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An abbey is a type of
monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in Cenobitic monasticism, communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place res ...

monastery
used by members of a religious order under the governance of an
abbot Abbot (from Aramaic: ''Abba'' "father") is an ecclesiastical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...

abbot
or
abbess In Catholicism, an abbess ( ''abbatissa'', of ''abbas,'' ) is the female of a community of s, which is often an . Description In the (both the and ), , and abbeys, the mode of election, position, rights, and authority of an abbess corr ...
. Abbeys provide a complex of buildings and land for religious activities, work, and housing of
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via ''monachus'') is a person who practices religious by living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life ...

monk
s and
nun A nun is a woman who vows to dedicate her life to religious service, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience The three evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic rel ...

nun
s. The concept of the abbey has developed over many centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic. An abbey may be the home of an
enclosed religious order Enclosed religious orders or ''cloistered clergy'' are religious orders whose members strictly separate themselves from the affairs of the external world. In the Catholic Church, enclosure is regulated by the code of canon law of the Catholic Ch ...
or may be open to visitors. The layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey often follows a set plan determined by the founding religious order. Abbeys are often self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, refuge to the persecuted, or education to the young. Some abbeys offer accommodation to people who are seeking
spiritual retreat The meaning of a spiritual retreat can be different for different religious communities. Spiritual retreats are an integral part of many Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian and Sufi communities. In Hinduism and Buddhism, meditative retreats are see ...
. There are many famous abbeys across the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
and
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
.


Monastic origins of the abbey


Ascetics and anchorites

The earliest known Christian monasteries were groups of huts built near the residence of a famous
ascetic Asceticism (; from the el, ἄσκησις ''áskesis'', "exercise, training") is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their ...

ascetic
or other holy person. Disciples wished to be close to their holy man or woman in order to study their doctrine or imitate their way of life. In the earliest times of Christian monasticism, ascetics would live in social isolation but near a village church. They would subsist whilst donating any excess produce to the poor. However, increasing religious fervor about the ascetic's ways and or persecution of them would drive them further away from their community and further into solitude. For instance, the cells and huts of
anchorite File:Teodor Axentowicz, Anachoreta.jpg, "The Anchorite" (1881), by Teodor Axentowicz. An anchorite or anchoret (female: anchoress) is someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer ...
s (religious recluses) have been found in the deserts of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
. In 312 AD,
Anthony the Great Anthony or Anthony the Great ( grc-gre, Ἀντώνιος ''Antṓnios''; ar, القديس أنطونيوس الكبير; la, Antonius; ; c. 12 January 251 – 17 January 356), was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a s ...
retired to the
Thebaid The Thebaid or Thebais ( grc-gre, Θηβαΐς, ''Thēbaïs'') was a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inha ...
region of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
to escape the persecution of the Emperor
Maximian Maximian ( la, Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus; c. 250 – c. July 310), nicknamed Herculius, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a var ...

Maximian
. Anthony was the best known of the anchorites of his time due to his degree of austerity, sanctity and his powers of
exorcism Exorcism (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
. The deeper he withdrew into the wilderness, the more numerous his disciples became. They refused to be separated from him and built their cells close to him. This became a first true monastic community. According to
August Neander Johann August Wilhelm Neander (January 17, 1789July 14, 1850), was a German theology, theologian and church historian. Biography Neander was born at Göttingen as David Mendel. His father, Emmanuel Mendel, is said to have been a Jewish pedlar, but ...

August Neander
, Anthony inadvertently became the founder of a new mode of living in common, Coenobitism.


