Words and whisky galore in a new museum at Wooler, Northumberland
I’ve been working over the last few months with archaeologist Dr Chris Ferguson to write the text for Ad Gefrin, a new museum and whisky distillery at the site of a once-lost Anglo-Saxon palace in Northumberland. A summer home to three consecutive kings, Ad Gefrin was where the Northumbrian Golden Age began, with a flowering of art and culture including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Ruthwell Cross.
Time Out named the attraction one of the UK’s best new things to do in 2023, and the visitor and press reception has been wonderful. I’ve now had the chance to go and visit myself – both the ancient landscape where the palace once stood, and the museum celebrating its stories. Here is my video charting the windy, sunny day.
I loved being able to sit in the field where it all happened so many centuries ago – in the shadow of the hill of the goats. The great wooden palace complex would have been a place of meeting, celebration, diplomacy and hospitality. Today the welcome at Ad Gefrin in Wooler is warm and real.
I’ve gathered some of the press coverage below, and Sally Ann Norman’s great photos.
Congratulations to Chris and the whole Ferguson family for their investment into the heritage and heart of this part of the UK.
National Geographic: Five years in the making, the new Ad Gefrin museum and distillery mixes Anglo-Saxon history and whisky tastings
Museums Association: Multimillion-pound Anglo-Saxon venue opens in Northumberland
The Telegraph: Is this the ‘Sutton Hoo of the North’? The new Northumberland museum bringing ancient Britain to life
The Times: Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum review — a Northumbrian palace is reborn
Time Out: England’s weirdest new attraction? An Anglo-Saxon museum that doubles up as a distillery
Northumberland Gazette: Ad Gefrin director hails ‘extraordinary’ few weeks for £16m whisky distillery and museum in Wooler