A new beautifully illustrated book, telling the story of the creation of the Bamburgh Ossuary along with tales of Anglo-Saxon ancestors, a study of St. Aidan the man and the church, and the fascinating archaeology of Bamburgh - is out now. The book ‘Accessing Aidan, the story of the Bamburgh Ossuary’ explores a series of fascinating stories of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors as well as the remarkable circumstance and characters that resulted in the Bamburgh Ossuary.
The publication of the book was made possible through the generous support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, as part of the wider ‘Accessing Aidan’ project to showcase and share the heritage of Bamburgh to new audiences in innovative ways. The book covers the creation of a brand-new ossuary in the crypt of St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh for over 100 Anglo-Saxon skeletons, originally excavated from the sand dunes to the south of Bamburgh Castle. Contributors - archaeologists Graeme Young and Jessica Turner, the osteologist Professor Charlotte Roberts, author John Connell, and architect Robert McKibbin - come together to tell a remarkable story of St Aidan and his Anglo-Saxon congregation. There is an in-depth exploration of the amazing evidence of their lives that their bones tell us making some of the remarkable research available for the first time. The book explores the life and work of the gentle saintly Aidan as well as the fabric of the church dedicated to him that holds the ossuary. This fabulous book, with wonderful illustrations and photographs, is also a celebration of the present-day community that created the ossuary so that everybody can access the story of Aidan.
Jessica Turner said: “This book is a brilliant conclusion to the Accessing Aidan project and years of hard work by so many people. I really hope that the amazing, varied contributions appeal to a wide audience; there really is something for everybody in this book”. David Renwick, Director of England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It is fantastic news that thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support the publication of ‘Accessing Aidan, the story of the Bamburgh Ossuary’. This wonderful new book will ensure that these amazing stories are preserved for years to come, meaning that local communities and visitors can learn more about Bamburgh’s rich heritage”.
The book is available online from the Bamburgh Bones website: www.bamburghbones.org priced £10. It is also available at St Aidan’s Church in Bamburgh and Bamburgh Castle.