How guests were cared for in medieval monasteries, exploring the administrative, financial, spiritual and other implications.
Hospitality was an integral part of medieval monastic life. In receiving guests the monks were following Christ's injunction and adhering to the Rule of St Benedict, as well as taking on an important role within society and providing a valuable service for fellow religious. This book draws on a wide range of sources to explore the practice and perception of monastic hospitality in England c. 1070-c. 1250, an important and illuminating time in a European and an Anglo-Norman context; it examines the spiritual and worldly concerns compelling monasteries to exercise hospitality, alongside the administrative, financial and other implications of receiving and caring for guests. Analysis focuses on the great Benedictine houses of Southern England (Abingdon, Bury St Edmunds, Canterbury, Reading, St Albans) for which a substantial and diverse body of material survives, but they are set in the context of other houses and other orders (chiefly the Cistercians) to show the wider picture in both England and Europe.