Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is the devolved parliament of Wales, with power to make legislation, vary taxes and scrutinise the Welsh Government. The Assembly comprises AMs. Since 2011, Members are elected for five-year terms under an additional members system, in which 40 AMs represent geographical constituencies elected by the plurality system, 20 AMs represent five electoral regions using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation; the largest party in the Assembly forms the Welsh Government. The Assembly was created by the Government of Wales Act 1998, which followed a referendum in 1997; the Assembly had no powers to initiate primary legislation until limited law-making powers were gained through the Government of Wales Act 2006. Its primary law-making powers were enhanced following a Yes vote in the referendum on 3 March 2011, making it possible for it to legislate without having to consult the UK parliament or the Secretary of State for Wales in the 20 areas that are devolved.
Legislation has been introduced by the Assembly Commission which will change the name of the institution from National Assembly for Wales to the Senedd, which may be known as the Welsh Parliament. An appointed Council for Wales and Monmouthshire was established in 1949 to "ensure the government is adequately informed of the impact of government activities on the general life of the people of Wales"; the council had 27 members nominated by local authorities in Wales, the University of Wales, National Eisteddfod Council and the Welsh Tourist Board. A post of Minister of Welsh Affairs was created in 1951 and the post of Secretary of State for Wales and the Welsh Office were established in 1964 leading to the abolition of the Council for Wales; the establishment of the Welsh Office created the basis for the territorial governance of Wales. The Royal Commission on the Constitution was set up in 1969 by Harold Wilson's Labour Government to investigate the possibility of devolution for Scotland and Wales.
Its recommendations formed the basis of the 1974 White Paper Democracy and Devolution: proposals for Scotland and Wales, which proposed the creation of a Welsh Assembly. However, Welsh voters rejected the proposals by a majority of four to one in a referendum held in 1979. After the 1997 general election, the new Labour Government argued that an Assembly would be more democratically accountable than the Welsh Office. For eleven years prior to 1997 Wales had been represented in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom by a Secretary of State who did not represent a Welsh constituency at Westminster. A second referendum was held in Wales on 18 September 1997 in which voters approved the creation of the National Assembly for Wales with a total of 559,419 votes, or 50.3% of the vote. The following year the Government of Wales Act was passed by the United Kingdom parliament, establishing the Assembly. In July 2002, the Welsh Government established an independent commission, with Lord Richard as chair, to review the powers and electoral arrangements of the National Assembly to ensure that it is able to operate in the best interests of the people of Wales.
The Richard Commission reported in March 2004. It recommended that the National Assembly should have powers to legislate in certain areas, whilst others would remain the preserve of Westminster, it recommended changing the electoral system to the single transferable vote which would produce greater proportionality. In response, the British government, in its Better Governance for Wales White Paper, published on 15 June 2005, proposed a more permissive law-making system for the Welsh Assembly based on the use of Parliamentary Orders in Council. In so doing, the Government rejected many of the cross party Richard Commission's recommendations; this has attracted criticism from opposition others. The Government of Wales Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 25 July 2006, it conferred on the Assembly legislative powers similar to other devolved legislatures through the ability to pass Assembly Measures concerning matters that are devolved. Requests for further legislative powers made through legislative competence requests were subject to the veto of the Secretary of State for Wales, House of Commons or House of Lords.
The Act reformed the assembly to a parliamentary-type structure, establishing the Welsh Government as an entity separate from, but accountable to the National Assembly. It enables the Assembly to legislate within its devolved fields; the Act reforms the Assembly's electoral system. It prevents individuals from standing as candidates in regional seats; this aspect of the act was subject to a great deal of criticism, most notably from the Electoral Commission. The Act was criticised. Plaid Cymru, the Official Opposition in the National Assembly from 1999–2007, attacked it for not delivering a fully-fledged parliament. Many commentators have criticised the Labour Party's partisan attempt to alter the electoral system. By preventing regional Assembly Members from standing in constituency seats the party has been accused of changing the rules to protect constituency representatives. Labour had 29 members in the Assembly at the time; the changes to the Assembly's powers were commenced on 4 May 2007, after the election.
