March 2024

A white fragment of mortared floor of the Saxon cloister of Eynsham Abbey cloister.

This is a fragment of the mortared floor of the Saxon cloister in Eynsham Abbey. The word ‘cloister’ comes from the Latin calustrum, which means ‘enclosure’. The Abbey cloister would have been an enclosed quadrangle, with roofed or vaulted passageways that connected different parts of the Benedictine abbey. The cloister is where novice monks would have been taught. Might Aelfric, the abbot (the head of the abbey) and the most highly renowned writer of his time, have walked on the part of the floor this fragment came from as he taught the novices from the many books he wrote in Old English and Latin?

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