Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery will launch in spring 2023, bringing to life the hidden history of the 7th Century Anglo Saxon Royal court of Northumbria discovered at Yeavering.
Visitors will be swept up in the rich stories of the time through immersive AV technology that will bring this period of history to life through spoken word, art, music and dance.
A series of projected ﬁlms will illuminate the stories of the many people who lived and worked in Yeavering in the past. Displayed alongside will be a number of archaeologically-important artefacts both found at the original site, and borrowed from leading international museums and collections.
Discovered in the 1950s, the historical site of Yeavering was uncovered revealing a huge complex of large timber halls and a unique wooden grandstand which was the royal summer palace of the Northumbrian Kings and Queens
The Great Hall of the Royal Court was a destination for international trade and cultural exchange with connections to people from across Europe and as far as north Africa.
Now, the Great Hall is the stepping-off point for Ad Gefrin’s wider offering, which will celebrate its heritage, ancient hospitality and contemporary crafts, arts and produce of Northumberland.
The site will include a bistro bar, gift shop and the Ad Gefrin whisky distillery - home to the ﬁrst Northumbrian English Single Malt Whisky, and the county’s ﬁrst (legal) whisky distillery in 200 years.
Dr Chris Ferguson, director of visitor experience, said: “This will be the ﬁrst experience in the UK to present the story of an Anglo Saxon Great Hall, and particularly to celebrate the Golden Age of Northumbria.
“I hope that by bringing to life the stories of the people that lived at Yeavering we will showcase one of the most signiﬁcant archaeological sites in the British Isles. Yeavering is a Northumbrian royal palace counterpart to the ship burials at Sutton Hoo in East Anglia, and was as richly decorated and signiﬁcant a place, if not more so.
“I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to bring the story of this site to life for a wider audience, and to be able to do so through innovative exhibition design and through a sustainable business model in tandem with our Single Malt Whisky.”
Group visits for 2023
Groups of 15 or more people will be welcome to visit the attraction by prior appointments from Easter 2023, with two separate tour options available: The Great Hall & Museum Experience and The Great Hall, Museum Experience with Distillery Tour and Tasting.
Access to the Great Hall and Museum will be self-guided but a ten-minute introductory talk can be arranged on arrival by request. Guided tours of the Whisky Distillery ending in a tasting will last 90 minutes, taking in the operational Distillery, weighing room and a Cask Store.
There is car parking on site, with charges applied after the first three hours.Coaches must drop off in the designated space and be removed, returning only at the agreed pick up time. Free off-site parking is available half a mile away at Haugh Head Garage.