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Roche Abbey: the kitchen
Plan of Roche abbey showing the location of the kitchen(1/1)

The kitchen at Roche stood in the southern range, and was positioned in such a way that it could serve both the monks and lay-brothers’ refectories. Remains of the hatch through which food was passed to the monks’ refectory can be seen in the north-east corner; there were two wall cupboards to the side. The refectory was entered from a door in the north-east corner of the building. The arrangement of the interior of the kitchen was similar to that at Fountains: a large open hearth and chimney stood in the centre of the room, with two small fireplaces on one side and a smaller fireplace with a niche for an oven on the other. In accordance with chapter 59 of the Rule of St Benedict, the Cistercians initially prohibited meat to all but the sick. When this was later permitted it had to be prepared in a separate meat kitchen. This was probably located to the south of the dormitory, where an extension was built in the fourteenth century.

Reconstruction of a drinking vessel and original fragments.© Kirkstall Abbey House Museume

Reconstruction of a communal drinking vessel and original fragments
© Kirkstall Abbey House Museum
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