Laurae and caenobia

At Tabennae on the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
, in
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the ...
, Saint
Pachomius Pachomius (; el, Παχώμιος ''Pakhomios''; ; c. 292 – 9 May 348 AD), also known as Saint Pachomius the Great, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. Coptic churches celebrate his feast day on 9 May, ...
laid the foundations for the coenobitical life by arranging everything in an organized manner. He built several monasteries, each with about 1,600 separate cells laid out in lines. These cells formed an encampment where the
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via ''monachus'') is a person who practices religious by living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life ...

monk
s slept and performed some of their manual tasks. There were nearby large halls such as the church, refectory, kitchen, infirmary, and guest house for the monk's common needs. An enclosure protecting all these buildings gave the settlement the appearance of a walled village. This layout, known as the ''laurae'' (lanes), became popular throughout
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
. As well as the "laurae", communities known as "caenobia" developed. These were monasteries where monks lived a common life together. The monks were not permitted to retire to the cells of a laurae before they had undergone a lengthy period of training. In time, this form of common life superseded that of the older laurae. In the late 300s AD, Palladius visited the Egyptian monasteries. He described three hundred members of the coenobium of Panopolis. There were fifteen tailors, seven smiths, four carpenters, twelve camel-drivers and fifteen tanners. These people were divided into subgroups, each with its own "
oeconomus ''Oikonomos'' (Greek language, Greek: οἰκονόμος, from ''oiko-'' 'house' and ''-nomos'' 'rule, law'), Latinization of names, latinized oeconomus or œconomus, was an Ancient Greek word meaning 'household manager'. In Byzantine empire, Byza ...
". A chief steward was at the head of the monastery. The produce of the monastery was brought to
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

Alexandria
for sale. The moneys raised were used to purchase stores for the monastery or were given away as charity. Twice in the year, the superiors of several coenobia met at the chief monastery, under the presidency of an "
archimandrite The title archimandrite ( gr, ἀρχιμανδρίτης, archimandritēs), primarily used in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of m ...

archimandrite
" (the "chief of the fold" from the word, "miandra" (a sheepfold)) in order to make their reports.
Chrysostom John Chrysostom (; gr, Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος; 14 September 407), was an important Early Church Father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his preaching and public speaking Public speaking ...

Chrysostom
recorded the workings of a coenobia in the vicinity of
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
. The monks lived in separate huts ("kalbbia") which formed a religious hamlet on the mountainside. They were subject to an abbot, and observed a common rule.


Great Lavra, Mount Athos

The layout of the monastic coenobium was influenced by a number of factors. These included a need for defence, economy of space, and convenience of access. The layout of buildings became compact and orderly. Larger buildings were erected and defence was provided by strong outside walls. Within the walls, the buildings were arranged around one or more open courts surrounded by
cloister A cloister (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

cloister
s. The usual arrangement for monasteries of the
Eastern world Eastern world, also known as the East or the Orient The Orient is a term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world, in relation to Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of seve ...

Eastern world
is exemplified in the plan of the convent of the
Great Lavra The Monastery of Great Lavra ( el, Μονή Μεγίστης Λαύρας) is the first monastery built on Mount Athos. It is located on the southeastern foot of the Mount at an elevation of . The founding of the monastery in AD 963 by Athanasius ...
at
Mount Athos Mount Athos (; el, Ἄθως, ) is a mountain and peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. Th ...

Mount Athos
. With reference to the diagram, right, the convent of the
Great Lavra The Monastery of Great Lavra ( el, Μονή Μεγίστης Λαύρας) is the first monastery built on Mount Athos. It is located on the southeastern foot of the Mount at an elevation of . The founding of the monastery in AD 963 by Athanasius ...
is enclosed within a strong and lofty blank stone wall. The area within the wall is between three and four acres (12,000 and 16,000 m2). The longer side is about in length. There is only one entrance, which is located on the north side (A), defended by three iron doors. Near the entrance is a large tower (M), a constant feature in the monasteries of the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
(Eastern
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
area). There is a small
posternA postern is a secondary door A door is a hinged or otherwise movable barrier that allows ingress into and egress from an enclosure. The created opening in the wall is a ''doorway'' or ''portal''. A door's essential and primary purpose is to prov ...

postern
gate at L. The
enceinte Enceinte (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...

enceinte
comprises two large open courts, surrounded with buildings connected with cloister galleries of wood or stone. The outer court, which is the larger by far, contains the
granaries A granary is a storehouse or room in a barn in Lubbock, Texas, U.S., was used as a teaching facility until 1967. , Coggeshall, England, originally part of the Cistercian monastery of Coggeshall. Dendrochronologically dated from 1237–126 ...

