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Touring the Abbey

Friday, September 14, 2012

Local MP Meg Munn visited Beauchief Abbey recently to find out more about its history. She was taken on a tour by two of the Abbey’s executive council members, Pam Hodgson and Mark Flather, who are helping to preserve the Abbey for future generations.  

The name Beauchief comes from the Norman for ‘beautiful headland’. The land was given to the Canons by Robert Fitzranulph, Lord of Alfreton, Marnham and Norton, to expiate his part in the murder of St Thomas a Becket. The building of the Abbey began in 1176 however it has experienced many changes since. There were usually between 12 and 15 Canons ordained at any one time who worked in the community as priests, doctors and teachers, managed their farmland, and ran coal mines, tanneries and a lead smelting plant. The dissolution of the monasteries saw an end to medieval church life at the Abbey.

The Tower is original and was remodelled in the 14th Century, although the height of the tower was reduced in the 18th Century. The door and tower are flanked by two arches, one round and one pointed. They were originally part of the other Abbey buildings and were moved to their present position between 1815 and 1857. While there is no written record of the link, it is very likely that the Abbeydale Hamlet was originally started by the Canons of Beauchief, who were among the founders of Sheffield’s industry.

The Abbey now holds traditional services using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Clergy and committee who run the church are all volunteers. For more information about the Abbey’s history or for enquiries about services, weddings, baptisms and funerals please visit: http://beauchiefabbey.org.uk/ 

Meg said:

“I really enjoyed my tour of Beauchief Abbey with Pam and Mark. They know so much about the Abbey and its history, and their commitment to preserving it for the future is clear to see. It’s such a beautiful place with a fascinating past we are very lucky to have it here in Sheffield.”

Associated Photograph :

Meg pictured with Pam Hodgson and Mark Flather.

Meg pictured with Pam Hodgson and Mark Flather.

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