A Cistercian monastery built in the 12th century, Kirkstall Abbey is steeped in history. This history has been explored over the years, with project-led excavations to provide information to help us build a picture of what life would have been like for those living in the Abbey.
West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service has recently published a book focusing upon the excavation of the Abbey’s monastic guest house. This book evidences how Kirkstall Abbey provided hospitality for a wide range of visitors and guests. Many of them were accommodated in a series of halls and chambers to the west of the Abbey church, served by separate kitchens, bakehouse, stables and smithy.
The excavations described in this volume reveal the complex development of these facilities from the late 12th to the early 16th centuries. The large quantities of ceramic, metal and other objects, along with the faunal remains, provide a uniquely detailed picture of the guests’ personal belongings, activities and diet, as well as the equipment and fittings of the buildings they occupied.
The book is the follow-on from volume one, which focused upon the excavation of the abbey’s buildings to the South, South-East and South-West of the cloister. For more information, or to place an order for the book please contact West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service on 0113 535 0144.