granaries
and storehouses (K), the kitchen (H) and other offices connected with the
refectory A refectory (also frater, frater house, fratery) is a dining room, especially in monastery, monasteries, boarding schools and academic institutions. One of the places the term is most often used today is in graduate seminary, seminaries. The name d ...

refectory
(G). Immediately adjacent to the gateway is a two-storied guest-house, entered from a cloister (C). The inner court is surrounded by a cloister (EE) from which one enters the monks' cells (II). In the centre of this court stands the
katholikon A ''katholikon'' or catholicon ( gr, καθολικόν) or ''sobor'' ( Slavonic: съборъ) refers to one of three things in the Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-larg ...
or conventual church, a square building with an
apse In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Archite ...

apse
of the cruciform domical
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
type, approached by a domed
narthex The narthex is an architectural element typical of Early Christian art and architecture, early Christian and Byzantine architecture, Byzantine basilicas and Church architecture, churches consisting of the entrance or lobby (room), lobby area, loca ...

narthex
. In front of the church stands a marble fountain (F), covered by a dome supported on columns. Opening from the western side of the cloister, but actually standing in the outer court, is the refectory (G), a large cruciform (cross shaped) building, about square, decorated within with
fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the ...

fresco
es of saints. At the upper end is a semicircular recess, similar to the
triclinium A ''triclinium'' (plural: ''triclinia'') is a formal dining room in a Ancient Rome, Roman building. The word is adopted from the Greek language, Greek ()—from (), "three", and (), a sort of couch or rather chaise longue. Each couch was sized ...

triclinium
of the
Lateran Palace The Lateran Palace ( la, Palatium Lateranense), formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran ( la, Palatium Apostolicum Lateranense), is an ancient palace A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of sta ...
in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
, in which is placed the seat of the
hegumenos Hegumen, hegumenos, or igumen ( el, ἡγούμενος, trans. ) is the title for the head of a monastery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominatio ...
or abbot. This apartment is chiefly used as a meeting place, with the monks usually taking their meals in their separate cells.


Adoption of the Roman villa plan

Monasticism in the
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...

West
began with the activities of
Benedict of Nursia Benedict of Nursia ( la, Benedictus Nursiae; it, Benedetto da Norcia; la, label=Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also ...

Benedict of Nursia
(born 480 AD). Near
Nursia Image:Norcia 1.jpg, 250px, The ''Castellina''. Norcia (), traditionally known in English by its Latin name of Nursia (), is a town and comune in the province of Perugia (Italy) in southeastern Umbria. Unlike many ancient towns, it is located in a w ...
, a town in
Perugia Perugia (, , ; lat, Perusia) is the capital city of Umbria it, Umbro (man) it, Umbra (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes ...

Perugia
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, a first abbey was established at
Monte Cassino Monte Cassino (today usually spelled Montecassino) is a rocky hill about southeast of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and ...

Monte Cassino
(529 AD). Between 520 and 700 AD, monasteries were built which were spacious and splendid. All the
city state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
s of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
hosted a
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Be ...
convent as did the cities of
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
. By 1415 AD, the time of the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matte ...
, 15,070 Benedictine monasteries had been established. The early Benedictine monasteries, including the first at Monte Cassino, were constructed on the plan of the
Roman villa A Roman villa was typically a farmhouse A farmhouse is a building that serves as the primary quarters in a rural or agricultural setting. Historically, farmhouses were often combined with space for animals called a housebarn. Other farmhou ...
. The layout of the Roman villa was quite consistent throughout the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
and where possible, the monks reused available villas in sound repair. This was done at Monte Cassino. However, over time, changes to the common villa lay out occurred. The monks required buildings which suited their religious and day-to-day activities. No overriding specification was demanded of the monks but the similarity of their needs resulted in uniformity of design of abbeys across Europe. Eventually, the buildings of a Benedictine abbey were built in a uniform lay out, modified where necessary, to accommodate local circumstances.


