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Floor tile
Date Made/Found: 1325-1365
Material and Medium: Clay
Dimensions: Approx. 115mm square and 22mm thick.
Place Object Found: Sheffield
Department: Archaeology
Accession Number: 1977.1079
Floor tile from Beauchief Abbey in Sheffield. It was produced in Nottinghamshire which during this period was the centre of tile production for central and Northern England. The tile depicts a butterfly and oak leaves. The butterfly was a Christian symbol used at Easter as its emergence from the cocoon represents Jesus’ resurrection after the crucifixion. The Abbey was founded in 1176 by Robert FitzRanulf, the lord of Norton and Alfreton. He gave around 300 acres to build a religious house dedicated to St Thomas Becket and the Virgin Mary. It was one of 35 abbeys in Britain run by the Premonstretensian religious order. The Premonstretensians wore a white woollen habit, so they were known as the White Canons or Norbertines. They were not actually monks, but canons; priests who went out into the community to preach, provide medical care and teach. Under Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, Abbot John Greenwood surrendered the abbey in 1537. The canons were allowed to leave without harm and would have gone to work in other parishes as priests. The buildings were dismantled over the years and the lands passed to the Strelley and Pegge families.
Display Location: Weston Park Museum

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