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Rambler's Top100
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Project Gutenberg's Encyclopedia, vol. 1 ( A - Andropha

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86-117.  To the latter we are indebted for the substance of 
the following description, as well as for the plan, reduced 
from his elucidated transcript of the original preserved 

 FIG. 2.---Plan of Coptic Monastery. 
A. Narthex. B. Church.
C. Corridor, with cells on each side.
D. Staircase.

in the archives of the convent.  The general apperance 
of the convent is that of a town of isolated houses with 
streets running between them.  It is evidently planned in 
compliance with the Benedictine rule, which enjoined that, 
if possible, the monastery should contain within itself 
every necessary of life, as well as the buildings more 
intimately connected with the religious and social life of its 
inmates.  It should comprise a mill, a bakehouse, stables 
and cow-houses, together with accommodation for carrying 
on all necessary mechanical arts within the walls, so as to 
obviate the necessity of the monks going outside its limits. 

The general distribution of the buildings may be thus 
described:-The church, with its cloister to the south, occupies 
the centre of a quadrangular area, about 430 feet square.  The 
buildings, as in all great monasteries, are distributed into 
groups.  The church forms the nucleus, as the centre of the 
religious life of the community.  In closest connexion with 
the church is the group of buildings appropriated to the 
monastic line and its daily requirements---the refectory for 
eating, the dormitory for sleeping, the common room for social 
intercourse, the chapter-house for religious and disciplinary 
conference.  These essential elements of monastic life 
are ranged about a cloister court, surrounded by a covered 
arcade, affording communication sheltered ftom the elements 
between the various buildings.  The infirmary for sick monks, 
with the physician's house and physic garden, lies to the 
east.  In the same group with the infirmary is the school for 
the novices.  The outer school, with its headmaster's house 
against the opposite wall of the church, stands outside the 
convent enclosure, in close proximity to the abbot's house, 
that he might have a constant eye over them.  The buildings 
devoted to hospitality are divided into three groups,--one 
for the reception of distinguished guests, another for monks 
visiting the monastery, a third for poor travellers and 
pilgrims.  The first and third are placed to the right and 
left of the common entrance of the monastery,---the hospitium 
for distinguished guests being placed on the north side of the 
church, not far from the abbot's house; that for the poor 
on the south side next to the farm buildings.  The monks are 
lodged in a guest-house built against the north wall of the 
church.  The group of buildings connected with the material 
wants of the establishment is placed to the south and west 
of the church, and is distinctly separated from the monastic 
buildings.  The kitchen, buttery and offices are reached by a 
passage from the west end of the refectory, and are connected 
with the bakehouse and brewhouse, which are placed still farther 
away.  The whole of the southern and western sides is devoted to 
workshops, stables and farm-buildings.  The buildings, with some 
exceptions, seem to have been of one story only, and all but 
the church were probably erected of wood.  The whole includes 
thirty-three separate blocks.  The church (D) is cruciform, 
with a nave of nine bays, and a semicircular apse at either 
extremity.  That to the west is surrounded by a semicircular 
colonnade, leaving an open ``paradise'' (E) between it and 
the wall of the church.  The whole area is divided by screens 
into various chapels.  The high altar (A) stands immediately 
to the east of the transept, or ritual choir; the altar 
of St Paul (B) in the eastern, and that of St Peter (C) in 
the western apse.  A cylindrical campanile stands detached 
from the church on either side of the western apse (FF). 

The ``cloister court', (G) on the south side of the nave of the 

 FIG. 3.--Ground-plan of St 

 
  CHURCH.                          U. House for blood-letting.
  A. High altar.                   V. School.
  B. Altar of St Paul.             W. Schoolmaster's lodgings.
  C. Altar of St Peter.            X1X1. Guest-house for those
  D. Nave.                                  of superior rank
  E. Paradise.                     X2X2. Guest-house for the poor.
  FF. Towers.                      Y. Guest-chamber for strange monks.
  MONASTIC BUILDINGS 
  G. Cloister.                     MENIAL DEPARTMENT.
  H. Calefactory, with             Z. Factory.
     dormitory over.               a. Threshing-floor
  I. Necessary.                    b. Workshops.
  J. Abbot's house.                c, c. Mills.
  K. Refectory.                    d. Kiln.
  L. Kitchen.                      e. Stables.
  M. Bakehouse and brewhouse.      f Cow-sheds.
  N. Cellar.                       g. Goat-sheds.
  O. Parlour.               (over. h. Pig-sties. i. Sheep-folds.
  P1. Scriptorium with library  k, k, k. Servants' and workmen's
  P2. Sacristy and vestry.                     sleeping-chambers.
  Q. House of Novices--1.chapel;   l. Gardener's house
    2. refectory; 3. calefactory;  m,m. Hen and duck house.
    4. dormitory; 5. master's room n. Poultry-keeper's house.
    6. chambers.                   o. Garden.
  R. Infirmary--1--6 as above in   q. Bakehouse for sacramental
     the house of novices.
  S. Doctor's house.               s, s, s. Kitchens.
  T. Physic garden.                t, t, t. Baths.
 