Abbey of St Gall

The plan of the
Abbey of Saint Gall The Abbey of Saint Gall (german: Abtei St. Gallen) is a dissolved abbey (747–1805) in a Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Ch ...
(719 AD) indicates the general arrangement of a
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Be ...
monastery of its day. According to the architect Robert Willis (architect) (1800–1875) the Abbey's lay out is that of a town of individual houses with streets running between them. The abbey was planned in compliance with the Benedictine rule that, if possible, a monastery should be self-contained. For instance, there was a mill, a
bakehouse A bakery is an Business, establishment that produces and sells flour-based food Baking, baked in an oven such as bread, cookies, cakes, Pastry, pastries, and pies. Some retail bakeries are also categorized as Coffeehouse, cafés, serving coffee and ...
,
stable A stable is a building in which livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and car ...
s, and
cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domestication, domesticated Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae ...

cattle
stalls. In all, there were thirty-three separate structures; mostly one level wooden buildings. The Abbey church occupied the centre of a quadrangular area, about square. On the eastern side of the north transept of the church was the "
scriptorium Scriptorium (), literally "a place for writing", is commonly used to refer to a room in medieval European monasteries devoted to the writing, copying and illuminating of manuscripts commonly handled by monastic scribe A scribe is a person wh ...

scriptorium
" or writing-room, with a library above. The church and nearby buildings ranged about the
cloister A cloister (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

cloister
, a court about which there was a covered arcade which allowed sheltered movement between the buildings. The
nave The nave () is the central part of a church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities ...

nave
of the church was on the north boundary of the cloister. On the east side of the cloister, on the ground floor, was the " pisalis" or "
calefactory The calefactory (also ''warming house'') was an important room or building in a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the ...
". This was a common room, warmed by flues beneath the floor. Above the common room was the
dormitory A dormitory (originated from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

dormitory
. The dormitory opened onto the cloister and also onto the south transept of the church. This enabled the monks to attend nocturnal services. A passage at the other end of the dormitory lead to the " necessarium" (latrines). On the south side of the cloister was the refectory. The kitchen, at the west end of the refectory was accessed via an anteroom and a long passage. Nearby were the bake house, brew house and the sleeping-rooms of the servants. The upper story of the refectory was called the "vestiarium" (a room where the ordinary clothes of the monks were stored). On the western side of the cloister was another two-story building with a cellar on the ground floor and the
larder A larder is a cool area for storing food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates ...

larder
and store-room on the upper floor. Between this building and the church was a parlour for receiving visitors. One door of the parlour led to the cloisters and the other led to the outer part of the Abbey. Against the outer wall of the church was a school and headmaster's house. The school consisted of a large schoolroom divided in the middle by a screen or partition, and surrounded by fourteen little rooms, the "dwellings of the scholars". The abbott's home was near the school. To the north of the church and to the right of the main entrance to the Abbey, was a residence for distinguished guests. To the left of the main entrance was a building to house poor travellers and
pilgrim A pilgrim (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Rep ...

pilgrim
s. There was also a building to receive visiting monks. These " hospitia" had a large common room or refectory surrounded by bed rooms. Each hospitium had its own brewhouse and bakehouse, and the building for more prestigious travellers had a kitchen and storeroom, with bedrooms for the guests' servants and stables for their horses. The monks of the Abbey lived in a house built against the north wall of the church. The whole of the southern and western areas of the Abbey were devoted to workshops, stables and farm-buildings including stables, ox-sheds, goatstables, piggeries, and sheep-folds, as well as the servants' and labourers' quarters. In the eastern part of the Abbey there was a group of buildings representing in layout, two complete miniature monasteries. That is, each had a covered cloister surrounded by the usual buildings such as the church, the refectory, the dormitory and so on. A detached building belonging to each contained a bathroom and a kitchen. One of the miniature complexes was called the "oblati". These were the buildings for the novices. The other complex was a hospital or infirmary for the care of sick monks. This infirmary complex included a physician's residence, a
physic garden File:Petersfield Physic Garden - geograph.org.uk - 17502.jpg, upPetersfield Physic Garden A physic garden is a type of herb garden with medicinal plants. Botanical gardens developed from them. History Modern botanical gardens were preceded by med ...
, a drug store, and a chamber for the critically ill. There was also a room for bloodletting and purging. The physic garden occupied the north east corner of the Abbey. In the southernmost area of the abbey was the workshop containing utilities for
shoemaker Image:Schuhmacher-1568.png, Woodcut of shoemakers from 1568. Shoemaking is the process of making footwear. Originally, shoes were made one at a time by hand, often by groups of shoemakers, or cobblers (also known as ''cordwainers''). In the 18th ...

