Medieval Monasteries, Murder and Mayhem

Ref: C3675310

Monasticism took on a new fervour after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Religious Orders from France came to England, Wales and Scotland to seek the 'wilderness'. Pivotal to this new lease of monasticism was the 'Rule of St. Benedict' which was so closely adhered to by the Cistercians, a new monastic order that grew out of the need to follow 'The Rule' more strictly. Here, in North Yorkshire, Rievaulx was established as a daughter house of the monastery at Clairvaux, the seat of the all-powerful Bernard, whose interference in ecclesiastical politics in Yorkshire were to have huge, international repercussions, including the suspicious death of William FitzHerbert, Archbishop of York, in 1153. This course will cover the monastic order in Yorkshire from 1069 to 1215, as well as looking at the broader picture of monasticism throughout England. In particular, we will investigate the growth and the influences that the Cistercians enjoyed in the Medieval period.

Course aim

How the monastic orders became so widespread and powerful after the Norman Conquest, particularly in Yorkshire. Central to this short course is the disputed York election, which dragged on from 1141 until 1147.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • describe who the different monastic orders were and what distinguished them from one another.
  • identify who the 'key players' were, in the monastic orders.
  • explain why the Cistercians were seen to be the 'apex' of the monastic orders.
  • describe how the monastic orders affected the economy, particularly in Yorkshire.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • I shall endeavour to arrange a day trip to Rievaulx Abbey to extend and enhance the learning experience.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • All participants will need a pen and a notebook.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Medieval Monasteries, Murder and Mayhem

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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