Talk - Cluniac Architecture

The Cluniac Order was in the 11th century one of the most potent forces in the Catholic church. The order was based in the Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, in what is now the region of Bourgogne, but its influence soon spread, and after the Norman conquest Cluniac priories were founded throughout England and Scotland – by Henry VIII’s reign there were 35 in his land. The priory in Lewes was the first to be built in the country, and the prior from Lewes usually held the position as the vicar-general of England and Scotland.

Each prior travelled to Cluny once a year, and the order was strictly controlled from its headquarters in France. The abbey of Cluny became one of the most important religious monuments in the Western World, and by the time the third reconstruction was made at the turn of the 11th century it was the biggest ecclesiastical building in the continent, and remained so until St Peters in Rome was built in the 16th century. The Cluniacs were known for their strict adherence to the Benedictine rules, and the elaborate nature of their pious worship. The monks' days were given over to prayers and worship; they tended not to do any manual work, which was carried out by servants. The importance of the Cluniac order was influential of the spread of Romanesque architecture throughout Europe, which is the subject of today’s talk, by Eric Fernie of the Courtauld Institute of Art. AG

By George! Cluny Abbey was quite a beauty
Lewes Town Hall
When? 7.30pm
How Much? Free
(t) 01273 475525