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  Kirkstall Abbey                                                 Back to Ground Plans
This map (below) comes from The Home of the Monk by Rev. D. H. S. Cranage, published in 1926. This map is
part of the public domain.

Kirkstall Abbey

The plan is founded on that used in the Thoresby Society Publications, vol. XVI, for the late Sir William St.
John Hope's article on Kirkstall Abbey, with the supplementary essay by Mr. John Bilson on the Architecture of the Cistercians.  It is here printed by permission of Lady Hope and Mr. Bilson.
Kirkstall is chosen for illustration, as the Cistercian arrangements of the twelfth century are more completely
shewn in that abbey than elsewhere.  The presbytery has not had aisles added, as in so many other cases, and the transeptual chapels are unaltered.  The position of the frater [dining hall], running north and south, with warming house on the east and kitchen on the west, is the normal Cistercian one.  The lay brethren, as usual, occupied most of the western range.  East of it was the "lane," [walkway] ...
The plan of the eastern range is wonderfully complete, but in chapter house was extended eastwards in the
thirteenth century.  Alterations to the infirmary took place in the fifteenth century, in which period a meat kitchen was added at the southeast corner of the frater range: the misericorde [infirmary diningroom], or hall for the eating of meat [for health reasons], was under the frater.  The abbot's lodging was, as usual in the Cistercian Order, adjoining the dorter [dormitory] range.  The buildings on the south side of the infirmary were probably the lodging of the visiting abbot from Citeaux or one of the four daughter houses [daughter houses are direct offshoots from the (usually) larger abbey].
Rev. D. H. S. Cranage, page 110

Kirkstall Priory
Download  598 KB JPEG of the image.

For more information on abbeys and how monastics lived, see my article Parts of a Monastery and Abbey Church.


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