The most important group of buildings is naturally that devoted
to monastic life. This includes two Cloisters, the great
cloister surrounded by the buildings essentially connected with
the daily life of the monks,---the church to the south, the
refectory or frater-house here as always on the side opposite
to the church, and farthest removed from it, that no sound or
smell of eating might penetrate its sacred precincts, to the
east the dormitory, raised on a vaulted undercroft, and the
chapter-house adjacent, and the lodgings of the cellarer to the
west. To this officer was committed the provision of the
monks' daily food, as well as that of the guests. He was,
therefore, appropriately lodged in the immediate vicinity of
the refectory and kitchen, and close to the guest-hall. A
passage under the dormitory leads eastwards to the smaller
or infirmary cloister, appropriated to the sick and infirm
monks. Eastward of this cloister extend the hall and chapel of
the infirmary, resembling in form and arrangement the nave and
chancel of an aisled church. Beneath the dormitory, looking
out into the green court or herbarium, lies the ``pisalis''
or ``calefactory,'' the common room of the monks. At its
north-east corner access was given from the dormitory to the
necessarium, a portentous edifice in the form of a Norman
hall, 145 ft. long by 25 broad, containing fifty-five seats. It
was, in common with all such offices in ancient monasteries,
constructed with the most careful regard to cleanliness and
health, a stream of water running through it from end to
end. A second smaller dormitory runs from east to west for
the accommodation of the conventual officers, who were bound
to sleep in the dormitory. Close to the refectory, but outside
the cloisters, are the domestic offices connected with it:
to the north, the kitchen, 47 ft. square, surmounted by a
lofty pyramidal roof, and the kitchen court; to the west, the
butteries, pantries, &c. The infirmary had a small kitchen of its
own. Opposite the refectory door in the cloister are two
lavatories, an invariable adjunct to a monastic dining-hall,
at which the monks washed before and after taking food.
The buildings devoted to hospitality were divided into three
groups. The prior's group ``entered at the south-east angle
of the green court, placed near the most sacred part of the
cathedral, as befitting the distinguished ecclesiastics or
nobility who were assigned to him.'' The cellarer's buildings
were near the west end of the nave, in which ordinary visitors
of the middle class were hospitably entertained. The inferior
pilgrims and paupers were relegated to the north hall or almonry,
just within the gate, as far as possible from the other two.
Westminster Abbey is another example of a great Benedictine
abbey, identical in its general arrangements, so far as they
can be traced, with those described above. The cloister and
, monastic buildings lie to the south side of the church.
Parallel to the nave, on the south side of the cloister,
was the refectory, with its lavatory at the door. On the
eastern side we find the remains of the dormitory, raised
on a vaulted substructure and communicating with the south
transept. The chapter-house opens out of the same alley of the
cloister. The small cloister lles to the south-east of
the larger cloister, and still farther to the east we have
the remains of the infirmary with the table hall, the
refectory of those who were able to leave their chambers. The
abbot's house formed a small courtyard at the west entrance,
close to the inner gateway. Considerable portions of this
remain, including the abbot's parlour. celebrated as ``the
Jerusalem Chamber,'' his hall, now used for the Westminster
King's Scholars, and the kitchen and butteries beyond.
St Mary's Abbey, York, of which the ground-plan is annexed,
exhibits the usual Benedictine arrangements. The precincts
are surrounded by a strong fortified wall on three sides,
the river Ouse being sufficient protection on the fourth
side. The entrance was by a strong gateway (U) to the
north. Close to the entrance was a chapel, where is now
the church of St Olaf (W), in which the new-comers paid
their devotions immediately on their arrival. Near the
gate to the south was the guest-hall or hospitium (T).
The buildings are completely ruined, but enough remains to
enable us to identify the grand cruciform church (A), the
cloister-court with the chapterhouse (B), the refectory (I),
the kitchen-court with its offices (K, O, O) and the other
principal apartments. The infirmary has perished completely.
Some Benedictine houses display exceptional arrangements,
dependent upon local circumstances, e.g. the dormitory of
Worcester runs from east to west, from the west walk of the
cloister, and that of Durham is built over the west, instead of
St Mary's Abbey, York (Benedictine).--Churton's Monnastic Ruins.
A. Church. O. Offices.
B. Chapter-house. P. Cellars.
C. Vestibule to ditto. Q. Uncertain.
E. Library or scriptorium. R. Passage to abbot's house.
F. Calefactory. S. Passage to common house.
G. Necessary. T. Hospitium.
H. Parlour. U. Great gate.
I. Refectory. V. Porter's lodge.
K. Great kitchen and court. W. Church of St Olaf.
L. Cellarer's office. X. Tower.
M. Cellars. Y. Entrance from Bootham.
N. Passage to cloister.
as usual, over the east walk; but, as a general rule, the arrangements
deduced from the examples described may be regarded as invariable.
