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The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

View Movies The parlour

Plan of Kirkstall abbey showing the location of the church(1/1)

Whilst the monks were expected to observe silence in the claustral area and communicated by signs, it was recognised that there were times when conversation was necessary. This took place in the parlour, a narrow chamber measuring c. 3.6 m x 9 m, which was situated beside the chapter-house. After the daily chapter meeting the monks gathered in the parlour for the allocation of tasks. The master of novices was permitted to speak with novices here during the first two months of their probationary period and also with visiting monks; during the time allocated to reading the prior could hear novices’ confessions here. The parlour may also have been used by the monks to hang their cowls.(1)

View across the cloister at Kirkstall, showing the site of the parlour
© Abbey House Museum
View across cloister showing site of parlour  Abbey House Museum

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