Two shaft fragments from the cloister of St Nicholas Priory

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Two shaft fragments from the cloister of St Nicholas Priory

The character of the cloister at St Nicholas is known only from architectural fragments, but these indicate that it must have been the object of lavish expenditure. These two fragments of twisted shafts carved in Purbeck marble, one of them excavated from within the cloister, are attributable to the late 12th century. They probably come from an elaborate arcade in which the capitals were supported on pairs of shafts with a variety of different designs. Such cloisters survive in France and at Canterbury in England.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum