Once again this year Dorchester on Thames plays host to Traditional Skills in Action, an event that’s returning for the third year to showcase the crafts that helped to build the incredible abbey there.
Dorchester Abbey has been featured as a location in Midsomer Murders and is one of the most beautiful buildings in Southern Oxfordshire. Although modern building techniques tend to eschew traditional crafts, there are still some people left who retain this ancient and invaluable knowledge.
Many of the crafts and skills that will be on show helped to build the abbey and sustained the monastic community here during its existence. This year, the emphasis is on the skills that would have been used by this monastic community, including herbalism, a pole lathe turner, a coracle maker, beekeepers and a calligrapher.
As well as finding out more about these skills, there is even the chance to have a go for yourself. You can also learn more about stonemasonry, stained glass making and blacksmithing. Entrance is free, as always, but donations to the abbey’s upkeep are much appreciated.
The Traditional Skills in Action weekend will be held on 23, 24 and 25 August and will start at 12pm Saturday and Sunday (10am Monday) finishing at 6pm (4pm Monday). Refreshments will be available throughout the day and you also get the chance to explore the abbey grounds and Hurst Water meadow close by.
For fans of Midsomer it’s yet another chance to get up close and personal with one of the locations for filming. There are many in the area, as you might know, but Dorchester Abbey definitely has to be one of the most spectacular.