The Cloisters were destroyed in the 1272 riots between the town and the monks. They took 150 years to rebuilt as work was slowed down by the Black Death. They display the change in architectural styles during this period. The east walk was the first to be completed by 1318 and and is early Decorated architecture. The west walk was built in the C14th. The north walk was the last to be finished in 1430 and is Perpendicular in style.
The cloisters are reached through the Prior’s door from the nave. The statues on the cloister side date from the C13th and escaped the attentions of the Puritans. At the top is Christ in Majesty surrounded by Lords temporal and spiritual.
They have a fine collection of roof bosses with a mix of secular and religious carvings. Those of the south corridor have scenes from the Book of Revelation.
There is nothing left of the chapter house, monk’s dormitory or warming room off the east walk, although the book cupboards used to store books survive.
At the western end of the south walk and near the entrance to the Refectory is the two bayed lavatorium where monks washed before eating. These were restored in the C20th and the south bay has wall statues of George v and Queen Mary. The adjacent bay has statues of George VI and his Queen, Elizabeth.
In the centre of the cloister green is a labyrinth,which commemorates the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. It is a twisting but continuous path to the centre and unlike a maze you cannot get lost. It is designed for the walker to contemplate the gentle guiding hand of God throughout life.