Period Anglo-Saxon
Building Type Experimental representation of an Auditorium space
Description This is inspired by Brian Hope-Taylor’s findings at Yeavering in north Northumberland of a timber-built, wedged-shaped feature. It is appropriate to refer to it as an auditorium, however the term Grandstand gives a clearer idea to the modern mind of the original structure. It was not intended or possible to create an accurate (re)construction of the Grandstand/Auditorium due to modern safety concerns as well as the sheer cost of timber but being a unique find it was interesting to explore how it might have worked as a space if realised using accurate dimensions. (The associated stage and buildings are after a modern idea of a theatre and are not authentic either structurally or archaeologically and there are plans to remove them). It was built using the slope of the embankment surrounding the farm site to achieve the rising levels with modern materials used to form the tiered seating and stairs. Sadly, the structures had not been maintained as intended and became unsafe and unusable quite quickly after construction: what remains can give us an impression of the scale of the structure at Yeavering. A high-quality model of the entire Yeavering compound, including the Grandstand, can be seen inside the Bede Museum in the Golden Age of Northumbria section.
Project Team Bede's World
References Hope-Taylor, B. 1977 Yeavering: an Anglo-British centre of early Northumbria. HMSO. See pp. 119–122, figs. 55–57