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contents : Early Medieval : Gathering places

Summary: Monasteries

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The early medieval monasteries were rather like a village in that they contained, within their walls, all the buildings which are associated with any settlement. There was usually a church, a refectory, a guest house, and a school as well as the monks’ cells. Some of these were constructed in wattle and daub and others were stone built. They were all very tiny by today’s standards. The monks were self supporting and farmed their land and kept animals for food. They had very strict rules, spending hours in prayer and study each day as well as their manual work. In many monasteries the monks were responsible for the illuminated manuscripts.

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