History of Britain - Changing Lives


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4.Monastic Life
1150 - 1400

What was life like in a medieval monastery? Why did people choose the monastic life, and what opportunities did it offer? (6.25 mins)

5.The Black Death
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iconChapter Breakdown

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1. The experience of Christina of Markyate: the monastery as an escape from manor life.
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2. The early monastic life: "between the rocks and the trees".
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3. Life in a late medieval convent: Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire.
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4. 'Apart from' the world - or 'a part of' the world? The monastic dilemma.

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Nothing remains of Christina's monastic foundation in Markyate in Hertfordshire (except, a local friend tells me, for a subterranean tunnel linking her priory to an abbey nearby). So instead, we filmed the opening sequence of the module at Lilleshall Abbey in Shropshire.


The final sequence was filmed at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, in same cloister that features in many of the Harry Potter films.

Lacock is well worth a visit. It really retains the feel of a 15th century convent. And the local town - administered by the National Trust - is a gem.


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