The Golden Age of Northumbria Festival - Introduction

The Golden Age of Northumbria project aimed to stimulate local pride, celebrate and raise awareness of the unique Anglo-Saxon and early Christian heritage of north Northumberland.

The area once lay at the heart of Northumbria, the most powerful kingdom in Anglo-Saxon Britain, which stretched from the Humber to Fife in Scotland.

The period from the beginning of the 7th to the end of the 8th century AD is often called the Golden Age of Northumbria. 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 Lindisfarne spread Christianity throughout Britain and beyond and created works of art like the Lindisfarne 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 AD 731. 

In AD 793, Lindisfarne suffered the first recorded Viking raid on English soil, signalling the end of the Golden Age. 

The Golden Age of Northumbria project was organised and presented by over 480 volunteers from a wide variety of archaeological projects, churches, schools, historical re-enactors and local community groups, led by Berwick History Society.

The Golden Age of Northumbria project was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.