shoemaker
s, saddlers (or shoemakers, sellarii), cutlers and grinders, trencher-makers, tanners, curriers, fullers, smiths and
goldsmith A goldsmith is a metalworker Metalworking is the process of shaping and reshaping metals to create useful objects, parts, assemblies, and large scale structures. As a term it covers a wide and diverse range of processes, skills, and tools for ...

goldsmith
s. The tradesmen's living quarters were at the rear of the workshop. Here, there were also farm buildings, a large granary and threshing-floor, mills, and malthouse. At the south-east corner of the Abbey were hen and duck houses, a poultry-yard, and the dwelling of the keeper. Nearby was the kitchen garden which complemented the physic garden and a cemetery
orchard An orchard is an intentional plantation of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree ...

orchard
. Every large monastery had
priories 300px, The Priory de Graville, France A priory is a monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "sing ...

priories
. A priory was a smaller structure or entities which depended on the monastery. Some were small monasteries accommodating five or ten monks. Others were no more than a single building serving as residence or a farm offices. The outlying farming establishments belonging to the monastic foundations were known as "villae" or "granges". They were usually staffed by
lay-brothers A lay brother is a member of a religious order, particularly in the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, who fulfills a role focused upon manual service and secular matters, and is distinguished from a choir monk or friar whose primary role ...
, sometimes under the supervision of a monk.


Benedictine abbeys in England

Many of today's
cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual Conference, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually spec ...

cathedral
s in
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
were originally Benedictine monasteries. These included
Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a and , situated in the heart of the , a local government district of , England. It lies on the . The is the of the and the worldwide owing to the importance of , who served as the to the around the turn of the 7th ...

Canterbury
,
Chester Chester is a walled cathedral city City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of ...

Chester
, , ,
Gloucester Gloucester ( ) is a and the of in the South West of England. Gloucester lies on the , between the to the east and the to the west, east of , and east of the with . Including suburban areas, Gloucester has a population of around 150,000. ...

Gloucester
,
Norwich Norwich () is a city and district of Norfolk Norfolk () is a rural and non-metropolitan county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary' ...

Norwich
,
Peterborough Peterborough () is a City status in the United Kingdom, cathedral city and unitary authority#United Kingdom, unitary authority area in Cambridgeshire, England, with a population of 202,110 in 2017. Originally part of Northamptonshire, it became ...

Peterborough
, ,
Winchester Winchester is a cathedral city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London ...

Winchester
, and
Worcester Worcester may refer to: Places United Kingdom * Worcester, England, a city in Worcestershire ** Worcester (UK Parliament constituency) * Worcester Park, London, England * Worcestershire, a county in England United States * Worcester, Massachus ...

Worcester
.
Shrewsbury Abbey The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Shrewsbury (commonly known as Shrewsbury Abbey) is an ancient foundation in Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, England. The Abbey was founded in 1083 as a Benedictine monastery by the Norm ...
in Shropshire was founded as a Benedictine monastery by the Normans in 1083.


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey was founded in the tenth century by Saint Dunstan who established a community of
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Be ...
monks. The only traces of St Dunstan's monastery remaining are round arches and massive supporting columns of the undercroft and the Pyx Chamber. The cloister and buildings lie directly to the south of the church. Parallel to the nave, on the south side of the cloister, was a refectory, with a lavatory at the door. On the eastern side, there was a dormitory, raised on a vaulted substructure and communicating with the south transept and a chapter house (meeting room). A small cloister lay to the south-east of the large cloister. Beyond that was an infirmary with a table hall and a refectory for those who were able to leave their chambers. At the west entrance to the Abbey, there was a house and a small courtyard for the abbot.


