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The Monastic Inner Gateway -  Nash Ford Publishing
Which kept the Monks
Separate


Monk distributing Food to the Poor -  Nash Ford Publishing

 

  • This is the gateway which separated the monks in the abbey 'enclave' from the people in the outside world.
  • It was a strong building with huge wooden doors.
  • A monk called the 'porter' looked after the 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.
  • Only big abbeys, like Reading & Abingdon, had Inner gateways. Some only had outer gates.
  • A monk called the 'almoner' would regularly give 'alms' (food and clothing) to the poor at the gate. 
  • The Inner Gateway at Reading can still be seen today, next to the Crown Court. The room above the gate was used for meetings with the townsfolk.

 

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