The Monks, the beams and the cow that jumped over the Moon.

A Heritage Project for Long Preston

The Heritage Lottery Fund has developed a new programme called All Our Stories

in support of the BBC’s The Great British Story – A People’s History, presented by Michael Wood, the new series will be broadcast on BBC2.


We have been given £8,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new project
to do research into the links between Long Preston and Bolton Priory.
The money can only be spent on things included in the approved bid.

Click here for synopsis of the project.

Note some details have changed since the bid was accepted.

The school children will play a big part in this project, with visits to the Priory and Skipton castle and they will set the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” to music. The Heritage Lottery Fund require a celebration of the project’s achievements so we plan to have a Heritage/Art weekend in the village based around exhibitions, hopefully in various historic buildings. Local groups and residents will all be invited to take part.  We are also planning a couple of celebratory musical events.

Many of you, like us, will be wanting to know if Long Preston will be on television.
We have no idea about this – it will be the decision of BBC2!

Why the Cow Logo for the Heritage Project

The answer goes back to the early 1500’s and St Mary's long association with Bolton Priory.

Prior Moone was born in Long Preston and was the last prior at Bolton Priory at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. He left his personal silver chalice to St Mary's and that is still in use today.

Whilst at Bolton Priory it would appear that Prior Moone had a bit of a dispute with a local farmer that resulted in the well-known nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle".

The interpretation of the rhyme goes like this:       

 Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle

 A local farmer called Hey swindled Prior Moone and the Catholic faith (referred to irreverently as the cat and the fiddle – Catholica Fide)

The cow jumped over the moon

over the sale of some cows

The little dog laughed to see such fun

The Bolton Priory community laughed at these local antics ( two carved laughing dogs can still be seen on the tower built by Prior Moone at the entrance to the present day church)

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Hey's daughter wished to get married but could only do so in her local church (the Priory). To get his own back, Prior Moone refused so she
(the dish) ran off with her intended (the spoon)!

 Rev Rachel / Gill Jones

Why has a cow jumping over the moon been

chosen as a logo for the Heritage Project?

Before you all Google “the cow jumped over the moon” ( 44,100 references )
   - yes, we know that there are some other interpretations of this rhyme;
         ranging from an Elizabethan scandal to an Astronomy Lesson.

Some are here:

We leave you to decide which is the real one.

Click on the buttons below to see information on the project.