Medieval Monk-y Business – 13th July, 2014

Drop-in-and-Discover the world of the medieval monk with hands-on activities, demonstrations & recreations

Sunday 13 July 10.30am -4pm, Drill Hall, Lower Church St Chepstow, £2 at door, Suitable for all ages

monk2For Festival of Archaeology presented by
Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust & Chepstow Museum
in association with its Sites of Inspiration – Tintern Abbey exhibition

Discover the world of the medieval monks who lived and worked at Tintern Abbey and find out about their daily life. Bread is the staff of life – but what other food did the monks eat and grow, what vegetables and fruits were available to them in medieval times. What was their diet like, what would they eat on different days of the week or times of the year? Find out the answers to these questions and learn more about the work of the Cistercian lay brothers as gardeners and farmers.

Their role as healers looking after the sick in their infirmary was an important one – herbs, healing and hygiene as well as the hospitality they gave to pilgrims, will be explored.

A specialist skill was needed for the production of illuminated manuscripts and books. There is an example of a 13th century bible that was held in the Library at Tintern Abbey in the Sites of Inspiration exhibition atChepstow Museum at the moment. There will be demonstrations and a chance to have a go at medieval penmanship.

Also in the exhibition are wonderful survivals of the medieval decorated tiles from the floor of Tintern Abbey church. There will be the opportunity to make your own tile using stamps with designs copied from the original Tintern tiles – so you can take a Tintern style tile home.

The Cistercian Abbey of Tintern was a major wool producer, with sheep farming practiced on a huge scale. Much of this was exported and turned into woven material and there will be the chance to try some traditional weaving and see a fleece from raw wool to cloth.

Image1There will also be medieval pottery to handle as part of this day’s activities to get hands on with archaeology, for the Festival of Archaeology which runs nationwide from 12-27 July – coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) –  it encourages everyone to explore the archaeology of their local area, watch experts at work, and experience archaeology for themselves.  The subject of this event has been chosen to complement the archaeology on display in the Sites of Inspiration Tintern Abbey exhibition at Chepstow Museum where pottery, tiles, manuscripts, stone carving and everyday items like a leatherworkers needle and thimble are on display…

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