Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Fountains Abbey - 3

Amazingly the cellarium roof has remained intact and the lay brothers ate, slept and socialised here, beneath the incredible vaulted ceiling which escaped Henry VIII’s brutal sixteenth century dissolution of the abbeys.

Today the inhabitants are protected species of bat who live in the ceiling nooks and only come out after dusk. It is estimated there are over eight species of bats living in the cellarium.

Once used for meditation and exercise by the monks the cloisters formed the centre of the abbey and many rooms lead off from this area, including the warming room where you can still see the huge fireplace where a fire was always kept roaring.

Above the warming room up the external staircase to the left, is the muniments room where the monks kept all their important documents, it made sense to keep them above the warming room so the documents stayed dry in all seasons. The floor tiles in this room have just been refurbished and the room has recently been opened to visitors.

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