Bede and the Golden Age of Northumbria
Northumbria produced many notable scholars, among them was the monk Bede, who was born in Monkwearmouth in Sunderland. He joined the monastery at Jarrow in 681 AD aged 9. Jarrow became famous for it's manuscripts and the monks of Lindisfarne are thought to have borrowed their copy of Jerome's translation of the Gospels, which had been brought from Rome, to use as the basis for the Lindsfarne Gospels. Bede spent much of his life translating the Bible from Latin into Anglo Saxon English. He progressed to writing a history of the English Church, and a life of Saint Cuthbert. His works added much to our knowledge of the origins of Anglo Saxon England. His great work of scholarship, "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People" became the equivalent of an early medieval best-seller.
In Bede's history, Bamburgh was accorded the dual status of "urbs" and "civitas", terms that indicate an extensive site of foremost importance. Further indication of this high status can be gleaned from the finds that have already come to light from the excavations within the castle. These include small gold objects such as the famous Bamburgh Beast, strap ends, and fragments of a carved stone seat or even throne, recovered from beneath foliage within the grounds. All of these finds are currently on display in castle's archaeology museum. The recovery of such material supports the written evidence for the high status of the site during this period.