Cistercian monasteries this area under the dormitory was put to various
uses: sometimes it provided accommodation for the novices and in other
instances it appears to have been utilized as a workshop.11 On
the upper floor, the dormitory itself would have extended over the full
length of the range, passing above the chapter house up to the south
THE REREDORTER AND DRAIN
The sanitary arrangements at Boxley seem to have been similar
to those at Kirkstall and Valle Crucis where instead of the latrines being
housed as usual in a building projecting at right-angles to the end of the
dormitory, they were situated in the end of the east range itself with a
drain passing beneath.’12 At Boxley the drain is well
preserved, its course continuing some distance to the east where it is
covered by a pointed barrel vault. Water was conducted from a source to
the north, where rivulets still run in the fields, and made to flow
westward through the vaulted drain. Immediately on the line of the east
face of the dormitory range there is a constriction in the drain with
vertical grooves on each side where a wooden sluice-gate held back the
water before it passed beneath the latrines (Fig.
2). When the gate was
raised from above, the water flowed with sudden force to scour the area
under the privies, apparently escaping into a ditch running southward for
about sixty yards into an existing
pond. Surface indications of this ditch remain in the field between the pond
and the Abbey. In the wall forming the south side of the drain are openings
to provide access for the purpose of removing accumulated silt.
Most Cistercian plans indicate a refectory lying at right-angles
to the south side of the cloister, though until the middle cf the twelfth
century this building occupied the Benedictine position opposite the church
and parallel to it. Where the older plan had been adopted it was almost
invariably altered in the late-twelfth or thirteenth centuries and Boxley
appears to have been a notable exception in this respect. Neither a
resistivity survey nor trenching in positions where a north-south refectory
would have stood produced any positive indications.
The north wall is original, except for external re-facing, and
retains two ancient doorways. The one to the west has a weathered chalk
internal jamb on the west side with evidence of modern rebuilding opposite.
Its two-centred doorcase (Plate IIA) is an insertion, probably
11 Ibid., ii,
12 Aubert (op. cit., ii, frontispiece)
shows the Boxley arrangement as typical in his ‘Plan Type des Bâtinients
réguliers d’une Abbaye cistercienne’.