The history of monasticism is one of alternate periods of
decay and revival. With growth in popular esteem came increase
in material wealth, leading to luxury and worldliness. The
first religious ardour cooled, the strictness of the rule was
relaxed, until by the 10th century the decay of discipline
was so complete in France that the monks are said to have
been frequently unacquainted with the rule of St Benedict,
and even ignorant that they were bound by any rule at
all. The reformation of abuses generally took the form of
the establishment of new monastic orders, with new and more
stringent rules, requiring a modification of the architectural
arrangements. One of the earliest of these reformed orders
was the Cluniac. This order took its name from,the little
village of Cluny, 12 miles N.W. of Macon, near which, about
A.D. 909, a reformed Benedictine abbey was founded by William,
duke of Aquitaine and count of Auvergne, under Berno, abbot of
Beaume. He was succeeded by Odo, who is often regarded as
the founder of the order. The fame of Cluny spread far and
wide. Its rigid rule was adopted by a vast number of the
old Benedictine abbeys, who placed themselves in affiliation
to the mother society, while new foundations sprang up in
large numbers, all owing allegiance to the ``archabbot,''
established at Cluny. By the end of the 12th century the
number of monasteries affiliated to Cluny in the various
countries of western Europe amounted to 2000. The monastic
establishment of Cluny was one of the most extensive
and magnificent in France. We may form some idea of its
enormous dimensions from the fact recorded, that when, A.D.
1245, Pope Innocent IV., accompanied by twelve cardinals,
FIG. 5--Abbey of Cluny, from
A. Gateway. F. Tomb of St Hugh. M. Bakehouse.
B. Narthex. G. Nave. N. Abbey buildings.
C. Choir. H. Cloister. O. Garden.
D. High-altar. K. Abbot's house. P. Refectory.
E. Retro-altar. L. Guest-house.
a patriarch, three archbishops, the two generals of the
Carthusians and Cistercians, the king (St Louis), and three
of his sons, the queen mother, Baldwin, count of Flanders
and emperor of Constantinople, the duke of Burgundy, and
six lords, visited the abbey, the whole party, with their
attendants, were lodged withn the monastery without disarranging
the monks, 400 in number. Nearly the whole of the abbey
buildings, including the magnificent church, were swept away
at the close of the 18th century. When the annexed ground-plan
was taken, shortly before its destruction, nearly all the
monastery, with the exception of the church, had been rebuilt.
The church, the ground-plan of which bears a remarkable
resemblance to that of Lincoln Cathedral, was of vast
dimensions. It was 656 ft. high. The nave (G) had double
vaulted aisles on either side. Like Lincoln, it had an
eastern as well as a western transept, each furnished with
apsidal chapels to the east. The western transept was 213
ft. long, and the eastern 123 ft. The choir terminated in
a semicircular apse (F), surrounded by five chapels, also
semicircular. The western entrance was approached by an
ante-church, or narthex (B), itself an aisled church of
no mean dimensions, flanked by two towers, rising from a
stately flight of steps bearing a large stone cross. To the
south of the church lay the cloister-court (H), of immense
size, placed much farther to the west than is usually the
case. On the south side of the cloister stood the refectory
(P), an immense building, 100 ft. long and 60 ft. wide,
accommodating six longitudinal and three transverse rows of
tables. It was adorned with the portraits of the chief
benefactors of the abbey, and with Scriptural subjects. The
end wall displayed the Last Judgment. We are unhappily unable
to identify any other of the principal buildings (N). The
abbot's residence (K), still partly standing, adjoined the
entrance-gate. The guest-house (L) was close by. The bakehouse
(M), also remaining, is a detached building of immense size.
The first English house of the Cluniac order was that of
Lewes, founded by the earl of Warren, c. A.D. 1077. Of
this only a few fragments of the domestic buildings exist.
The best preserved Cluniac houses in England are Castle Acre,
Norfolk, and Wenlock, Shropshire. Ground-plans of both are
given in Britton's Architectural Antiquities. They show
several departures from the Benedictine arrangement. In
each the prior's house is remarkably perfect. All Cluniac
houses in England were French colonies, governed by priors
of that nation. They did not secure their independence nor
become ``abbeys'' till the reign of Henry VI. The Cluniac
revival, with all its brilliancy, was but short-lived.
The celebrity of this, as of other orders, worked its moral
ruin. With their growth in wealth and dignity the Cluniac
foundations became as worldly in life and as relaxed in
discipline as their predecessors, and a fresh reform was needed.
The next great monastic revival, the Cistercian, arising in
the last years of the 11th century, had a wider diffusion,
and a longer and more honourable existence. Owing its real
origin, as a distinct foundation of reformed Benedictines, in
the year 1098, to Stephen Harding (a native of Dorsetshire,
educated in the monastery of Sherborne), and deriving its
name from Citeaux (Cistercium), a desolate and almost
inaccessible forest solitude, on the borders of Champagne and
Burgundy, the rapid growth and wide celebrity of the order
are undoubtedly to be attributed to the enthusiastic piety
of St Bernard, abbot of the first of the monastic colonies,
subsequently sent forth in such quick succession by the
first Cistercian houses, the far-famed abbey of Clairvaux