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Fountains Abbey: 06. Monks' day room and dormitory

(54°6′35″N, 1°34′56″W)
Fountains Abbey: 06. Monks' day room and dormitory
SE 274 683
  • Rita Wood
17 Jul 2001, 25 May 2015, 21 Jun 2015

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The day room at Fountains is part of the E range, being continuous with the offices on the E side of the cloister; it is aligned N-S and above it was the S end of the monks' dormitory. The monks' day-room used to be called the sub-dorter or dormitory undercroft.

The day room is reached through a doorway at the S end of the E cloister walk, there was a passage formed in the N bay which led E to the monks' infirmary. That left a room 2 bays wide and 6 bays N-S. Of this, only the lower parts of the central arcade remain.

For further information, see report for Fountains Abbey, church.


The day room 'was vaulted in seven double bays from a central row of piers. The northern bay was partitioned off to provide a through passage from the cloister to the infirmary' (Coppack 1993, 45-6). Two reused capitals are now seen inverted as bases to the mostly northerly two piers; it is thought these may have come from Abbot Murdac's chapter house (Coppack 1993, 46).

Gilyard-Beer says 'this undercroft is a later twelfth-century remodelling of an early twelfth-century building, much of which remains incorporated in its walls' (1970, 48).

In the thick W wall, adjacent to the fireplaces of the warming room, is a side chamber formed of three small cells.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

String courses

Interior Features

Vaulting/Roof Supports


The ribs of the vault appear to have been chamfered, to judge by the remnants on the N respond. The room had groin vaulting, according to Coppack 1993, 45.


G. Coppack, The English Heritage Book of Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire (London, 1993).

R. Gilyard Beer, Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire (HMSO, 1970).