Top 5 Facts: Monks and monasteries
1. The right address – Like calling a priest a ‘Father’, the correct form of address for a monk is ‘Dom’. This name comes from the Latin term ‘Domnus’, meaning sir or master.
2. Monastic order – Only one religious order was founded in medieval England. Established by St Gilbert of Semprinham, ‘Gilbertine’ monasteries were ‘double houses’ for men and women.
3. Britain’s oldest monastery? – Traditionally, Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset claims to be the first church (and monastery) in Britain. Modern archaeology has gone some way to confirm this claim.
4. Clocks – The first clocks created in medieval England were the work of monks. Richard of Wallingford built a clock in c1320. It became the first public clock in the country.
5. Footwear – Monks wore working boots in the fields, leather shoes in the monastery, and slippers in church. The Hollywood image of a monk wearing sandals is a modern day myth.