By Trevor Yorke

Abbeys of the center a long time stay essentially the most outstanding of non secular structures. They have been outfitted with an organization feel of devotion, and without price spared, via groups which had a religion dependent upon venerable appreciate for the ability and authority of the Church. The grace and majesty in their development, and the attractive rural settings of such a lot of, cause them to an ideal vacation spot for viewers all year long. Trevor Yorke, utilizing diagrams, images and illustrations, explains the heritage of those constructions and describes how they have been utilized in the centuries sooner than the good Dissolution via Henry VIII in 1536, which left so much of them in ruins.

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In most cases, therefore, a monastery is a religious house comprising monks, while a nunnery is a convent of nuns (it seems, though, that the word monastery is often applied to all types of religious houses and to both the community of monks and the buildings in which they live). The important words for the purposes of this book are abbey, which is a monastery or nunnery of large size or high status, and priory, which is a smaller house, often subordinate to an abbey, although some grew in size and status to become just as important.

Control over these self-sufficient monasteries was administered through annual chapter meetings at Citeaux which each abbot had to attend. The dramatic increase in the number of new foundations in the 1130s and 1140s made this difficult, so the foundation of new Cistercian monasteries was forbidden from 1152 (although their numbers still increased). Their austerity even ran to the banning of warm underclothes and furs, leaving just their habits of undyed wool – which resulted in them being known as White Monks.

1: ST ALBANS CATHEDRAL, HERTFORDSHIRE: When the first Norman abbot, Paul de Caen, was installed after the Conquest, he set about rebuilding the church with his master mason from Normandy to direct the Saxon workmen. With little local stone available, they reused the bricks that lay around from the ruined Roman town of Verulamium. Much of this work survives in this view: the north transept on the left, the tower in the centre and the nave on the right. Brief History The arrival of William the Conqueror and his success at the Battle of Hastings led initially to an intense round of castle building as the French barons, who had flocked to his banner with the promise of rich pickings, endeavoured to secure their new English estates.

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