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sed30's Blog

Railways & other things

ST PAUL’S MONASTERY IN JARROW AND THE OLDEST STAINED GLASS WINDOW IN THE WORLD

Stephen Liddell

Recently when I was in the area for my Hadrians Wall walk, I took a detour to a place I had long wanted to visited.  Not too many miles from the ancestral home of George Washington which I visited on the same trip.

Whilst sights such as the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Durham Cathedral are renowned throughout Christendom, what is less known is that the area is also home to the oldest stained glass window in the world, albeit with a caveat attached.

The story starts 1400 years ago with Northumbrian nobleman Benedict Biscop (about 628–90), who visited Rome and was inspired by the Christian life he saw there.

In 674 he approached King Ecgfrith of Northumbria for land for a monastery. He was first given a large estate to found St Peter’s, Wearmouth, and then in 681 received land at Jarrow to found St Paul’s. The twin monastery…

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