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Monk Summer School

Thursday 28 July to Thursday 1 September

Get a hands-on experience of the life and skills of the medieval monks who once lived at Durham Cathedral. Each week of the summer holidays have a go at different activities like dyeing fabrics, making flatbreads, and decorating manuscripts. Suitable for families with children aged 7+. 

Monk Summer School sessions

Ink making & illumination

Thursday 28 July, 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm

Join in the centuries-old tradition of making books by learning about making ink, then have a go at illustrating a manuscript with it.

Book tickets for the ink-making and illumination session.

Making flatbreads

Thursday 4 August, 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm 

Visit the monks’ herb garden and learn about the plants that would have been used in medieval recipes. Pick some herbs and incorporate them into your flatbread. While your bread is cooking, have a go at churning butter.

Book tickets for the making flatbreads session.

Making barley water

Thursday 11 August, 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm

Visit the monks’ herb garden and learn about the brewing process. Brew up your own barley water and try it! 

Book tickets for the making barley water session.

Dyeing fabric

Thursday 18 August, 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm

Learn about dyes used in the past to colour clothes. Have a go at creating natural dyes and use them to decorate your own bag to take away.

Book tickets for the dyeing fabric session.

Making salves and balms

Thursday 25 August, 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm

Join us in the monks’ herb garden to learn how different plants were used as ointments. Choose your own flavourings and make your own salve or balm to take away with you.

Book tickets for the making salves and balms session.

Pilgrims and treasures

Thursday 1 September, 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm

Join us for a tour of Durham Cathedral Museum to explore reasons why pilgrims came to visit the shrine of Saint Cuthbert. Take inspiration from the treasures you see to make a souvenir of your favourite from clay.

Book tickets for pilgrims and treasures session.


Ticket prices

  • Per session: £5 per person 

You'll need to book tickets for each session separately, following the links above.