The monks’ dormitory at Byland occupied
the first floor of the eastern range, which was the customary location
for this room. It could have accommodated about eight-eight monks
and was thus a similar size as the second dormitory at Fountains.(36) During the day, the monks accessed the dormitory by a staircase
from the cloister. At night they left the dormitory to celebrate
the office of Vigils in
the church, via a separate staircase at the north end, which provided
a covered passage to their choir.
Light shone into the dormitory through a series of windows on either
side, but one or two lanterns would have burned at all times to
prevent misconduct. These lanterns were placed in such a way to
illuminate the monks’ toilet block (reredorters),
which was situated at the far end of the dormitory.