Selby-Tuesday Time Team

27th August 2013: Byland Abbey and Ampleforth Abbey

We had a packed session, choosing to visit two Abbeys: one ruined, and one thriving.

Our first stop was Byland Abbey, an English Heritage managed site. Here we learned about the lives, beliefs and routines of Medieval Monks and Lay Brothers.  We entered the Abbey church through the West Door, attempting to recreate some chants as we did so.

Entering the abbey chanting.

Entering the abbey chanting.

We studied the mix of architectural styles of the buildings: especially the different arch designs evident in the West wall. We also marvelled at the extensively preserved Medieval floor tiles present in the Abbey church.

Looking at the floor tile design

Looking at the floor tile design

Whilst in the Chapter House we talked about the Rule of Benedict, the chapters and the other matters probably discussed in this part of the Abbey complex.  We even learned where the phrase ‘going on an adventure’ originates from: and contemplated trade networks between UK Monks and the European market.

Discussing the Rule of Benedict

Discussing the Rule of Benedict

After a picnic lunch we continued onto Ampleforth Abbey.  Our arrival was met by a real-life Monk, and was rather fitting.  During our explorations of the visitors centre we were able to hear some recorded stories of modern monks.  Margaret even got the opportunity to try on a modern monk’s habit!  Our visit ended with a tour of the Abbey Church, and an extensive hunt for mice (Ampleforth is famous for carvings produced by the Mouseman of Kilburn!).


Ampleforth Abbey


2 responses to “Selby-Tuesday Time Team

  1. We had a great time on our first meeting last week, getting to know each other and what archaeologists do. We really enjoyed dressing up as archaeologists.

  2. We have now got a hard-core of committed trainee archaeologists from Selby Time Team working with York Archaeological Trust and North Duffield Conservation and Local History Society. On Tuesday next week(23rd July) they will be attending our ‘live’ dig for their first ever hands-on real dig. They seem really excited.

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