12th Century crypt in Bamburgh is opening to the public

A series of events are taking place to celebrate the opening of the crypt at St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh, to the public.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 4:45 pm
The Bamburgh crypt.
The Bamburgh crypt.

Hosted by the Accessing Aidan Project Team and the Parochial Church Council of St Aidan’s, the official opening of the crypt, by the Right Reverend Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle, will take place on Thursday, November 21 at 6.30pm (gather from 6pm).

This will be followed by a blessing of the crypt and reception in the church. All are very welcome to attend.

Guests will have the chance to view the beautiful 12th Century crypt now the interpretation and access have been installed, as well as see the new interpretation at the rear of the church.

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The grille at St Aidan's crypt.

There will be an opportunity to learn more about the £355,600 National Lottery Heritage Grant funded Bamburgh Bones project and find out about a variety of volunteering opportunities.

The ambition of Bamburgh Bones is to use projection and interactive technology to tell the fabulous story of Bamburgh. The central message of the interpretation will concentrate on the Bowl Hole Ossuary, created in 2016 in the small second crypt.

This is the last resting place of the people who lived in Bamburgh 1,400 years ago, when it was the cosmopolitan centre of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria.

There are two other events supporting the opening of the crypt.

The first of these is a secular celebration from comedian and archaeologist Paul Duncan McGarrity - “A Practical Guide to Attacking a Castle”. Paul will be appearing at the Bamburgh Pavilion on Saturday, November 16 from 7pm. Entry is free but donations to ‘Bamburgh Bones’ are most welcome. Places can be booked via the Eventbrite website (searching ‘Bamburgh’). There is an age guidance of 11+ as there is some strong language.

Graeme Young from Bamburgh Research Project will also be on hand to explain the amazing Anglo-Saxon heritage of Bamburgh and the lives of the 110 individuals now laid to rest in ossuary boxes in the second crypt. This event is on Monday, November 18, 11am-3pm. Residents from the village are invited to come along for a lovely coffee from the Coffee Guru Company, a slice of cake and a sneak preview of the crypt.