A cellarium (from the Latin cella, "pantry"), also known as an undercroft, was a storehouse or storeroom, usually in a medieval monastery or castle. In English monasteries it was usually located in or under the buildings on the west range of the cloister.
The monastery's supplies of food, ale and wines were stored there, under the supervision of the cellarer, one of the monastery's obedientiaries. He was often assisted by a sub-cellarer.
The monastery was founded in 1132 and, soon after, was admitted to the Cistercian order, an austere and devout order that originated in France. A large lay brotherhood, working alongside the monks, cared for the buildings and farmed sheep and soon the Abbey was wealthy and influential.
Location: Fountains, Ripon HG4 3DY
Photographer: Paul Jeffs