Marrick Priory

Preparing to Open

Date: Thursday 21st August 1969
Headline: The French and English working party busy at Marrick Priory
Source: The Northern Echo

A working party of young people, including ten French teenagers, are helping to complete the conversion of a former 12th Century Benedictine nunnery into a residential adventure centre for youth groups.

The party, the first to stay in the hostel, which has been built into the shell of .Marrick Priory, a disused church in Swaledale, eight miles from Richmond, is preparing for the centre’s opening next spring.

The present day church, rebuilt in 1811, has been converted into a two-storey building with a refectory, quiet room, chapel and two dormitories with room for 35 young people.

The architectural features of the original priory which were incorporated into the rebuilt church – including the ancient chancel arch, Jacobean woodwork and remains of ancient pillars – have been retained.

The centre will be used for adventure, field training and residential courses for apprentices and school leavers, and for weekend use by voluntary youth organisations, as a kind of spiritual Outward Bound. The organisations will bring their own leaders, but a part-time warden might be appointed.

The £25,000 project began more than ten years ago and has been developed by an action group under the chairmanship of the Archdeacon of Richmond.

This week’s working party has been organised by the Christian Education Movement, and the members, aged from 15 to 18, have been recruited from all over the country.

There are also ten young people from France, who have been invited on an exchange basis. They are busy tidying the churchyard, resiting old headstones disturbed during the building work, and generally clearing up.

The leader, Mr. Hedley Cousin, of Huddersfield, is accompanied by his wife, and two other helpers. In charge of the French group is Patrick Truffaut, 21, from Lille.

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