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KIRKSTALL AND ROCHE
WALTER MAP, Archdeacon of Oxford in the time of Henry II, was a wit, and, like others of the secular clergy, a bitter enemy of all regulars, and of the Cistercians in particular. Both the wit and the bitterness may be seen in the following story:
“One day, after the King had slept in a Cistercian house, the Abbot, in the morning, showed him all its costly glories, Walter Map being in attendance. When they came to the chapter-house, “Sire,' said the Abbot, there is no place the devil hates so much as this. Here souls are reconciled, here our penances are performed, our offences punished.' "No wonder,' said Map, “that the devil hates the place where so many of his friends are whipped.'” 1
The position of the capitulum, or chapter-house, of a Cistercian monastery ? is indicated usually by
i Professor Morley's English Writers before Chaucer.
2 The accompanying plan shows the Abbey buildings, not as they are now, but as they were first laid out in conformity with the unrelaxed
three—but at Kirkstall only by two-arches, in the east walk of the cloister. It was regarded almost as a part of the church ; and therein were buried, in early days, the abbots, patrons, and benefactors of the monastery. Here, too, elections were held, and processions begun ; and here, lastly, it is certain that a very summary discipline was performed. “I am chalenged and chiden in chapter-house, as I a child were "—this, and worse than this, is the complaint of Piers Plowman's Friar, and the monks were no better off. “After lauds we all came to receive discipline," says Jocelyn of Brakelond in his chronicle.
The chapter-house of Kirkstall, though neither so large nor so beautiful as that of Fountains, has a strange and somewhat weird interest of its own. The eastern half—including the whole projection beyond the east walls of the vestry, parlour, etc.—is an early fourteenth-century addition to the original work of Abbot Alexander. The difference in the filling-in of the vaulting would alone suggest this to the most careless observer, but the masonry of the walls of the latter part is still more noteworthy.
Cistercian rule. The frater is shown as it was before its enlargement, and the original kitchen in the usual position--next the frater, and close against the cloister. The infirmary, too, is indicated as it was originally built, with aisles and open arcades, before the later division into many small rooms.
These are literally built, to a great extent, of stone coffins, some of which have been filled up, while others are proved by various holes and fractures to be hollow. It is by no means surprising to find here and there in buildings of this period a sculp
tured coffin-lid unceremoniously worked in, but this wholesale and unblushing confiscation of the property of the dead is surely without parallel.
The present solid and windowless eastern wall is an obviously late substitution for one pierced by two apertures, set in deeply recessed arches.