St Mary's Abbey, York

In 1055, St Mary's Abbey, York was built in England's north by the Order of Saint Benedict. It followed the common plan. The entrance to the abbey was through a strong gate on the northern side. Close to the entrance was a chapel. This was for visitors arriving at the Abbey to make their Roman Catholic devotions, devotions. Near the gate was the ''hospitium'' (guest hall). The buildings are completely ruined, but the walls of the nave and the cloisters are still visible on the grounds of the Yorkshire Museum. The Abbey was surrounded by fortified walls on three sides. The River Ouse, Yorkshire, River Ouse bordered the fourth side. The stone walls remain as an excellent example of English abbey walls.


Reforms at the Abbey of Cluny

The Abbey of Cluny was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine in 910 AD at Cluny, Saône-et-Loire,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
. The Abbey was built in the Romanesque architecture, Romanesque style. The Abbey was noted for its strict observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict. However, reforms resulted in many departures from this precedent. The Cluniac Reforms brought focus to the traditions of monastic life, encouraging art and the caring of the poor. The reforms quickly spread by the founding of new abbey complexes and by adoption of the reforms by existing abbeys. By the twelfth century, the Abbey of Cluny was the head of an order consisting of 314 monasteries. The church at the Abbey was commenced in 1089 AD by Hugh of Cluny, the sixth abbot. It was finished and consecrated by Pope Innocent II around 1132 AD. The church was regarded as one of the wonders of the Middle Ages. At in length, it was the largest church in Christendom until the completion of St Peter's Basilica at Rome. The church consisted of five naves, a
narthex The narthex is an architectural element typical of Early Christian art and architecture, early Christian and Byzantine architecture, Byzantine basilicas and Church architecture, churches consisting of the entrance or lobby (room), lobby area, loca ...

narthex
(ante-church) which was added in 1220 AD, and several towers. Together with the conventual buildings, it covered an area of twenty-five acres. In the Dechristianization of France during the French Revolution in 1790 AD, the Abbey church was bought by the town and almost entirely destroyed.


English Cluniac houses

The first English house of the Cluniac order was built at Lewes, Sussex. It was founded by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey in about 1077 AD. All but one of the Cluniac houses in Britain were known as Priory, priories, symbolizing their subordination to the Abbot of Cluny. All the Cluniac houses in England and Scotland were French colonies, governed by French priors who travelled to the Abbey of Cluny to consult or be consulted (unless the abbot of Cluny chose to come to Britain, which happened rarely). The priory at Paisley, Renfrewshire, Paisley was an exception. In 1245 AD it was raised to the status of an abbey, answerable only to the Pope.


Abbeys of the Augustinian Canons

The Canons regular#Canons Regular of Saint Augustine, Augustinian (or "Austin") canons were an order of regular clergy within the hierarchy of the Catholic church. They held a position between monks and secular canons. They were known as "Black canons" because of the colour of their habits. In 1105 AD, the first house of the order was established at St Botolph's Priory, Colchester, Essex. The canons built very long
nave The nave () is the central part of a church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities ...

nave
s to accommodate large congregations. The choirs were also long. Sometimes, as at Llanthony Priory and Christchurch, Dorset (Twynham), the choir was closed from the aisles. At other abbeys of the order, such as Bolton Abbey or Kirkham Priory, there were no aisles. The nave in the northern houses of the order often had only a north aisle (this is the case at Bolton, Brinkburn Priory and Lanercost Priory). The arrangement of the monastic buildings followed the ordinary plan. The prior's lodge was usually attached to the southwest angle of the nave. The Austin canons' house at Thornton, Lincolnshire had a large and magnificent gatehouse. The upper floors of the gatehouse formed the guest-house. The chapter-house was octagonal in shape.


Augustinian abbeys


Bristol Cathedral

The plan of the Abbey of Augustinians, St Augustine's at Bristol (now the Bristol Cathedral) demonstrates the arrangement of the buildings by this order. The plan departs very little from the ordinary Benedictine type.


