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Rushen Abbey Medieval Floor Tile

Date made: Late Medieval

Description: This floor tile is made from clay and is decorated with a four leaf pattern. The tile would originally have had a dark green glaze over the surface – traces of which can still be seen in the lines of the pattern. This tile dates to around 1400 AD and is one of hundreds found during archaeological excavations at Rushen Abbey.

Rushen Abbey was a monastery of the Cistercian Order. The Cistercians felt that they wanted to live simply and without grand buildings or possessions. When Rushen Abbey was first built during the 1100s AD, this frugal way of life was at the heart of the Abbey.

However, times and principles changed, because the Abbey eventually became a grand complex with a large church. Thousands of these decorative tiles were used to pave the central areas of the church, with an alternating dark green and cream colour scheme to give a chequerboard effect.

Measurements: overall: 12 cm x 12 cm x 2 cm

Materials: clay

Date found: 1978

Object name: floor tile

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 1984-0185.6

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