The Medieval Monastery

The Medieval Monastery

by Roger Rosewell


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Monasteries are among the most intriguing and enduring symbols of England's medieval heritage. Simultaneously places of prayer and spirituality, power and charity, learning and invention, illusion and superstition, they survive today as haunting ruins, great houses and as some of our most important cathedrals and churches.

This book examines the growth of monasticism and the different orders of monks; the architecture and administration of monasteries, the daily life of monks and nuns, the art of monasteries and their libraries, their role in caring for the poor and sick, their power and wealth, their decline and suppression, their ruin and rescue.

Many of Britain's greatest churches, including Westminster Abbey, Canterbury, Durham and Gloucester cathedrals were once monasteries. So too were some of Britain's most evocative and awe-inspiring ruins such as Fountain's Abbey in Yorkshire and Tintern Abbey in Wales. This book tells the story of devotion, work and prayer behind those magnificent edifices.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780747811466
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 11/20/2012
Series: Shire Library Series
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Roger Rosewell is a former journalist, and News and Features Editor of Vidimus, the free online magazine about stained glass. He has studied medieval ecclesiastical art in detail and is the author of Medieval Wall Paintings.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

The Four Monastic Orders 8

Becoming a Monk 14

The Architecture of Monasteries 16

Managing a Monastery 22

Daily Life I Prayer, Study, Work 24

Daily Life II Personal Life 36

Daily Life III Domestic 40

Beyond the Cloister 56

Nunneries 58

The Other Orders 62

Dissolution 66

Further Reading and Websites 72

Places to Visit 74

Index 80

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