The Vicar of Lancaster, Rev. Leah Vasey Saunders, says she's "thrilled" that Lancaster Priory, which she leads, features prominently on a new version of the game ‘Monopoly’.
In all, around 30 of Lancaster’s finest landmarks are being honoured, in a new and official version of Monopoly recently launched in the city. The Priory gets special status as one of 10 locations chosen to also feature on the game box front.
The Benedictine Priory in Lancaster is a medieval building, and was first recorded in history shortly after the Norman invastion of 1066. It was recognised by the Royal Academy as having "one of the most impressive sets of English medieval church furniture in England", and received a royal visit from Queen Elizabeth II in 1999, to mark the 600th anniversary of the association between the Crown and the Duchy of Lancaster.
For many Monopoly players there is only ever one 'real' set of properties, based in London and ending with the top prize of Mayfair. But over the last 25 years Custom Games and Winning Moves UK have produced many alternative versions - presumably as a way to increase sales and develop the brand for new generations. There are boards for geographical locations from Palm Springs to Phuket and Dubai to Dublin, with others taking on themes such as equality for women, or popular shows like Only Fools and Horses.
When it was the city of Lancaster's turn to roll of the dice, members of the public were invited to send in suggestions for local landmarks and organisations they thought should feature. The medieval Priory made the final list, and will be located on the very affordable first side of the board, in the position traditionally known as Old Kent Road.
Speaking at the launch of the game, Rev. Leah said: “We are absolutely thrilled our beloved Priory Church of St Mary will be on the new Lancaster Monopoly Board!”
Holding a giant version of the Priory Monopoly square, Rev. Leah continued: “We think Custom Games have appropriately identified that our medieval church is “inclusive to all, exceedingly high profile and very old.
“So the Old Kent Road square we have been allocated seems a great fit and our congregation is looking forward to playing the game under our historic rafters.”
Ella Gibbs, Custom Games Executive at Winning Moves UK, added: “We have been wonderfully spoiled for choices putting this new version of the game together. The response from the public to the Lancaster Monopoly has been overwhelming. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who sent in nominations.”