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Durham Chapter House

The great affairs of the monastic community and its everyday conduct were centred on the chapter house. Here bishop, prior, monks and senior lay officials met twice daily to exchange information, assign work tasks and agree - or try to - the policy that ruled the priory. It was a place of power, and sometimes high drama.

Many of the early prince bishops and priors were buried within the chapter house walls until glory overcame modesty and they dared claim a place in the cathedral near the sacred remains of St Cuthbert. When several of the graves in the chapter house were excavated in 1874, three contained gold rings set with sapphires and one, that of Bishop Rannulf Flambard (1099-1129), a crosier.

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