Durham Cathedral, Monks Dormitory

Monks' Dormitory
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Today, a large undivided space, the monks’ dormitory (constructed between 1398 and 1404) was originally subdivided by wooden partitions to allow privacy. Each partition would have included a window, in front of which each monk would have had a desk for his books.

At each end of the dormitory were candles kept alight at night, and on the west side of the dormitory were the lavatories.

The sub-prior (the prior’s deputy, who was usually in charge of much of the day-to-day administration of a monastery) slept at the end of the dormitory closest to its entrance, presumably to monitor what was going on. Every night, he took attendance to make sure that all were present.

The most impressive architectural element of the dormitory is its massive beamed ceiling, constructed of oak.

Venue Type:

Sacred space

Opening hours

The Monks' Dormitory is currently closed for refurbishment as part of Durham Cathedral's major development project Open Treasure. The Monks' Dormitory will re-open as a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery on the completion of Open Treasure in 2016. For more information about Open Treasure, please visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/open-treasure

Admission charges


Collection details

Archaeology, Fine Art, Personalities

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days: Durham Cathedral- Open Garden

  • 12 September 2015

The Cathedral is joining in Heritage Open Days. The allotment garden on the South Bailey in Durham city centre, where the Cathedral grows flowers for display and cultivates plants for the Cathedral grounds, will be open to the public free of charge. This area is not normally available for public access so this is a special event and the Cathedral's Gardeners will be on hand to answer any questions.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Durham Cathedral, Monks Dormitory
The College







0191 386 4266

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