Illuminated Manuscript Course 27th – 29th September 2024


Weekend Course in the Prior’s Hall of Wenlock Abbey, Much Wenlock.

With Barbara Bodziony  – Following the popularity of Barbara’s calligraphy course at Wenlock Abbey, we are pleased to offer her course in illuminated manuscript. You can either be a complete beginner or have some experience of manuscript illumination.

The course runs from 1:00pm on Friday 27th September to 1:00pm on Sunday 29th September and includes all the materials you will need, as well as tea/coffee and a light lunch on Saturday. You will need to find your own accommodation.


8 in stock

In the ancient setting of the Great Hall at Wenlock Abbey, learn how to create an illuminated manuscript. Also, discover something of the history of this ancient house, once famous for its illuminated manuscripts, as well as the recent restoration programme carried out under the ownership of artist Louis de Wet.

Barbara Bodziony writes:

“Although we welcome experienced participants, this course is tailored especially for beginners in medieval illumination. No experience is required in either drawing or painting. Participants will learn, step-by-step, the craft of a medieval miniaturist, studying and creating the painted decoration of the manuscript. We will learn the recipe for medieval adhesive and how to apply different pigments. The final work will be a copy of an initial from the 12th Century bible from Cluny Abbey, with some words or a short phrase – the more advanced can create a whole page.

We will be studying the beautiful initials from this giant bible, written in Latin, containing 68 ornamented initials. This bible was most likely ordered by Abbot Odilon, the fifth Benedictine Abbot of Cluny at the beginning of the 12th century.”

Wenlock Abbey is a daughter house of Cluny, and you will be studying in the Great Hall of this Cluniac Priory, in the footsteps of medieval monks.

Illuminated Manuscript

shells and feathers


Barbara Bodziony is an honours graduate from the European Institute of Illumination and Manuscripts in Angers, France, and runs the School of Calligraphy and Illumination in Krakow, Poland. She works extensively on projects for museums and delivers calligraphy and illuminated manuscript workshops throughout Europe, in particular, at the Benedictine Priory of Tyniec, near Krakow. This will be her second year of courses at Wenlock Abbey – she returns by popular demand! With her knowledge of monastic scriptoria, as well as her skill in the art itself, Wenlock Abbey is proud to have her as a most fitting tutor for its illuminated manuscript course in the Prior’s Hall.

Barbara Bodziony


There will be no more than 10 participants on this course, in order to ensure that everyone gets individual attention.

At 1:00pm on Friday, meet outside the front gates of Wenlock Abbey in the Bullring (there is no parking inside the grounds of Wenlock Abbey, but plenty of carparks within walking distance in the town). Here, you will be welcomed and led up to the front of the house to meet your hostess, Gabrielle de Wet, who will give you a brief description of the outside of the house before taking you inside and introducing you to your course leader, Barbara Bodziony. Barbara will outline the programme for the weekend, before she and Gabrielle take you on a brief tour of the house, ending in the Great Hall, where your course will take place. The day will end at 6:00pm.

On Saturday, the course will resume at 9:30am in the Great Hall of Wenlock Abbey and run until 5:30pm with breaks for tea and coffee, and a light soup-and-sandwich lunch in the Lesser Hall, and you are welcome to walk around the grounds if weather permits.

On Sunday, the course will resume in the Great Hall at 9:30am and end at 1:00pm, and you will go home with a piece of work that you have created.

Please note that lunch is not provided on Friday or Sunday, but, you may wish to explore the town of Much Wenlock, which offers many places of culinary delights, within a very short walking distance.