Following a referendum on 3 March 2011, the Welsh Assembly gained direct law making powers, without the need to consult Westminster. The Conservative-Liberal coalition government created the Commission on Devolution in Wales
The River Usk rises on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain, Wales, in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Forming the boundary between Carmarthenshire and Powys, it flows north into Usk Reservoir east by Sennybridge to Brecon before turning southeast to flow by Talybont-on-Usk and Abergavenny after which it takes a more southerly course. Beyond the eponymous town of Usk it passes the Roman legionary fortress of Caerleon to flow through the heart of the city of Newport and into the Severn estuary at Uskmouth beyond Newport at Newport Wetlands; the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal follows the Usk for most of the length of the canal. The name of the river derives from a Common Brittonic word meaning "abounding in fish", this root appears in other British river names such as Exe, Axe and other variants; the name is cognate with the Welsh word for fish, borrowed from Latin piscis. The name of the river appears as "Wÿsk" on the Cambriae Typus map of 1573; the whole river has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
It contains estuary with mudflats and salt marsh, lagoons and marsh, varied grassland and woodland habitats along its course. Its flora and fauna are diverse and includes Atlantic salmon, twait shad, lamprey, European perch, brown trout, common dace and common roach as well as kingfishers and other wildfowl and bird life. Dippers can be seen upriver along with red kites in the river's valley upstream from around the town of Usk; the Usk has long been trout fishing river. Salmon of over 30 pounds may still be caught; the river has the highest estimated salmon egg deposition of any river south of Cumbria and the Scottish rivers, exceeded its spawning target. The river has been rated as the best fly fishing water in Wales for salmon and inside the UK Top Ten; the normal tidal limit of the river is just below the bridge at Newbridge-on-Usk, some five miles north of Newport. The River Usk has played an important role in the history of Wales and features in some local folk-tales; the tidal reaches of the Usk have been used as a major shipping port for much of the last millennium because of its wide and deep mouth, good navigable access from the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel and thence access to home waters and further overseas.
Evidence of the Usk's long-standing use in transport and trade came in the form of the remains of the Newport Ship that were discovered in 2002. This ship, dated to around 1465, was most a trading vessel and may have sailed around Europe or beyond in its lifetime, its presence in the Usk has confirmed what an important trading route the Usk must have been to the many towns and villages along its course. The Usk has played a role in many local legends; the Medieval Latin text De Ortu Waluuanii recounts a humorous tale in which an incognito Gawain pushes his uncle King Arthur into the Usk, is forced to explain to his wife Gwendoloena why he is so wet. Geoffrey of Monmouth writes of Caerleon in the mid 12th century: For it was located in a delightful spot in Glamorgan, on the River Usk, not far from the Severn Sea. Abounding in wealth more than other cities, it was suited for such a ceremony. For the noble river I have named flows along it on one side, upon which the kings and princes who would be coming from overseas could be carried by ship.
"It is not until the 13th century French prose romances that Camelot began to supersede Caerleon, then, many descriptive details applied to Camelot derive from Geoffrey's earlier grand depiction of the Welsh town."The Usk valley contains many sites of prehistorical archaeological significance and the valley has long been a trade route, settlement area and an avenue into Wales for successive invaders such as the Romans and Normans. The Newport Transporter Bridge, the lowest crossing point on the river, has the greatest length of any surviving transporter bridge in the world. List of rivers of Wales Usk Valley Walk List of bridges in Wales The Usk Valley Walk - photos A trophy salmon from the Usk in October 1917 Canoe Wales website information on canoe touring the Usk
A Roman legion was a large unit of the Roman army. In the early Roman Kingdom "legion" may have meant the entire Roman army but sources on this period are few and unreliable; the subsequent organization of legions varied over time but legions were composed of around five thousand soldiers. During much of the republican era, a legion was divided into three lines of ten maniples. In the late republic and much of the imperial period, a legion was divided into ten cohorts, each of six centuries. Legions included a small ala, or cavalry, unit. By the third century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, there were more of them. In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions may have become smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx. For most of the Roman Imperial period, the legions formed the Roman army's elite heavy infantry, recruited from Roman citizens, while the remainder of the army consisted of auxiliaries, who provided additional infantry and the vast majority of the Roman army's cavalry.
The Roman army, for most of the Imperial period, consisted of auxiliaries rather than legions. Many of the legions founded before 40 BC were still active until at least the fifth century, notably Legio V Macedonica, founded by Augustus in 43 BC and was in Egypt in the seventh century during the Islamic conquest of Egypt; because legions were not permanent units until the Marian reforms, were instead created and disbanded again, several hundred legions were named and numbered throughout Roman history. To date, about 50 have been identified; the republican legions were composed of levied men that paid for their own equipment and thus the structure of the Roman army at this time reflected the society, at any time there would be four consular legions and in time of war extra legions could be levied. Toward the end of the 2nd century BC, Rome started to experience manpower shortages brought about by property and financial qualifications to join the army; this prompted consul Gaius Marius to remove property qualifications and decree that all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for service in the Roman army with equipment and rewards for fulfilling years of service provided by the state.
The Roman army became a volunteer and standing army which extended service beyond Roman citizens but to non-citizens that could sign on as auxillia and were rewarded Roman citizenship upon completion of service and all the rights and privileges that entailed. In the time of Augustus, there were nearly 50 upon his succession but this was reduced to about 25–35 permanent standing legions and this remained the figure for most of the empire's history; the legion evolved from 3,000 men in the Roman Republic to over 5,200 men in the Roman Empire, consisting of centuries as the basic units. Until the middle of the first century, ten cohorts made up a Roman legion; this was changed to nine cohorts of standard size with the first cohort being of double strength. By the fourth century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, there were more of them; this had come about as the large formation legion and auxiliary unit, 10,000 men, was broken down into smaller units - temporary detachments - to cover more territory.
