The first kitchen at Rievaulx was completed
abbacy (1147-67) and was remodelled in the late twelfth century
when Abbot Silvan built
the spectacular new refectory. At this time the kitchen was vaulted,
a necessary measure
to fireproof the building. In the fourteenth century there were
further changes. The fall in numbers meant that the kitchen, like
other buildings, could be reduced. New tiled hearths were added
and remains of these can be seen today.
The kitchen supplied the
monks’ and the lay-brothers’ refectories
with fish and vegetables and was positioned in such a way that
it could serve both communities through dumb-waiter style hatches.
No meat was cooked here, for this was at first prohibited to all
but the sick and when later permitted it was cooked in a separate
meat kitchen and eaten in a special room known as the misericord.
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