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Archaeologia Cantiana -
Vol. 88 1973 page 136
Excavations at Boxley Abbey By P. J. Tester, F.S.A.
with a roll moulding on the internal edge of each jamb. As this opening
was too narrow to have formed the original chapter house entrance, it is
assumed to have been a late—possibly post-Dissolution—insertion.
In the north-west corner were indications of footings
interpreted as traces of a stone bench which would be expected to continue
round the inside of the building, although evidence of it was lacking in
our excavation at the east end. A few floor tiles were found in situ and
several pieces of chalk mouldings occurred in the destruction debris. Some
of these are sections of vaulting ribs of twelfth-century character (Fig.
4, no. 2).
The narrow space between the chapter house and the transept
would normally have formed the sacristy. Frequently, it was divided so
that the western half provided a library entered from the cloister, while
the eastern part was used as a sacristy entered through a doorway in the
end of the transept. Whether these arrangements obtained at Boxley cannot
at present be determined.
Remains of the lower part of the parlour entrance were found
to be well preserved, the unmoulded jambs being of
chalk, with a stone cill set in the floor immediately inside the opening.
Probably there was also a doorway in the east end. A short length of the
return wall on the south side was observed, sufficient to indicate the width
of the apartment.
PASSAGE OR DAY STAIR
Next to the parlour was what appears to have been a narrow
passage with indications of a door at its west end. A through passage in
this position was a feature of many Cistercian plans, giving access from the
cloister to the infirmary and other buildings to the east. Alternatively, it
may originally have contained the day stair by which the monks ascended from
the cloister to the dormitory.
THE DORMITORY UNDERCROFT
Trenches across the line of the east and west walls established the internal
width of this part of the range as
26 ft. 3 in. No attempt was made to explore the interior apart from a small
excavation towards the south end which located a square pier—probably one
of a line on the central axis of the undercroft and serving to support the
floor of the dormitory above. The entrance may have been in the north end or
on the site of the modern steps in the south-east corner of the cloister. In
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