The cellar of St Nicholas Priory as a domestic dwelling

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The cellar of St Nicholas Priory as a domestic dwelling

The cellar in the west range of St Nicholas Priory was built around 1100. It has a heavy groin vault of stone, provided in order to store food and drink at an even temperature. In the middle ages its provisions would have been guarded by the Cellarer, an important official in the monastery.

By the 19th century the old priory buildings had been sub-divided and occupied by many poor families. This pencil-and-wash drawing by the local artist John Gendall shows the cellar converted to use as a kitchen, with washing hanging on the line.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum