Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access


1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room


Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Chapter Chapter Character next: Character

Chapter House

Building attached to a monastery or cathedral in which the meetings of the chapter are held

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Chapter House:

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Chapter House, a building attached to a monastery or cathedral in which the meetings of the chapter are held. In monasteries the chapter house was used daily after Prime (and sometimes after Terce), for the reading of the "Martyrology" and the "Necrology", for the correction of faults, the assigning of the tasks for the day, and for the exhortation of the superior, and again for the evening Collation or reading before Complin. Secular canons used the chapter house for similar purposes, and for the formal transaction of public business of common interest to the body corporate. The chapter house is not mentioned by St. Benedict (d. 543), nor is it indicated in the ancient plan of the Abbey of St. Gall, drawn up in 820; the monks then probably assembled for chapter in a part of the cloister near the church. The need of a separate building made itself felt, and the chapter house is mentioned in the statutes approved by the Council of Aachen in 816. The shape of the chapter houses varied: some were rectangular, others rectangular with an apsidal termination, others again were circular or polygonal. The rectangular room, with a wooden roof, and little architectural distinction, is characteristic of the continent of Europe. In England the chapter house was the object of very careful designing and elaborate ornamentation; the polygonal-shaped chapter house is a triumph of English thirteenth-century architecture, and no single instance of it is found either in France or Germany. The earliest example is probably that of Lincoln, decagonal in shape, which was built from 1240-1260. Other instances are those of York, Lichfield, Southwell, Salisbury, and Wells. English examples of the elongated form will be found at Bristol, Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Gloucester, and Oxford. The ingenious theory which seeks to identify the polygonal shape with secular foundations, and. the rectangular shape with monastic foundations, breaks down in presence of the circular chapter house of Worcester, and the octagonal chapter house of Westminster Abbey both Benedictine in origin.


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Chapter House'

prev: Chapter Chapter Character next: Character

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field


Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A

Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"Holy God, we praise Thy Name..."
-- The opening line of Te Deum laudamus, a hymn that can be traced as far back as the 2nd century A.D., in a translation common to American hymnals.


Latest OCE Discussion

Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2015, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013