The undercroft of the dormitory: the monks’
The rooms beneath the monks’ dormitory
were probably used as a day-room, providing space for the brethren
to work and perhaps copy manuscripts. Oftentimes the day-room doubled
as a novices’ house but at Rievaulx this was a separate building
that adjoined the day-room and could be accessed from it, via a
door in the SE corner.
The day-room at Rievaulx was vaulted and,
on account of the terracing, stood some five feet (1.5 metres)
below the level of the cloister.
It had four and a half bays and was lit by lamps suspended from
the ceiling; hooks from which these hung were found during excavation
site. The oldest surviving remains date to c. 1170 and the two
fires that can now be seen here are not original features.
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