canons' room

Period: gothic

The medieval canons' room extended south to the end of the range but, like the passage, was narrower in its east-west dimension than the chapter room. The walls in this room are much thicker than in the treasury/sacristy and the chapter room, a circumstance that seems to reflect a different foundation system related to a lower floor level in this part of the building. This large common room was divided into two longitudinal vessels by six columns. During the early modern period, two large fireplaces were added to this building to increase the canons’ comfort. An arcaded gallery, possibly glazed, was also added along the east side of the room. Perhaps only accessed from the passage, it would have permitted viewing the garden and its fountain basin during inclement weather.

Limited excavations in this zone revealed part of a medieval tile floor laid in at a much lower altitude than circulation levels for the cloister or even the chapter room. The sacristy, chapter room, passage and canons' room were thus erected at differing circulation levels, perhaps accommodating the original contour of the abbey hill. Interior support elements at differing heights probably brought the vaulting of each room to the same level in order to provide an even floor for the dormitory above.