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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 94  1978  page 80

Excavations on the Site of Leeds Priory. Part 2 The Claustral Buildings
 and Other Remains
 
By P. J. Tester continued

   At the north end was a narrow apartment entered from the cloister and having a tiled threshold similar to that relating to the doorway between the cloister and the church (Part I, Plate IIIB). This was clearly not a through passage and was probably the site of the day-stair to the dormitory. Its entrance was represented only by the lowest part of its north jamb — a featureless block of ragstone devoid of mouldings to indicate its age.
   Undoubtedly, the dormitory occupied the upper storey of the range, while the ground floor may have served as the warming house or been used for some other purpose.

The South Range
It is probable that the refectory was above ground level in this range, in which case the walls shown on the plan-may, in fact, have been those of an undercroft. The entrance  from the cloister was towards the west and was approached by a flight of stone steps. These had been robbed leaving only a rubble ramp with impressions of the steps remaining (Plate IIA). The top step, forming the cill of the entrance, was 2 ft. 6 in. above the cloister floor and the ascent is assumed to have continued inside the building, supported on internal walls at this point as indicated on the plan. Both jambs of the entrance could be traced, the opening being 5 ft. 3 in. wide, while the approaching steps were 10 ft. wide and Projected 4 ft. into the cloister.

   Beside the entrance was a deep recess for the layer, or washing place, with part of a chamfered marble plinth at its base, suggesting that the lower part of the layer itself had been faced in this material. At a convenient level within the recess would have been a trough into which water flowed for the canons’ ablutions. In the debris near this point part of a marble trough was found (Fig. 8, no. 6) and this may have come from the destroyed laver. No doubt the recess was arched and possibly vaulted, a Decorated capital found in debris probably forming part of this arrangement at the head of a triplet of slender shafts (Fig. 4, no. 4).
   Midway along the inside of the outer wall of the south range was a fireplace, represented by a rectangular hearth edged by a half-round stone kerb, projecting 1 ft. 5 in. into the room and originally about 6 ft. 6 in. wide (Plate IIIB). At its back, a brick oven had been formed in the thickness of the chimney projection, this almost certainly representing a post-Dissolution adaptation. The presence of this medieval fireplace at approximately the original ground level implies that the space below the refectory may have served as the warming house. Although this was often sited under the dormitory, exceptions occur in houses of various orders where the warming house was located in the same range as the

Page 80

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