chapter-house

A building attached to a monastery or cathedral in which the meetings of the chapter are held. In monasteries the chapter house was used daily after Prime for the reading of the Martyrology and Necrology, the correction of faults, the assignment of daily tasks, the exhortation of the superior, and again for the evening collation. Secular canons used it for the formal transaction of public business of common interest to the body corporate. Its shape is varied. In England it was the object of careful designing, culminating in the polygonal chapter house of which Lincoln Cathedral (1240 to 1260) has perhaps the earliest example.