St Paul's Church and Monastery was built on land given by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria in AD681.
It was founded by Benedict Biscop, who seven years ealier had built the church and monastery of St. Peter's at Wearmouth (Sunderland).
The chancel of St. Paul's is the original Saxon church, built as a separate chapel and possibly dedicated to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A large basilica was built on the site of the present nave and dedicated on 23rd April AD685.
The present nave and north aisle are the work of the Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.
The monastery to which the Venerable Bede came as a boy, thrived in the 7th and 8th centuries. It was here that Bede lived, worked and worshipped. His bones now lie in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral. In AD794 the Vikings sacked the church and monastery.
In 1074 the church was repaired and the monastery refounded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire. The monastery then became a daughter house of the Benedictine Community at Durham.
At the Dissolution of the Monasteries, St. Paul's became a Parish Church.
Today the church is part of the Parish of Jarrow Team Ministry in the Diocese of Durham within the Church of England
The Friends of St Paul's | What to See
Bede: The Holy Abbots of Weremouth and Jarrow (Internet Medieval Sourcebook, Fordham University, New York) | Saint Benedict Biscop (Sunderland City Council) | St Peter's Church, Parish of Monkwearmouth [Sunderland] | Saxon Monastic Houses (County Durham) (British History Online and Victoria County History, University of London)| Winchcombe Abbey (British History Online and Victoria County History, University of London) | Durham Cathedral - History (Durham Cathedral) | Durham: Echoes of Power Virtual Exhibitions, "Collect Britain" website (British Library)
NOTE: Although this webpage is based on material published by the Friends of St Paul's, it is not an official church website nor part of such a website. The Parish of Jarrow Team Ministry and the Diocese of Durham are not responsible for its content.
Team Ministry of Jarrow | Diocese of Durham | The Church of England