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The Upper Refectory

When the Cistercians originally broke from the Benedictines, they were strict vegetarians. However, during the reign of Henry VII, the rules of diet were relaxed by their Order, and they were permitted to eat meat. While many were eager enough to become carnivores, other frowned upon the dispensation, saying no good can come of it. To avoid the two dissenting groups at Forde Abbey eating together, the Upper Refectory was therefore built for the meat eaters, directly above the original refectory.

The Upper Refectory features an oak arch braced collar beam roof, which dates to the 15th century. This room has been used as a hay and fodder store during the 17th and 18th century for the farm which was between the house and the Kitchen Garden.

More areas of the house at Forde Abbey

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