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The Medieval monastic entrance complex in England: design, function and context

Mahood, H. (2017) The Medieval monastic entrance complex in England: design, function and context. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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This thesis explores monastic definition and identity and how it was realised through the entrance complex of English Benedictine, Cluniac and Cistercian monasteries. This includes the main gatehouse, but also associated buildings such as guesthouses, hospitals and almshouses. It explores these buildings physically but also functionally and symbolically; questioning why these buildings were placed in this zone, and what this placement meant for the monastic institution. The approach taken is very broad and interdisciplinary and traces monasticism back to its roots in the fourth century, through to the dissolution in England. This approach means that developments in monasticism, and the motivations for change, can be identified and analysed in reference to how monastic communities perceived themselves. This self-perception was realised in their entrance complex, their ‘public face’ to the rest of the world. This thesis, using a range of evidence and an interdisciplinary approach, argues that monastic communities were consciously manipulating their entrance complexes in the Middle Ages. Through the buildings themselves, and the functions they located in this zone, monastic communities created and expressed their changing identity to the world outside their monastery.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Grant, L. and Astill, G.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Humanites
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:78073
Date on Title Page:2016

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