CANTERBURY HISTORICAL 

& ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY (CHAS)

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This area should strictly be called the Great Cloister, to distinguish it from the smaller cloister which stood close to the Infirmary.  The English word cloister is derived from Latin claustrum,  or "enclosure".

 

The relative location of cloisters and cathedral depended on local geography and features.  Placing the cloisters to the north of the cathedral, as is the case at Canterbury, is fairly uncommon, although similar arrangements are found at Chester, Gloucester and Bury St Edmunds.

 

Cloisters were roughly square in shape.  The four sides are sometimes known as 'walks'.  At Canterbury the use of Purbeck marble can be found in the main cloister east walk

 

Cloisters - east walk

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stones-loc-cloister-east stones-cloister-purbeck-A stones-cloister-purbeck-B