Thetford Priory: Chapter House

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Thetford Priory, Chapter House © David Gill

The chapter house at Thetford Priory lies on the east side of the cloister and adjacent to the sacristy and south transept of the church.

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Thetford Priory, Chapter House © David Gill

The original 12th century chapter house had an apse on the east side, but this was remodelled in the 14th century and replaced with a straight wall.

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Thetford Priory, Chapter House © David Gill

Thetford Priory Gatehouse

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Thetford Priory Gatehouse © David Gill

The priory at Thetford, Norfolk was founded in 1103, and moved to the present location in 1107. The 14th century gatehouse lies to the north-west of the priory (in the grounds of private houses). The property is in the care of English Heritage.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

 

Castle Acre: the prior’s lodging

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Prior’s lodging, and west end of priory church, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The prior’s lodging lies in the northern part of the west range, adjacent to the priory church. The room identified as the prior’s study (or solar) on the first floor is part of a mid-14th extension to the structure.

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Prior’s study, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

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Prior’s solar, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

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Prior’s chapel, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

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Prior’s chapel, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The prior’s chapel lay on the eastern side of the structure in a part of the building dating to the mid-12th century. Remaining parts of the earliest structure include the arch at the eastern end of the room, over the place where the altar was located. The east window, looking out towards the cloister, dates to c. 1300.

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Outer Parlour, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

On the ground floor, under the prior’s chapel was the outer parlour. This was accessed from outside via a north door, and to the cloister on the east side. The staircase led from here to the prior’s quarters.

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Undercroft, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

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Undercroft, Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The vaulted undercroft lies under the prior’s solar.

Castle Acre: Dorter above

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The Dorter, or dormitory, at Castle Acre priory is located to the south of the chapter house and lies on the east side of the cloister.

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

A vaulted room lay beneath the Dorter, with piers running down the centre of the space to support the roof. This seems to have been used as a ‘day room’ for reading by the monks. The northern end of the vaulted room may have been used as a parlour where talking was permitted.

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The entrance to the Dorter was via a staircase located immediately to the south of the chapter house and accessed from the cloister.

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

To the south of the Dorter was the Reredorter or latrine block, connected to the Dorter by a bridge.

Castle Acre Priory: Reredorter

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The priory at Castle Acre contains one of the best preserved examples of a reredorter, or latrine, in England. (Note the use of ‘Rere Dorter’ on the sign. The official Ministry guide used ‘Rere-dorter’.) This two-storeyed structure was placed over the stream that ran along the edge of the monastic site.

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The first floor was linked to the adjacent dorter (dormitory) by a bridge.

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

 

 

Slype at Crossraguel

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Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill

The Cluniac abbey at Crossraguel is in the care of Historic Scotland. The Slype is the passage that runs from the cloister to the inner courtyard on the east side of the complex. It ran between the treasury and the inner parlour, with the dormitory above.

Crossraguel Abbey: conversation allowed

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Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill

The Cluniac abbey at Crossraguel retains a number of Ministry signs. The inner parlour is one of a series of rooms on the east side of the cloister, and is adjacent to the inner court.

Other Cluniac foundations in state care include: