As part of Museums Weeks, we are offering a variety of free drop-in craft activities and fun trails.
Saturday 23, Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October, 11am-3pm
Follow a trail to find coats of arms, then design your own shield – what colours and symbols will you include?
Throughout Bath Abbey, you can see coats of arms dating from the 1500s to the 1900s. Some are painted stone in the fan-vaulting (ceiling), some are stained glass windows and others are carved into marble monuments on the walls. The reasons for having a coat of arms were to identify yourself during battles, record your personal or family history and show off your achievements to others. The choice of shield shape and patterns was important to show others your values and life story. So, come and choose colours and symbols for your own shield to tell everyone all about you!
Stunning Stained Glass
Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 October, 11am-3pm
Follow a trail to discover our beautiful windows, then create a colourful window or glass jar of your own.
Bath Abbey has been called the Lantern of the West because it has so many glass windows - 52 in total. The oldest stained (coloured) glass is from about 1604 while the most recent is from 1953. The windows tell stories from the Bible and show saints and angels and also historical people such as King Edgar, an Anglo-Saxon King. The magnificent East Window has 56 scenes showing the whole life of Jesus. The beautiful colours and patterns in the Abbey’s windows will definitely inspire you to decorate your own window or jar!
Creative Clay Carving
Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October, 11am-3pm
Follow a trail to see the beautiful Tudor stone carvings inside the Abbey then carve your own clay tile.
Bath Abbey is full of beautiful stone carvings everywhere you look. The Chantry Chapel was built by Prior William Birde in 1515 and has plants, animals and people everywhere you look. You will see lots of birds and the letter W carved into the stone. This is called a rebus, which means making a word puzzle out of a name - in this case, William and Birde. Very clever! The carving is very delicate and even after 500 years, it still looks amazing. Come and take a closer look, then have fun carving a pattern in your own clay tile.