Welcome to our guide to Medieval Monasteries, where you can learn about England’s history, discover more about our sites and find loads of fun things to watch, read and do! Here's what we've got in store for you:
What's for dinner in a medieval monastery?
Did you know that for most of the year, monks had only one main meal a day?
Find out what's on the menu at Cleeve Abbey in the 15th century, and download our poster to colour in your own meal-time scene. Then design your own modern menu for a monk!Feast your eyes...
Terrifying Tales: The Byland Abbey Ghost Stories
Monks and nuns loved scaring each other with spooky tales, and hundreds of ghost stories survive from the Middle Ages. Some of the best ones were written down by a monk who lived at Byland Abbey in North Yorkshire, in around 1400.
Discover the story of Byland Abbey, find out about the ghost stories and then have a go at writing your own using our top tips!Explore the spooky stories
A spotter's guide to... Abbeys and Priories
In medieval England, many monks and nuns lived in monastic communities at abbeys and priories. Today, you can still visit many of these historical places, to discover where these people chose to live their religious life.
So grab a pencil and download our Spotter's Guide to Abbeys and Priories, to learn more about these marvellous monasteries and discover what you need to look out for during a visit.Download the guide
Medieval Monastery Videos
A Day in the Life Episode 5 Medieval Monasteries
What was life like in a medieval monastery? Join Martin for a day in his life as a chorister at Battle Abbey in 1500 to find out.
What Was Life Like? Episode 5: Medieval | Meet a Medieval Monk
Meet famous monk, St Aelred, to discover what monks ate, how they managed to communicate even when they weren't allowed to talk - and more!
The Kids Rule! Guide to medieval monasteries (issue 18)
This is issue 18 in the Kids Rule! magazine series following the history of England, designed to help you discover more about the past, through fun facts, illustrated stories, games, puzzles and competitions.Read Kids Rule! Online
Things to make and do: get creative with our medieval monastery themed activities
Make a model of the Cleeve Abbey Gatehouse
Discover the story of the medieval monastery at Cleeve Abbey, before building your very own model of its impressive gatehouse
Plant a mini monastic herb garden
Find out why gardens were so important to monastic life, then have a go at planting your own mini monastic herb garden in a pot.
COLOUR YOUR OWN medieval monastery
Download this colouring sheet to create your own version of our medieval monastery timeline poster, using pencils, pens or paints.
PLAY A GAME OF SNAKES AND ABBOTS
Can you make it to the top of the board? Find out if you've got what it takes to get the top job with this historical version of Snakes & Ladders!
DESIGN YOUR OWN ILLUMINATED INITIALS
Find out how the beautiful letters that feature in manuscripts created by medieval monks and nuns were created, then design your own illuminated initials!
More things to make and do
Browse our best ideas and get hands-on and crafty with history. From model historical homes to costumes and coats of arms, there’s plenty to try!
The Kids Rule! Guide to medieval monasteries (issue 5)
This is issue 5 in the Kids Rule! magazine series following the history of England, designed to help you discover more about the past, through fun facts, illustrated stories, games, puzzles and competitions.Read Kids Rule! Online
MEDIEVAL MONASTERY POSTER: MAKE YOUR MEGA TIMELINE
Each of the posters follows on from each other, so that when you download them all from the Kids Rule! pages, you can create your own mega timeline of English history!Download your poster