St Peter in Wearmouth and St Paul in Jarrow were the monasteries where the Venerable Bede spent his life, as he himself states in an autobiographical note at the end of his “Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum”:
“Qui natus in territorio eiusdem monasterii, cum essem annorum septem, cura propinquorum datus sum educandus reuerentissimo abbati Benedicto, ac deinde Ceolfrido . . . ; cunctumque ex eo tempus uitae in eiusdem monasterii habitatione peragens . . . ”
“I was born in the lands of this monastery, and on reaching seven years of age, I was entrusted first to the most reverend Abbot Benedict and later to Abbot Ceolfrid for my education. I have spent all of my life in this monastery . . . ”
It is still suggestive to read these lines in front some of the very stones that Bede could see more than one thousand years ago. When, in the second half of the 20th century, archaeologists began to excavated the site of St Paul, they soon realised that what they were able to see were the foundations of the monastic structures where Bede used to read, write and pray.
At the same time, it is important to remember that the significance of the monastery is entangled to the resources of the surrounding landscape and goes well beyond the time of Bede.