Selby Abbey is lead partner for a group of cultural and community organisations, including Selby District Council and Selby Town Council, who together will deliver an exciting Selby Stories programme of arts and cultural activity until December 2023.  This is part of the four-year High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) project funded by Historic England in partnership with Selby District Council. The aim of the High Street Heritage Action Zone is to ‘develop, enhance and celebrate parts of the town centre’s historic environment will help make it more attractive for locals to use, particularly to younger people.’ Covering Selby’s high street, the cultural consortium will deliver a wide range of cultural activities across the next four years. The programme will include art, music, comedy, and heritage projects, alongside the innovative Selby Block Party, which has already seen the Abbey been built to scale in the game of Minecraft. 

Selby Block Party

Selby Block Party is the pilot project for our cultural programme. Creating to scale models of Selby Abbey and the Abbott’s Staith, a medieval warehouse, it has provided opportunities for the local community to engage with these important heritage sites through Minecraft, a popular video game. Offering ongoing workshops for the next three years, the project explores Selby in its past, present, and future forms, connecting the old with the new through innovate digital design.

Block Party will be developed across the entire four years of the HAZ project, offering new opportunities for children and adults alike.

3D Laser Scans

As part of Selby Block Party, ‘finds’ have been laser scanned and placed into the Minecraft map for users to find and explore. ‘Finds’ include local archaeological finds, artefacts collected by local people, and objects in the Abbey’s collection. For those unable to access the objects in Minecraft the 3D scans can be accessed below:

Artist in Residence: Serena Partridge

Serena is an award winning North Yorkshire based textile artist who is known for creating miniscule textile pieces. She has spent the first part of 2022 gathering stories ready for her installation in the Abbey, which will consist of miniature embroideries.

These embroideries will be places in discreet holes around the Abbey’s fabric for people to explore. Her first piece was installed in April 2022 with more pieces to appear over the coming year.

Serena testing out a miniature embroidery piece in the Abbey.

Check back here for further updates about Selby Block Party and the Abbey’s wider involvement in the High Street Heritage Action Zone project.