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Tthe Abbey Gateways
Which kept the Monks Separate

Monks deciding whether to let Visitors in the Monastic Enclave -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • There were several gateways in an abbey's walls.
  • They separated the monks in the abbey 'enclave' from the people in the outside world.
  • They would be strong buildings with huge wooden doors.
  • A monk called the 'porter' looked after each gate. He sat in a room within the gateway watching who was coming and going. He decided whether to let them in or out, or not.
  • The main rooms in the gateway could be used for lots of things. One at Reading Abbey was a prison.
  • The gateway at Abingdon Abbey can still be seen today, next to St. Nicholas' Church.
    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.