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  Plan of Roche abbey showing the warming house(1/1)

Roche Abbey: the warming house

Artist's impression of monks cleaning boots in the warming house
© Cistercians in Yorkshire
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Artist's impression of a monks cleaning boots in the warming house

The warming-house, or calefactory as it was called, was situated on the southern range, between the day-room and refectory. The warming-house was so named as a large fire burned here all day long, making this one of the warmest spots in the precinct, since the only other fires permitted were in the infirmary and kitchen. At Roche there were two fires in the west wall, which adjoined the refectory. The warming-house was used by the monks to warm themselves, but the heat here meant that this was an appropriate place for scribes to prepare ink for their parchment and where shoes could be greased.

What was blood letting?

Bloodletting, a restorative treatment that each monk received four times a year, was also carried out here

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