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Yeavering

Yeavering. Residence of early Northumbrian kings. Bede records the existence of the villa regalis of Ad Gefrin on the river Glen where Paulinus baptized newly converted Northumbrians in 627 in the presence of King Edwin. Following the identification of cropmarks suggesting large halls in the vicinity of the British hilltop site of Yeavering Bell, the site was dug by Brian Hope-Taylor and the results published in 1977. His excavations uncovered not only a series of massive wooden halls, which can be paralleled on other early high-status Anglo-Saxon sites, but a number of other structures not so easily matched elsewhere. These include a palisaded enclosure, a possible pagan temple, and what appears to be part of a Roman amphitheatre. Hope-Taylor stressed the evidence the site provided for collaboration between the Northumbrian kings and their predominantly British subjects. There have been many criticisms of aspects of Hope-Taylor's report including his methods of dating, his reconstruction of the buildings, and their cultural interpretation, but these do not detract from the basic interest of the site or its importance in the debate about the nature of Anglo-Saxon conquest and the relations between Anglo-Saxons and British.

Barbara Yorke

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