go to home page go to byland abbey pages go to fountains abbey pages go to kirkstall abbey pages go to rievaulx abbey pages go to roche abbey pages
The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic


QuizMonastic Life


MS 170 f. 75v: the initial 'Q' from the Moralia in Job depicts a Cistercian monk reaping corn.© Bibliotheque Municipal, Dijon
<click to enlarge>

The Cistercian life was renowned for its severity. The monks observed the ideals of poverty and simplicity, wearing habits of undyed wool; they even refused to wear breeches except when travelling.
The Cistercians followed a frugal diet. At first meat was forbidden to all but the sick and weak, and luxury ingredients such as pepper and cumin were discouraged.
Manual labour had been all but abandoned by the Benedictine monks but the Cistercians were adamant that this should be made once more an integral part of monastic life. A period was set aside each day for work and at harvest time the monks joined the lay-brothers to labour in the fields.In the following screens you can read more about the monks’ clothing, their diet and the Cistercians’ attitude to work.

You will soon be able to find out more about death and burial in the Cistercian abbey and at a later date there will be information on health and sickness.

| Cistercian clothing | Death and burial | Food and drink | Manual labour | Sickness and health | Hospitality | Charity |