in cell

I wanted to share this post I found online: Anchoresses and Anchorites.

While it’s true that some lived alone in a single small room, some of them had multiple rooms, or even an entire house.  There are even examples of women living enclosed in groups of two or three.  Usually, but not always, this was because there weren’t enough spaces for women wanting to be anchoresses and having to join someone who was already enclosed.

Anchoresses were not left on their own.  There was always some church official keeping an eye on them.  They also received a lot of visitors, frequently pilgrims, most of them seeking advice.  Many anchoresses also lived in cells attached to churches and some of them weren’t restricted just to their cell, but to the church building as a whole.

The article makes an interesting point about the use of “anchoress”.

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