Animation showing a comparison between the excavation plan, the direct archaeological evidence (digitally elaborated in 3D at the foundation level), the point cloud from 3D laser scanning of the (re)construction at Gyrwe, and a conceptual model derived from the point cloud in AutoCAD. Image of the plan: © O’Brien & Miket 1991: 63, fig. 3 (

The (re)construction of Building A from Thirlings at Gyrwe farm in Jarrow was built between 1994 and 1997.  

This project helped the museum to show what rural life may have been like at the time of Bede by scientifically reconstructing the building using archaeological evidence. It required an exceptional range of information and provided an opportunity to answer many questions about the process, such as the amount of material needed and how many people were needed to build it.   

Trenches the same size as the ones around Building A at Thirlings were excavated by hand at Gyrwe to test the most likely early medieval workload. 31 upright oak timbers were positioned in the trenches according to the excavation plan, and 5 were added to them in the gaps where the archaeological record may have been destroyed. The walls were made with wattle and covered by daub and lime wash, with two small windows inserted on one side. The structure was then covered by a pitched thatched roof supported by 66 ash poles and 7 internal posts. The floor is made from clay, with a hearth near the windows.

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