Date(s) - 14/09/2013 - 15/09/2013
East Riding College
It is easy to take Bridlington Priory for granted, but in fact it has a very important history of national significance. Priory 900 provided the opportunity to organize a ‘Celebrating the Heritage’ Conference, attended by a group of 35 academics and enthusiasts from Bridlington and beyond, which sought to give this important Yorkshire heritage site the attention it richly deserves.
Papers were given on aspects of the Priory’s political, cultural and religious history from 1113 to the present day, with specialist contributors telling a complete story from its beginnings as one of the most influential Augustinian monasteries in England to its dramatic downfall in the 16th century and its subsequent use as a parish church and place of sanctuary. The speakers gave compelling and vivid descriptions of the lives and daily routines of the Priory’s Augustinian canons based on written accounts and their own research and expertise. Participants were invited to share information where relevant.
The aim for the ‘Celebrating the Heritage’ Conference was to provide discussion and deliberation of the highest quality, accessible to all with a genuine interest in this outstanding building and its history.
The venue for the conference was the East Riding College, only a short walk away from the Priory. We are very grateful to the Principal and staff of the College for their generosity in providing the excellent facilities of this award-winning building for the Conference.
Please click here for the full ‘Celebrating the Heritage’ Conference programme, which includes a summary of the speakers and their topics.
Subjects for the Conference included Bridlington Priory in the context of late medieval England, the cult of St John of Bridlington, Augustinian life and liturgy and the Bridlington Breviary (currently on display in the Bayle Musuem), the impact of the Dissolution and subsequent downfall of the Priory.
There were also tours of The Bayle Museum (which has a special exhibition for Priory 900, including the Bridlington Breviary), the Priory and the monastic grounds. On Saturday night, after a Conference dinner, there will be a concert of liturgical music including the St John of Bridlington Mass.
The Conference coincided with the countrywide Heritage Open Days taking place from 12th – 15th September 2013. The Priory, the Old Town and the Bayle all took part and welcomed additional visitors.
The Binchois Consort and the Weighton Waytes
The Conference weekend was enlivened by music with a historical slant. The Binchois Consort, a choral group of six professional early music specialists, brought the sounds of the medieval Priory to life with a stunning concert on Saturday evening, including 15th century music written in honour of St John of Bridlington – performed in the Priory for the first time in 600 years. On Friday 13th September 2013, the Conference was preceded by a memorable performance of ‘In the Year of our Lord, 1536‘, a musical drama based on the events of the Pilgrimage of Grace, written and conducted by Carole Readman and performed by the Weighton Waytes choir in magnificent Tudor costume. ‘In the Year of our Lord, 1536’ made reference to William Wode, the last Prior of Bridlington who was executed for his part in this uprising.
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