Monastic Studies II

Ref: C3675314

The course will explore the Benedictine legacy; The 'Reformed' orders of monks- Cluniacs, Cistercians, Carthusians etc, The orders of Canons - Augustinians, Gilbertines etc; Nuns - sites and works; The urban monastaries - Friars Black, Grey and White; The international military orders - Templars, Hospitallers and Lazerines. The sites, buildings, artifacts manuscripts from the period will all be examined.

Course aim

The course will explore the many aspects of Medieval Monasticism, including the orders, their buildings & economy, architecture, site settings and impact. What the monks, canons and nuns did, where they did it and why.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course continues from last years meetings and will build on previous sessions.

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

  • List the main monastic orders of Monks, Canons, Friars and Nuns found in Britain during the Middle Ages.
  • Describe the main Monastic buildings found on typical sites in Britain including the Monks, Friars and Nuns.
  • Outline the function of the houses of the Military orders in Britain.
  • Show why the urban monastic houses became so popular in the 14th century.
  • Demonstrate why the all the Monastic houses were suppressed in the 16th century.

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
  • The course will be delivered via informal slide illustrated talks with student participation encouraged.

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?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Aston, M. 1993, Monasteries, Batsford, London. Coppack, G.2009, Abbeys and Priories, Amberley, Gloucester. Ed Robinson, D. 1998, Batsford, London. Ed Toman, R.2000. Monastaries and Monastic Orders, h.f. ullmann Potsdam, English Edition

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Students visiting monastic sites (in the UK or overseas) will become much more informative, likewise museum collections will become much more informative.

Download full course information sheet

Monastic Studies II

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


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

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