The Prior and Community of Downside Abbey welcomed over fifty invited guests to the launch of their winter/spring ‘pop-up’ exhibition Voices from the Cloister.

Voices from the Cloister is the culmination of a long partnership between the abbey and the University of Bristol which started in the 1960s. Staff and students from the University’s Theology and Religious Studies Department researched the items in the exhibition over the Summer of 2018 as part of a wider project to increase accessibility to Downside’s rich medieval monastic culture. The exhibition represents the growing link between the University and the abbey’s Centre for Monastic Heritage

Voices from the Cloister focuses on monastic culture from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries in Western Europe. Downside’s rich heritage shows how monks and nuns lived, what they believed, and reveal how the general public could relate to monastic spirituality.

Guests viewed medieval manuscripts, vestments, reliquaries in the neo-Gothic abbey church of Downside in the Gallery Chapel.

The exhibition will open to the public from Thursday 31st January and will continue as a ‘pop-up’ exhibition every second and fourth Thursday until Thursday 11th April. Tickets cost £10 per person and must be booked in advance. Click here to book your ticket.

All images courtesy of Jamie Carstairs, Digitisation Officer, Special Collections, University of Bristol.