Think “Tudor monastery farm”… Swanley grange, the home of the education centre at Fountains Abbey, was one of the monastic farms or granges which supported the Medieval monastery. The monks here grew food for the abbey monks and also raised sheep. The wool from the sheep generated an income for the abbey and enabled it to grow into one of the largest and wealthiest monasteries in the country. In this new experience we will have sheep and lambs, a medieval style vegetable garden (including turf seats, fruit trees and nut bushes), chickens and bees. Inside there will be hands-on crafts including wool carding, spinning with drop spindles or our handmade spinning wheel.
School trips can take advantage of our skilled interpreter, Mike, to find out more about any aspect of the farm, and have a go at heritage crafts. You can drop in at any time during your visit or you can contact us if you have a particular interest or focus.
The Swanley Grange experience can be part of a self-led visit (please contact us for details of worksheets or resource packs available), or combined with one of our led workshops. We continue to strive to improve our educational experiences and our new “Act the Facts” history workshop is proving hugely popular, alongside our ever popular “Day in the Life of a Monk”, and our range of history, art and nature workshops.
Do visit our new-look website for details of our workshops, and be aware that summer dates are booking up fast.
For our primary school visitors the playground is always an important draw and our new adventure playground (opening in May) will certainly fit the bill – with a huge range of new equipment including a mini abbey, a zipwire, lots of natural woodland play, and lots of fully accessible equipment, our new playground will be a really special place for play.
The personal touch
I always welcome the chance to make your school trip work perfectly for you – do feel free to contact me to plan a visit just for you.
If you would like to find out more about Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal visit their main page here
Check out our spring newsletter here