In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions may have become smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the Republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx. A legion consisted of several cohorts of heavy infantry known as legionaries, it was always accompanied by one or more attached units of auxiliaries, who were not Roman citizens and provided cavalry, ranged troops and skirmishers to complement the legion's heavy infantry. The recruitment of non-citizens appears to have occurred in times of great need. A Legion consisted of a Contubernium, consisted of 8 Legionaries; these Legionaries Were accompanied by 2 slaves. The Legionaries would select a man amongst their ranks to become a Decanus this was more of an election than a decision by one person; the size of a typical legion varied throughout the history of ancient Rome, with complements of 4,200 legionaries and 300 equites in the republican period of Rome, to 5,200 men plus 120 auxiliaries in the imperial period.
In the period before the raising of the legio and the early years of the Roman Kingdom and the Republic, forces are described as being organized into centuries of one hundred men. These centuries were grouped together as required and answered to the leader who had hired or raised them; such independent organization persisted until the 2nd century BC amongst light infantry and cavalry, but was discarded in periods with the supporting role taken instead by allied troops. The roles of century leader, secon
Caerleon is a suburban town and community, situated on the River Usk in the northern outskirts of the city of Newport, Wales. Caerleon is a site of archaeological importance, being the location of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca Augusta, an Iron Age hillfort; the Wales National Roman Legion Museum and Roman Baths Museum are in Caerleon close to the remains of Isca Augusta. The town has strong historical and literary associations, as Geoffrey of Monmouth elevated the significance of Caerleon as a major centre of British history in his Historia Regum Britanniæ, Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote Idylls of the King while staying there. Caerleon is a site of considerable archaeological importance as the location of a Roman legionary fortress or castra, it was the headquarters for Legio II Augusta from about 75 to 300 AD, on the hill above was the site of an Iron Age hillfort. The Romans called the site Isca after the River Usk; the name Caerleon may derive from the Welsh for "fortress of the legion".
Substantial excavated Roman remains can be seen, including the military amphitheatre and barracks occupied by the Roman Legion. In August 2011 the remains of a Roman harbour were discovered in Caerleon. According to Gildas, followed by Bede, Roman Caerleon was the site of two early Christian martyrdoms, those of Julius and Aaron. Recent finds suggest Roman occupation of some kind as late as AD 380. Roman remains have been discovered at The Mynde, itself a distinctive historical site. During the Middle Ages, Caerleon or nearby Venta Silurum was the administrative centre of the Kingdom of Gwent; the parish church, St Cadoc's was founded on the site of the legionary headquarters building sometime in the 6th century. A Norman-style motte and bailey castle was built outside the eastern corner of the old Roman fort by the Welsh Lord of Caerleon, Caradog ap Gruffydd; the Domesday Book of 1086 recorded that a small colony of eight carucates of land in the jurisdiction of Caerleon just within the welsh Lordship of Gwynllwg, was held by Turstin FitzRolf, standard bearer to William the Conqueror at Hastings, subject to William d'Ecouis, a magnate of unknown antecedents with lands in Hereford and other counties.
Listed on the manor were three Welshmen with as many ploughs and carucates, who continued their Welsh customs. Caerleon itself may have changed hands frequently. From the apparent banishment of Turstin by William II, Turstin's lands were transferred in 1088 by Wynebald de Ballon, brother of Hamelin de Ballon who held Abergavenny further up the River Usk. At about the same time as Wynebald's lands may have passed via his daughter to Henry Newmarch, possible illegitimate son of Bernard de Newmarch, c. 1155 the welsh Lord of Caerleon, Morgan ab Owain, grandson of King Caradog ap Gruffudd, was recognized by Henry II. Subsequently Caerleon continued in welsh hands, subject to occasional battles with the Normans. Caerleon was an important market and port and became a borough by 1171, although no independent charters exist. In 1171 Iorwerth ab Owain and his two sons burned the Castle. Both castle and borough were seized by William Marshal from Morgan ap Hywel in 1217 and Caerleon castle was rebuilt in stone.
The remains of many of the old Roman buildings stood to some height until this time and were demolished for their building materials. During the Welsh Revolt in 1402 Rhys Gethin, General for Owain Glyndŵr, took Caerleon Castle together with those of Newport, Llandaff, Abergavenny and Usk by force; this was the last time Caerleon castle was ruined, though the walls were still standing in 1537 and the castle ruins only collapsed in 1739 - their most obvious remnant is the Round Tower at the Hanbury Arms public house. The Tower is a Grade II* listed building. Across the Afon Lwyd from Caerleon, in the region of Penrhos Farm, are two English Civil War forts. In 1648 Oliver Cromwell's troops camped overnight on Christchurch Hill, overlooking Newport, before their attack on Newport Castle the next day; the old wooden Caerleon Bridge was destroyed in a storm in 1779 and the present stone version was erected in the early 19th century. Until the Victorian development of the downstream docks at Newport Docks, Caerleon acted as the major port on the River Usk.