Premonstratensians (Norbertians)

The Premonstratensian regular canons, or "White canons", were of an order founded in 1119 AD by Norbert of Xanten. The order was a reformed branch of the Augustinians, Augustinian canons. From a marshy area in the Forest of Coucy in the diocese of Laon, the order spread widely. Even in Norbert's lifetime, the order had built abbeys in Aleppo, Syria, and in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Of the Abbey of Saint Samuel, Denys Pringle wrote, "The Premonstatensian abbey of Saint Samuel was a daughter house of Prémontré itself. Its abbot had the status of a suffragan of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, patriarch of Jerusalem, with the right to a cross, but not to a mitre nor a ring." It long maintained its rigid austerity, though in later years the abbey grew wealthier, and its members indulged in more frequent luxuries. Just after 1140 AD, the Premonstratensians were brought to England. Their first settlement was at Newsham Abbey, Newhouse Abbey, Lincolnshire, near the Humber tidal estuary. There were as many as thirty-five Premonstratensian abbeys in England. The head abbey in England was at Welbeck Abbey but the best preserved are Easby Abbey in Yorkshire, and Bayham Old Abbey in Kent. The lay out of Easby Abbey is irregular due to its position on the edge of a steep river bank. The cloister is duly placed on the south side of the church, and the chief buildings occupy their usual positions around it. However, the cloister garth (quadrangle), as at Chichester, is not rectangular, and thus, all the surrounding buildings are positioned in an awkward fashion. The church follows the plan adopted by the Austin canons in their northern abbeys, and has only one aisle to the north of the nave, while the choir is long, narrow and without an aisle. Each transept has an aisle to the east, forming three chapels. The church at Bayham Old Abbey had no aisles in the nave or the choir. The latter terminated in a three-sided apse. The church is remarkable for its extreme narrowness in proportion to its length. While the building is long, it is not more than wide. Premonstratensian canons did not care to have congregations nor possessions. Therefore, they built their churches in the shape of a long room.


Cistercian abbeys

The Cistercians, a Benedictine reform group, were established at Cîteaux Abbey, Cîteaux in 1098 AD by Robert of Molesme, Abbot of Molesme, for the purpose of restoring, as far as possible, the literal observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict. La Ferté, Pontigny Abbey, Pontigny, Clairvaux Abbey, Clairvaux, and Morimond Abbey, Morimond were the first four abbeys to follow Cîteaux's example and others followed. The monks of Cîteaux created the well known vineyards of Clos de Vougeot, Clos-Vougeot and Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Romanée in Burgundy. The Cistercian principle of rigid Self-denial, self-abnegation carried over to the design of the order's churches and buildings. The defining architectural characteristic of the Cistercian abbeys was extreme simplicity and plainness. Only a single, central tower was permitted, and that was usually very low. Unnecessary pinnacles and turrets were prohibited. The triforium was omitted. The windows were usually plain and undivided, and it was forbidden to decorate them with stained glass. All needless ornament was proscribed. The crosses were made of wood and the candlesticks of iron. The same principle governed the choice of site for Cistercian abbeys in that a most dismal site might be improved by the building of an abbey. The Cistercian monasteries were founded in deep, well-watered valleys, always standing at a stream's edge. The building might extend over the water as is the case at Fountains Abbey. These valleys, now rich and productive, had a very different appearance when the brethren first chose them as their place of retreat. Wide swamps, deep morasses, tangled thickets, and wild, impassable forests were their prevailing features. Clara Vallis of St Bernard, now the "bright valley" was originally, the "Valley of Wormwood". It was an infamous den of robbers. cites Milman's Lat. Christ. vol. iii. p. 335. See also: * Fossanuova Abbey. * Clairvaux Abbey. * Cîteaux Abbey. * Kirkstall Abbey. * Loc-Dieu. * Rievaulx Abbey. * Strata Florida.


Copts

The plan of a Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Coptic Orthodox monastery, from Lenoir, shows a church of three aisles, with cellular apses, and two ranges of cells on either side of an oblong gallery.


See also

* Gothic cathedrals and churches * List of abbeys and priories * Priory


References


Sources

* * * * ; Attribution *


External links


Monastery and abbey index on sacred-destinations.com

Abbeys of Provence, France


- info on abbeys and monastic life, images from Photochrom collection {{Authority control Christian monasteries, Nunneries,