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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Research - Functional Religious Buildings

As has been pointed out, there are often a number of functional buildings that are attached to religious buildings. These would be where members of the Ecclesiarch live, eat and sleep as well as go about their daily lives. The type, size and number of different rooms varies hugely from place to place for all manner of reasons, but for the pruposes of this it is enough to know that there are often functional rooms or buildings attached to large religious structures such as churches (and synagogues and mosques of course!)

Again, sticking with the familiar (for me) Christian church model we touched on in the previous Research on Religious Architecture lets take a look at some spaces.

Cloisters are a necessary part of the Claustral life of monks (or nuns) as it allows them to live within the enclosure and apart from others. As such, cloisters attached to churches or cathedrals show that the building is (or was) part of a monastic foundation, acting as places for quiet meditation or study.

A cloister is an open space surrounded by an arcade of covered walk ways. The picture shows a fine example from Salisbury Cathedral (UK) where you can clearly see the series of arches. Cloisters will have access to a number of surrounding buildings or rooms, such as a dormitory (sleeping room(s)) or refectory (dining hall) etc.

The Vestry is a small room which is part of, or attached to the main religious building. Not only is this a place where vestments are kept and donned for services, but it is also a place where records, books and vessels etc. can be kept.

Historically, the churches administrative committee (also called a vestry) would have held closed or private meetings in the same room.

A vestry is not to be confused with a Chapter House.

Chapter House
Although a Chapter House is also used to hold meetings, this is a building or room which is attached to a larger religious building such as a cathedral that also has a monastic foundation. As such it is sized so that all of the monks (or nuns) can meet inside. The image shows the chapter house of Lincoln Cathedral with its distinctive shape and notable flying buttresses.

In Summary
Other rooms or buildings in large establishments can include places such as a School, Library or Treasury. However, even after a quick look at this, you can see that a fully functioning "Imperial Shrine" or cathedral-like building, is likely to have a number of accompanying buildings associated with it. This means I'm going to need to plan some appropriate buildings!

...Thanks Annakata...


  1. Just found this place due to Annakata's Check your Corners, and I've proceeded to add you to my blogroll as well.
    I need some more good scenery related blogs to get myself motivate....and you just made me want to buy the Large Sector pack from GW so you are doing quite well.

  2. Ah, I was looking at your "You ain't seen Squat" blog a few days ago - it's where I found Sabol Studios thanks to your post with pictures of their absolutely crazy cathedral building! Thanks for coming over, and hopefully I can keep you interested!

  3. Oh I am sure you will, and you are welcome :) I do have my own version of the Cathedral, large enough to fit a Land Raider inside but nowhere near finished. If you are on Dakka as well you might be interested in:



  4. You sir, have been added to the Inspiration page...

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Silly leaving a deleted message thingy.

    It was thankee very much, Sirrah.

    Then there was a but. But, that is not me, just something that was also inspiring me that I thought you might like. I wish that was my stuff.

  7. oh, lol, well, thanks for pointing me to it any
    way, it will be staying on the inspiration page, though I will edit out the false advertising! hehe!