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the infirmary


For monks who became ill or were growing old there was the Infirmary, to the south east of the Church, under the control of one of their number skilled in matters of health and disease, for the arts of medicine were specially nurtured in monasteries. Meat was allowed in the Infirmary to build up strength. A practice amongst the monks which we would consider strange was their regular attendance at the Infirmary every few months for blood-letting or phlebotomy, after which they rested for a few days.

Copyright Reading Museum Service from "Reading Abbey", published by Reading Museum & Art Gallery 1988.

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