Monk's Cell

Period Early Mediaeval: Mid 7th to Mid 8th Century AD/CE
Building Type Timber framed building with plank wall panels and thatched roof.
Description Based on archaeological excavations lead by Robin Daniels in the 1980s at a different monastic site, in Hartlepool, this (re)constructed building is known to us as The Monk’s Cell (however it is important to note that the Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Monastery was built of stone in the Roman manner, being influenced by Benedict Biscop’s multiple trips to the continent whereas other Early Christian sites followed, what Bede called, the Irish Tradition, imported from Iona into Northumbria as at Lindisfarne: in Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, the Monks lived and practiced communally in stone buildings). Bede himself, in his Eclesiastical History, describes Monastic Cells being purpose-built and used for prayer and study and this is how it can be imagined that this was its purpose. The panelling for this (re)construction uses short lengths of radially-split oak planks set horizontally in vertical grooves cut into the upright timbers. There is no particular evidence from the excavation on the form of the panelling; this technique was used to show an alternative to wattle and daub.
Project Team Bede’s World in-house team: Susan Mills (Curator), Michael Hayes, Mark Stewart, Richard Darrah (external consultant). Scientific Advisors; Robin Daniels and Colm O’Brien (directors of the excavations used for the (re) construction). Additional Advisors; Heather Clements, Professor Rosemary Cramp, Professor Peter Fowler, Peter Hill, Professor Martin Millet and Dominic Powlesland
Material Oak posts with radially split oak planks and reeds thatch
References Daniels, R. (1988). The Anglo-Saxon Monestary at Church Close, Hartlepool, Cleveland, Archaeological Journal Vol 145, 158 – 210.
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