Our Monastic Legacy

Somerset has a rich and delicous monastic past.  Indeed, the whole country owes much of its historical foundation to the achievement of the monks and nuns of the middle ages.  The dissolution of the monastries between 1536 and 1540 halted their contribution to learning, culture and the economy at a stroke.  Such was the ubiquity of the monastic tradition that it is claimed that everyone in the country lived within 25 miles of a monastry, prior, convent or friary.  Their presence dominated both urban and rural life for much of the population.  Yesterday we heard from Professor James Clark of Bristol University about just how significant the contribution was over centuries.  It was a salutory lesson in how careful we have to be in writing and believing our history as after the dissolution there was a nasty PR campaign on the part of the state in order to justify the dismantling of so much.  I was a wonderfully informative and stimulating lecture and we hope Professor Clark will come back to us in the future.  His final slide was of a ruinous crypt in the Wiltshire.  Our next talk is of another old ruin in Wiltshire – Stonehenge, given by Julian Richards.


About Dillington Blog

My name is Wayne Bennett and I am the Director of Dillington House in Somerset. Dillington House is Somerset's residential centre for adult education as well as being one of south west England's premier locations for conferences and meetings. Dillington has an incredible reputation not just in Somerset but across the country. It has been in operation since 1950 and a focus of many cultural and artistic events across the decades. The place is an oasis for learning, thinking and debating ideas. In a world in which we seem to be so atomised the opportunity for coming together as human beings in a safe and inspirational setting has enormous value to individuals as well as communities. My job is enormously rewarding because of the creative possibilities and the challenges of making the place work without financial subsidy. I hope you will enjoy reading this blog and following the work of an extraordinary institution committed to excellence in everything it does.
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