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History of Britain - Changing Lives

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4.Monastic Life
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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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1348 next video 5/17next

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.


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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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