chapter house

chapter house

noun
1.
Ecclesiastical. a building attached to or a hall forming part of a cathedral or monastery, used as a meeting place for the chapter.
2.
a building used by a chapter of a society, fraternity, sorority, etc.

Origin:
before 1150; Middle English chapitelhus, Old English captelhus

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

chapter house

chamber or building, often reached through the cloister, in which the chapter, or heads of monastic bodies, assemble to transact business. Chapter houses occur in various forms. In England the chapter houses of the medieval cathedrals were originally rectangular in plan (e.g., Canterbury), but the most common design is a polygon with a central pillar to support a vaulted ceiling. Particularly fine octagonal examples can be seen at Salisbury or Westminster. There are oblong chapter houses at Canterbury and Exeter and a circular one at Worcester. English chapter houses are often provided with a vestibule (e.g., Lincoln and Salisbury). On the continent of Europe, chapter houses are more rare than in England and are almost always rectangular

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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