A NORTH Yorkshire market town went back in time this week as part of a one day festival.

Selby Abbey’s Medieval Day took place on Wednesday as part of the annual Yorkshire Medieval Festival, and saw families and residents from around the town visit the 900 year old Abbey to take part in fun and games, while learning more about the town.

One of the highlights was a timed performances of a new play which told the story of how Selby Abbey was created by Benedict of Auxerre, which had been created and performed by Selby Abbey Drama Group, with props made by pupils of Brotherton and Byram Community Primary School.

Jane Stockdale, audience development manager from the JORVIK Group who put on the festival, said: "My colleagues and I have been amazed by the generosity and enthusiasm of the people of Selby in their preparations for their Medieval Day. Working with the abbey, school and with clients at Kingfisher Place day care facility, we came up with a fun-packed programme for the day."

Visitors also got to handle archaeological finds and see historic crafts being carried out, along with a new exhibition on the founding of the Abbey.

Paul Whiting, from the JORVIK Group, said: "It went really well, I think we had about 600 to 700 people there. It was really well received.

"It was a really good local event for the town, and part of our Church Explorers programme, and Selby Abbey was one of the bigger churches involved. The event was a nice way to talk about what the Abbey was all about, and the difference it made to the town."

The event was part of the annual Yorkshire Medieval Festival, which celebrates the county’s close links with the middle-ages, and Mr Whiting said this was the first event the group had held at the Abbey, but he hoped it would become a regular fixture in the Festival's calendar.