William Paston visits Bromholm Priory

In medieval times there were monasteries and priories throughout England. The monks who lived there followed strict rules of life and worship; the Paston family was associated with the Priory at Bromholm, near the village of Bacton. William Paston maintained the family's link and responsibilities, and we use his visit to explore religious life in medieval times.

The Paston Letters include several aspects of relations between the family and the Priory and a detailed account of the funeral of John Paston I, the son of William, who died in London and was brought to be buried at Bromholm with great ceremony.

We're added pupil and teacher materials to this page; the information sheets and the Activity Sheets are generally designed for use in pairs, e.g. Info01 and Act01 go together.

The Language of Christianity - Info01

The monks of the Christinan monasteries were those responsible for copying and translating the text of the Bible over the centuries. The Greek word 'Biblos' simply means book.

Pilgrimages - Info02

The idea of pilgrimage is common to many religions. Believers make lengthy journeys to visit important places from the history of their religion.

Monasteries, Abbeys & Priories - Info03

Monasteries are communities of people who share a particular religious belief. Such communities are found in all religions, though here we focus on such Christian communities.

Bromholm Priory - An Example - Info04

Monasteries were generally built to the same pattern, so Bromholm Priory serves to give us an example of abbeys and priories across the country. Over the years the layout of Bromholm Priory has been mapped; the 19th century maps have served as a base for the building of the computer model.

Statues, Icons, Images & Relics - Info05

In medieval times, when Bromholm Priory was a busy place, the churches were full of images and all sorts of symbols. Special religious pictures are called icons.

Matching Languages - Act01

Here's a little bit of detective work, to see if you can spot words in three of the languages of the Bible - Greek, Latin and English. The words are from the Christmas story.

Places of Pilgrimage - Act02

Here's a map exercise to see if you can find these places where people still like to go on pilgrimage. You'll need an atlas to help.

John's Funeral Costs - Act03

After John Paston's elaborate funeral at Bromholm Priory, his wife Margaret had to work out how much it had all cost - and pay the bills. Can you help with just some of the maths?

Places in the Priory - Act04

Here's a picture of Bromholm Priory developed from the 3D model created for this web site. Can you identify some of the features of the Priory using the details on Info Sheet 4?

Symbols & Paintings - Act05

Here's a sheet to help you to sketch or photograph some obejcts and images you may find on visiting a chuch or other places of worship. Can you find out what they mean to people who go to that church?

Teachers' Notes

Bromholm Priory is just one of hundreds of such religious communities which were broken up at the time of the Reformation. We've provided her some notes of the activity sheets and information sheets with suggestions around RE topics.

A Topic Map for the Priory

A range of ideas across the curriculum, using priories, monasteries and abbeys as a starting point. RE and Maths, History and Art and Design, English and Geography.