A new education centre at priory

Beauvale Priory
Beauvale Priory

A £200,000 education centre is being created at Beauvale Abbey Farm in Moorgreen.

The centre will form part of the tourist attraction for the Beauvale Priory remains, which are situated on the farm.

The classroom, which will be used by schools and history groups, will be situated in the gatehouse of the abbey, which houses the only Carthusian woodwork left in the country.

Farm owners Tony and Ann Whyte launched the project to turn the priory remains into a tourist attraction several years ago.

Alongside the standing ruins, they have tea rooms to welcome visitors and historians coming to see the Carthusian Monastery, which dates back to 1343.

The classroom is the next stage of the project.

Ann said: “It will be great to have the room open for everyone to see the history of the monastery.

“It will be a place where they can actually learn about what they have come to see.”

The project will cost £172,000 and English Heritage is footing 80 per cent of the bill.

Nottinghamshire County Council has offered a grant of £28,000 and the Whytes have had to raise the remaining £7,000.

The couple have been holding a couple of fundraising events a year for the last few years to pay for the centre.

The next one will be a Christmas fair on Sunday, December 6.

Ann said: “I’m thrilled to bits our bid for the money was successful. We are still fundraising, but it does mean work can take place over winter with a view to opening up the new room next summer.”

The room will be open to the general public as well as organised groups, and will feature interpretation boards telling the story of the priory and the local area, as well as its links with acclaimed novelist DH Lawrence.

The education room will be of national historical importance as it contains a large, 1,000-year-old wooden beam.

Councillor John Handley, county council member for Beauvale, said: “It’s good to have been able to secure funding for such a worthwhile project.I’m looking forward to seeing it come to fruition.

“Beauvale Priory under Ann and Tony’s stewardship has become a great asset and the education room will only add to that.”

The tea room houses all the original gatehouse brickwork from the monastery.

Builders even managed to uncover an original doorway, used as an entrance into a small kitchen area.