church has on its east side the ``pisalis'' or ``calefactory', 
(H), the common sitting-room of the brethren, warmed by 
flues beneath the floor.  On this side in later monasteries 
we invariably find the chapterhouse, the absence of 
which in this plan is somewhat surprising.  It appears, 
however, from the inscriptions on the plan itself, that the 
north walk of the cloisters served for the purposes of a 
chapter-house, and was fitted up with benches on the long 
sides.  Above the calefactory is the ``dormitory'' opening 
into the south transept of the church, to enable the monks 
to attend the nocturnal services with readiness.  A passage 
at the other end leads to the ``necessarium'' (I), a portion 
of the monastic buildings always planned with extreme 
care.  The southern side is occupied by the ``refectory'' 
(K), from the west end of which by a vestibule the kitchen 
(L) is reached.  This is separated from the main buildings 
of the monastery, and is connected by a long passage with 
a building containing the bake house and brewhouse (M), and 
the sleeping-rooms of the servants.  The upper story of the 
refectory is the ``vestiarium,'' where the ordinary clothes of 
the brethren were kept.  On the western side of the cloister 
is another two story building (N). The cellar is below, 
and the larder and store-room above.  Between this building 
and the church, opening by one door into the cloisters, and 
by another to the outer part of the monastery area, is the 
``parlour'' for interviews with visitors from the external 
world (O). On the eastern side of the north transept is the 
``scriptorium'' or writing-room (P1), with the library above. 

To the east of the church stands a group of buildings comprising 
two miniature conventual establishments, each complete in 
itself.  Each has a covered cloister surrounded by the usual 
buildings, i.e. refectory, dormitory, &c., and a church or 
chapel on one side, placed back to back.  A detached building 
belonging to each contains a bath and a kitchen.  One of these 
diminutive convents is appropriated to the ``oblati'' or novices 
(Q), the other to the sick monks as an ``imfirmary'' (R). 

The ``residence of the physicians'' (S) stands contiguous to the 
infirmary, and the physic garden (T) at the north-east corner of 
the monastery.  Besides other rooms, it contains a drug store, 
and a chamber for those who are dangerously ill.  The ``house 
for bloodletting and purging'' adjoins it on the west (U). 

The ``outer school,'' to the north of the convent area, contains 
a large schoolroom divided across the middle by a screen or 
partition, and surrounded by fourteen little rooms, termed 
the dwellings of the scholars.  The head-master's house (W) 
is opposite, built against the side wall of the church.  The 
two ``hospitia'' or `' guest-houses'' for the entertainment 
of strangers of different degrees (X1 X2) comprise a large 
common chamber or refectory in the centre, surrounded by 
sleeping-apartments.  Each is provided with its own brewhouse 
and bakehouse, and that for travellers of a superior order has 
a kitchen and storeroom, with bedrooms for their servants and 
stables for their horses.  There is also an ``hospitium'' for 
strange monks, abutting on the north wall of the church (Y). 

Beyond the cloister, at the extreme verge of the convent 
area to the south, stands the `factory'' (Z), containing 
workshops for shoemakers, saddlers (or shoemakers, sellarii), 
cutlers and grinders, trencher-makers, tanners, curriers, 
fullers, smiths and goldsmiths, with their dwellings in the 
rear.  On this side we also find the farmbuildings, the large 
granary and threshing-floor (a), mills (c), malthouse 
(d). Facing the west are the stables (e), ox-sheds 
(f), goatstables (gl, piggeries (h), sheep-folds (i), 
together with the servants' and labourers' quarters (k). 
At the south-east corner we find the hen and duck house, and 
poultry-yard (m), and the dwelling of the keeper (n). 
Hard by is the kitchen garden (o), the beds bearing the 
names of the vegetables growing in them, onions, garlic, 
celery, lettuces, poppy, carrots, cabbages, &c., eighteen in 
all.  In the same way the physic garden presents the names 
of the medicinal herbs, and the cemetery (p) those of 
the trees, apple, pear, plum, quince, &c., planted there. 

Canterbury Cathedral. 

A curious bird's-eye view of Canterbury Cathedral and its 
annexed conventual buildings, taken about 1165, is preserved 
in the Great Psalter in the library of Trinity College, 
Cambridge.  As elucidated by Professor Willis,1 it exhibits 
the plan of a great Benedictine monastery in the 12th century, 
and enables us to compare it with that of the 9th as seen at St 
Gall.  We see in both the same general principles of arrangement, 
which indeed belong to all Benedictine monasteries, enabling 
us to determine with precision the disposition of the various 
buildings, when little more than fragments of the walls 
exist.  From some local reasons, however, the cloister and 
monastic buildings are placed on the north, instead, as is far 
more commonly the case, on the south of the church.  There is 
also a separate chapter-house, which is wanting at St Gall. 

The buildings at Canterbury, as at St Gall, form separate 
groups.  The church forms the nucleus.  In immediate contact 
with this, on the north side, lie the cloister and the 
group of buildings devoted to the monastic life.  Outside of 
these, to the west and east, are the ``halls and chambers 
devoted to the exercise of hospitality, with which every 
monastery was provided, for the purpose of receiving as 
guests persons who visited it, whether clergy or laity, 
travellers, pilgrims or paupers.'' To the north a large 
open court divides the monastic from the menial buildings, 
intentionally placed as remote as possible from the conventual 
buildings proper, the stables, granaries, barn, bakehouse, 
brewhouse, laundries, &c., inhabited by the lay servants of the 
establishment.  At the greatest possible distance from the 
church, beyond the precinct of the convent, is the eleemosynary 
department.  The almonry for the relief of the poor, 
with a great hall annexed, forms the paupers' hospitium. 
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