A party from Lewes Priory Trust, led by Dr Anthony Freeman, has paid a visit to Cluny in Burgundy.
The aim was to forge heritage and cultural links with the town itself and particularly the Abbey, which in the medieval period was the largest church in Christendom and the Mother Abbey of the Cluniac Priory in Lewes.
Today La Fédération Européenne des Sites Clunisiens manages the site and its heritage.
Christophe Voros, Directeur of the Féderation, organised an extensive programme for the Trust which included guided tours of the site and medieval town, a film of the virtual reconstruction of the Abbey interior and detailed presentations on digital and technology projects currently in progress.
Of particular interest was the Clunypedia project (http://www.clunypedia.com/) – a digital encyclopedia of cluniac history in which it is hoped Lewes Priory will participate.
A morning was spent considering some of the avenues of possible collaboration between Lewes and Cluny and a return visit of the Féderation to Lewes is planned.
The party were also invited to the Cluny City Hall for an official but very warm welcome by the Mayor, Jean-Luc Delpeuch. On behalf of the Trust, Tracy Anderson presented him with a letter from Lewes Mayor Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe and with prints of Lewes Town and Priory signed by artist Andy Gammon, who was also present.