Bamburgh Heritage Trust has been awarded more than £40,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund - but it could lead to a whopping £400,000 grant in due course.
Its Accessing Aidan project aims to develop the crypt of St. Aidan’s Church into a beautiful community and interpretation space telling the unique story of the village.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, Bamburgh Heritage Trust (BHT) has been awarded initial support for a £399,300 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and development funding of £43,800 to progress the plans and apply for the full grant at a later date.
The central message will concentrate on the Bowl Hole Ossuary, created last year in the small second crypt by BHT. The crypt is the last resting place of the people who live in Bamburgh 1,400 years ago, when Bamburgh was the cosmopolitan centre of the Golden Age of Northumbria.
Just like today, people lived and worked in the spectacular coastal village or travelled from far and wide to visit and enjoy its treasures.
Over the next eight months BHT will work to develop its vision into a deliverable project.
It is the ambition of the Trust to use projection and interactive technology to tell the fabulous story of Bamburgh as well as create a 21st century digital ossuary that will make the wealth of osteological data recovered from the early Anglo-Saxon Bowl Hole cemetery available to the public for the first time.
Sam Morton, BHT chairman said: “We are thrilled with our National Lottery award, this will enable us to showcase Bamburgh’s fantastic heritage in an innovative and exciting way.
“We will be working in partnership with Bamburgh Research Project, Durham University, Bamburgh Castle and St. Aidan’s Church to provide amazing insight into the lives of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors.”
Rev Canon Brian Hurst added: “It is a wonderful opportunity to reopen the beautiful 12th century crypt to the public once again. Not only will we celebrate St. Aidan and his Anglo-Saxon brothers and sisters but also tell the remarkable story of the Forsters whose memorials are in the crypt.”
Ivor Crowther, head of HLF North East, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re pleased to support plans to transform access to Bamburgh’s Anglo Saxon heritage and story as the heart of the Golden Age of Northumbria.
“With crucial support from volunteers and partnerships, the project will use 21st century techniques to reveal the secrets of a centuries old story for even more people to enjoy. We look forward to seeing the plans develop.”