Abbot's Kitchen, Glastonbury

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The Abbot's Kitchen, 1890

The Abbot's Kitchen is a mediaeval octagonal building that served as the kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey in Glastonbury, Somerset, England.[1] It is a Grade I listed building.[2] The abbot's kitchen has been described as "one of the best preserved medieval kitchens in Europe".[3] The stone-built construction dates from the 14th century and is one of a very few surviving mediaeval kitchens in the world.[4]

Historically, the Abbot of Glastonbury lived well, as demonstrated by the abbot's kitchen, with four large fireplaces at its corners. The kitchen was part of the opulent abbot's house, begun under Abbot John de Breynton (1334–1342). It is one of the best preserved medieval kitchens in Europe and the only substantial monastic building surviving at Glastonbury Abbey.[5] The abbot's kitchen has been the only building at Glastonbury Abbey to survive intact. Later it was used as a Quaker meeting house.[6]

The building is supported by curved buttresses on each side leading up to a cornice with grotesque gargoyles.[2] Inside are four large arched fireplaces with smoke outlets above them, with another outlet in the centre of the pyramidal roof.[3] The building is designed so that hot air from the cooking fires would have risen up to the top of the building and escaped, whilst cooler air came from openings lower down and sunk into the kitchen, cooling it.[7][8]

The kitchen was attached to the 80 feet (24 m) high abbot's hall, although only one small section of its wall remains.[9] The architect Augustus Pugin surveyed and recorded the building in the 1830s.[10] The Abbot's Kitchen was again surveyed and conserved in 2013, reopening in 2014.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Glastonbury Abbey Photo: The Abbot's Kitchen". TripAdvisor. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b Historic England. "Abbot's Kitchen, Glastonbury Abbey (1172820)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b Historic England. "Abbot's Kitchen, Glastonbury Abbey (1172820)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Glastonbury Abbey's rare medieval kitchen to be conserved". BBC News. UK: BBC. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  5. ^ Sanderson, David (26 June 2001). "Abbot's Kitchen, Glastonbury Abbey". English Heritage. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Abbot's Kitchen; Glastonbury Abbey – Glastonbury, England, UK". Waymarking. Groundspeak. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  7. ^ "The Abbot's Kitchen, Glastonbury Abbey" (PDF). South Somerset Archaeological Research Group. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  8. ^ "The Abbot's Kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey". Prewett Bizley Architects. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  9. ^ Dunning, Robert W.; Siraut, M. C.; Thacker, A. T.; Williamson, Elizabeth. "Glastonbury and Street". A History of the County of Somerset. UK: British History Online. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  10. ^ "The Abbot's Kitchen in Glastonbury Abbey re-opens". UK: Glastonbury Reception Centre and Sanctuary]. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  11. ^ Dance, Emma (1 April 2014). "Medieval Abbot's Kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey to reopen this week after makeover". Bath Chronicle. UK. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°08′45″N 2°43′00″W / 51.145877°N 2.716651°W / 51.145877; -2.716651