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  Plan of Roche abbey showing the day room(1/1)

Roche Abbey: the day room

Artist's impression of Cistercian Monks
© Cistercians in Yorkshire
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Artist's impression of a Chapter meeting

It is not entirely clear how the area beneath the monks’ dormitory was used in Cistercian abbeys, but it is likely that the rooms here served as a day-room for the monks, where the brethren could work and perhaps copy manuscripts. A novice-house may also have been situated here, providing separate quarters for the novices to eat, sleep and meditate under the tutelage of the novice-master, whose duty it was to make them ‘worthy vessels of God and acceptable to the Order.’(8) The undercorft at Roche comprised seven bays and was divided into two sections; the first two bays may have accommodated the novices, the other five bays were probably used as a day room. There is evidence that the undercroft here was later divided into separate cells.

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