Superimposition of the point cloud of St Pauls in Jarrow obtained from 3D terrestrial laser scanning on the data from the excavations directed by Professor Rosemary Cramp.
Laser scanning surveys: Alex Turner & Sam Turner, 2005, 2015.

Although nowadays one might have the impression that the architecture of St Paul is quite simple and coherent in its forms, a closer look reveals immediately the complex chronology and sophistication of the surviving buildings. The main features and transformations of the site over the centuries are provided by structural analysis, excavations, and non-invasive fieldworks.

Two early medieval long and tall churches aligned along their axis were later joined by a structure that will become the current bell tower. The early medieval monastery was formed by two main buildings to the south of the churches, later substituted by a medieval cloister. The early medieval remains of the west church were replaced by the Victorian nave and side aisle, while the east church still survives as a chancel. Written sources indicate that the architects and craftsmen who built St Paul and decorated it with coloured glass in the 7th century were hired from Gaul. Recent analyses reveal that the entirety of the early medieval masonry is virtually constituted by reused Roman stonework, in all probability coming from the Roman fort of Arbeia in South Shields, which is within sight of the site.

Among what have been recognised as the earliest features of St Paul, there are the three small windows that are opened in the southern wall of the chancel. One of them has been recently closed by the early medieval coloured glass that was found during the archaeological excavations of the monastery.

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