Guest Blog by Selby Abbey

Join us for our new children’s trail, exhibition, and interpretation from Monday 23rd October!

In November 2019 we started a Resilient Heritage project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project included looking at our local community, partnerships, events, educational offer, our visitors, how we could best support, develop and recruit volunteers, and our interpretation. While the project has been interrupted by coronavirus, we have been able to explore the different project strands, one of the most exciting being new interpretation for Selby Abbey.

In February 2020 we recruited a group of heritage volunteers to help evaluate our interpretation, assist in creating a new plan and co-produce the final product. Difficulties arose due to the pandemic and the ability to get together in person, but in June 2021 the group came together to begin planning new content.

Our new interpretation includes:

  • A new children’s trail with prizes
  • New interpretation panels
  • Temporary exhibition space which will include exhibitions from Abbey volunteer groups, local businesses, artists, and others who may wish to display work

Children’s Trail

Badges for the Children's Trail at Selby Abbey

Our new children’s trail has been created with Blackbird publishing. Our monk, Benedict, will guide children and families around the Abbey exploring hidden features through quizzes, drawing activities, puzzles, and spotting games. At the end of the trail each explorer will receive a badge with one of our Abbey characters.

The trail will be priced at £1 and available to collect from welcome desks. Once the trail is complete, prizes can be collected from the welcome desks.

New Interpretation

Our old interpretation boards have been in the Abbey for nearly 20 years. Many of them are out of date as things in the Abbey have been moved, and also use inaccessible language. Our staff, volunteers and visitors have been auditing these boards and the decision was made to create new boards which delve into the stories of the Abbey and its past.

These new board include historic images from our archives, our new Abbey characters, and old stories told in a new way. They will take the form of pull up banners which will allow us to have even more flexibility with the space than we do at the moment.

The heritage volunteering group have researched the chosen themes for the boards, written text, and selected images to bring our stories to life.


Temporary Exhibition Space

Our new temporary exhibition space will provide an area to showcase stories from Selby. Our first exhibition is exploring the Abbey at the Heart of the Community which focuses on three key themes of Music, Children and Youth and Arts and Crafts. The idea behind the exhibition came from the heritage volunteering group who wanted to show what the Abbey is used for beyond its primary purpose of worship.

Our trail, interpretation and first exhibition will launch on Monday 25th October.