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The Hospitium
Where the Monks put up their Visitors

A Pilgrim -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • This was the abbey guesthouse.
  • It had its own dormitory where visitors could sleep. It had its own refectory where visitors could eat.
  • There was often a church or chapel nearby where visitors could worship without going to the main abbey church.
  • It was often near one of the abbey gateways, so that visitors could go straight to where they were staying.
  • Most abbey visitors were pilgrims.
  • The pilgrim in the picture has been to all four of Berkshire's big shrines. How can you tell? Do you know which ones they were?
  • More important visitors stayed with the abbot in his house.
  • The hospitium dormitory of Reading Abbey can still be seen today, behind St. Lawrence's Church. The one for Abingdon Abbey survives next to St. Nicholas' Church.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.