Just to the North of Yeavering Bell close to the row of cottages stands a battered old building. It is known, rather grandly, as 'The Old Palace' and was even marked as 'King Edwin's Palace' on the old six inch Ordnance Survey map.

The structure may have begun it's life in around 1550 as a form of defensible house or pele. Nearby there are earthworks which could have been a dam and the building may even have been a mill.

However the building certainly never was a palace of any sort. Brian Hope Taylor suggests the name was bestowed on the building by an 18th or 19th century parson who knew his Bede..!

Bede identified the area as the site of Ad Gefrin but was not specific as to the location. In 1637 William Camden was in no doubt that Yeavering was the site of Ad Gefrin.

Perhaps this building was thought of as Ad Gefrin because it happened to be in the right place and was of unknown origin.

Brian Hope-Taylor excavated inside the 'Old Palace' in 1955 and recovered 17th century pottery beneath three feet of later deposits.

Today the building looks a little different to the photograph above. The roof, wooden rafters supporting slate tiles, has had to be removed as there is a real danger of collapse. The roof removal has allowed archaeologists to enter the building in safety to carry out investigations.

There are proposals to erect a 17m (56ft) long steel canopy over the building to preserve it. This would rest on the solid north wall but would need to be supported by steel posts on the southern side of the building as the wall here is not in good condition. There have been some local objections to the use of steel for the canopy suggesting the use of more 'traditional' materials would be more in keeping with the location.