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.
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.
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.
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.