An exciting new project is about to begin in the Autumn this year in conjunction with Dr Benjamin Pohl of Bristol University examining the role of medieval abbots in the writing of history. 

Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest, both public and scholarly, in the history and communal heritage of Benedictine monasticism from the Middle Ages to the present day. This exciting new project capitalises on this momentum through an innovative, engagement-led approach for studying the production and promotion of historical writing and thought in monastic communities, thus showcasing Benedictine monasteries as key ‘centres of history’ within which historical knowledge has been collected, codified and communicated for generations.

The project will include a series of events at Downside Abbey over the next year that will include 2 half day workshops, 2 public lectures and an exhibition. Dr Pohl is also spending a week’s retreat at Downside to immerse himself fully in the communal life and experience first-hand the role(s) that history plays in the community’s identity and daily routine.

Downside is extremely pleased to be a part of this British Academy funded project and to seeing what the next year brings. Keep an eye on both our website and the project blog here for details of all the events and to stay up to date with the project’s progress.