewick,Captain Cook and Lord Armstrong are famous for wood engraving, exploration andinventions.

St Aidan brought the Christian Gospel to Northumbria in 635, and with hissuccessors St Cuthbert and St Bede, the region became a centre of learning. DuringTudor times, the Border became almost a separate state with its own laws to controlconstant unrest between the English and the Scots. The direct ancestors of American President, George Washington, lived at Washington Old Hall. Thomas Bewick, Captain Cook and Lord Armstrong are famous for wood engraving, exploration and inventions.

One of the holiest sites of Anglo-Saxon England, St Aidan founded a monastery at Lindisfarnewhen he brought Christianity to North East England in 635. The famous Lindisfarne Gospelsoriginated here. Now in the British Library, these are unique illuminated manuscripts with complexand colourful designs. Award winning site museum.

The tombs of St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede are at DurhamCathedral. The Treasury containsrelics of St Cuthbert, embroidered vestments, the 11th century sanctuary knocker, manuscripts, altarplate and seals. The Cathedral is a World Heritage Site, noted for its striking Norman architecture.

Bede (673-735) was one of Europe’s greatest scholars.Bedes World explores his life andachievements. You can see St Paul’s Church and Monastic Site, exhibits about earlyNorthumberland and the monasteries in the new museum, and a recreated Anglo-Saxon farm withrare breeds and replica buildings.

Meet the colourful and violent Border families of the 15th and 16thcenturies. The Border History Museum displays in the Old Gaol introduce the Wardens who tried to control the Border Reiverswho crossed the border to steal cattle and sheep, burn, pillage and collect their “blackmail” from thefamilies who lived under their protection.

Washington Old Hall, a small 17th century Manor House, includes the 12th century remains of thehome of George Washington’s direct ancestors. It was from here that they adopted their surnameWashington.

James Cook the explorer was born at Marton, Middlesbrough, in 1728. The museum describes hislife and times, and his 3 epic voyages to Australia, the Antarctic and the Bering Sea. There is acollection of ethnography from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Canada.

Thomas Bewick, Northumbria’s greatest artist, wood engraver and naturalist, was born atCherryburn in 1753. Alongside exhibitions of his work and life, there are demonstrations of woodengraving, printing and bookbinding.

Cragside, the Victorian mansion built for the 1st Lord Armstrong, is a showcase of Victorian art,architecture and technology. Lord Armstrong made his fortune in engineering and used manyinnovations at Cragside; the house was the first in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity, whichwas produced on the estate.