This weekend I went with my husband, sister and her boyfriend and a couple of other friends to the seaside town of Bridlington in East Yorkshire. My husbands parents rent a seaside flat there and we took advantage of a free weekend to head to the beach. After a very rainy drive over there the weekend turned out to be sunny and warm for a change. The flat is lovely and the front room overlooks the sandy beaches and with the windows open you can hear the calming sounds of the waves breaking along the beach.
It really felt like we were on holiday and it was a proper stress free weekend. We went out for drinks, fish and chips, walked around the town and visited some amazing antique and second hand shops up in the old town. Down by the harbor some of us went for a speed boat ride and all the boys had a go on the roller coaster – Mad Mouse! All nicely rounded off by a cold cider in the pub.
One of the places we visited was Bridlington Priory. The priory was founded around 1113AD by Walter de Gant. The monastery was one of the earliest and largest Augustinian houses in the country and was very wealthy.
In the time of Henry VIII came the Dissolution of the Monasteries, where Henry broke with the Catholic Church and established himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Many of the religious houses in Britain, such as monasteries and abbeys, were closed down including Bridlington Priory which was dissolved in 1537.
Very quickly, within a few years, most of the once great building had been destroyed, with a lot of the stone going to build the harbor in the town. Only the nave survived to serve as the Parish Church which is what you can visit today.
Inside a tapestry has been created that maps the history of the Priory. It is an amazing piece of art to look at. In 1994, some ladies at Bridlington Priory decided to make a tapestry depicting the major events in its life. By Christmas 1995, 12 panels, each 5ft by 4ft were almost complete.
The set of tapestries includes over 140 human figures, each built like a doll, then sewn to the backing.
Materials used include: leather, hessian, linen, wool, cord, fleece, velvet, yarn, ribbon, cheesecloth, cellophane, suede, silk, satin, corduroy, milium, fur fabric, lurex, balsa wood, raspberry cane, net, aluminium, and feathers.
The Bridlington Priory Website: http://www.bridlingtonpriory.co.uk
Read a brief overview of the dissolution of the monasteries: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/reformation_overview_01.shtml
The bridlington website: http://www.bridlington.co.uk