The wharf was located on the right bank, to the west of today's river bridge which marked the limit of navigability for masted ships. A tinplate works and mills were established on the outskirts of the town, in Ponthir, around this time, Caerleon expanded to become joined to Newport. A plaque on the Mynde wall in High Street references the Newport Rising of 1839 in which John Frost of Newport was a prominent figure in the Chartist movement. John Jenkins, owner of Mynde House and owner of Ponthir Tinplate Works, built the wall to keep demonstrators out; the name of the former Drovers' Arms on Goldcroft Common bore witness to the ancient drovers' road on the old road from Malpas. It is thought. Writing in 1951, local historian and folklorist Fred Hando described the traditional journey through Caerleon of the Mari Lwyd or "Venerable Mary", a tradition similar to that of Hoodening found in Kent and Cheshire, involving a man dressed with a horse's skull; the jaw of the skull could be made to move, with the aid of rods.
Hando's informant, Gus Sergeant of Bulmoor, reported that the Mari Lwyd had not been seen in the town for at least 20 years, but he was still able to describe it: "We filled the eye-holes with waddin
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by producing bronze by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze itself is harder and more durable than other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition. Although the Iron Age followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic.
Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems; the overall period is characterized by widespread use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction and development of bronze technology were not universally synchronous. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques. Tin must be mined and smelted separately added to molten copper to make bronze alloy; the Bronze Age was a time of developing trade networks. A 2013 report suggests that the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to the mid-5th millennium BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik, although this culture is not conventionally considered part of the Bronze Age; the dating of the foil has been disputed. Western Asia and the Near East was the first region to enter the Bronze Age, which began with the rise of the Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC.
Cultures in the ancient Near East practiced intensive year-round agriculture, developed a writing system, invented the potter's wheel, created a centralized government, written law codes and nation states and empires, embarked on advanced architectural projects, introduced social stratification and civil administration and practiced organized warfare and religion. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and astrology. Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Ancient Near East Bronze Age can be divided as following: The Hittite Empire was established in Hattusa in northern Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite Kingdom was at its height, encompassing central Anatolia, southwestern Syria as far as Ugarit, upper Mesopotamia. After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the Levant conjectured to have been associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples, the kingdom disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC.
Arzawa in Western Anatolia during the second half of the second millennium BC extended along southern Anatolia in a belt that reaches from near the Turkish Lakes Region to the Aegean coast. Arzawa was the western neighbor – sometimes a rival and sometimes a vassal – of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms; the Assuwa league was a confederation of states in western Anatolia, defeated by the Hittites under an earlier Tudhaliya I, around 1400 BC. Arzawa has been associated with the much more obscure Assuwa located to its north, it bordered it, may be an alternative term for it. In Ancient Egypt the Bronze Age begins in the Protodynastic period, c. 3150 BC. The archaic early Bronze Age of Egypt, known as the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt, c. 3100 BC. It is taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the Protodynastic Period of Egypt until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king.
Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic period. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age was the largest city of the time; the Old Kingdom of the regional Bronze Age is the name given to the period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement – the first of three "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley. The First Intermediate Period of Egypt described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned about 100 years after the end of the Old Kingdom from about 2181 to 2055 BC. Little monumental evidence survives from this period from the early part of it; the First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time when the rule of Egypt was divided between two competing power bases: Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt and Thebes in Upper Egypt. These two kingdoms would come into conflict, with the Theban kings conquering the north, resulting in the reunification of Egypt under a single ruler during the second part of the 11th Dynasty.
The Middle Kingdom of Egypt laste
An abbey is a complex of buildings used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. It provides a place for religious activities and housing of Christian monks and nuns; the concept of the abbey has developed over many centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic. An abbey may be open to visitors; the layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey follows a set plan determined by the founding religious order. Abbeys are self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, refuge to the persecuted, or education to the young; some abbeys offer accommodation to people. There are many famous abbeys across Europe; the earliest known Christian monasteries were groups of huts built near the residence of a famous ascetic or other holy person. Disciples wished to be close to their holy man or woman in order to study their doctrine or imitate their way of life.
In the earliest times of Christian monasticism, ascetics would live in social isolation but near a village church. They would subsist whilst donating any excess produce to the poor. However, increasing religious fervor about the ascetic's ways and or persecution of them would drive them further away from their community and further into solitude. For instance, the cells and huts of anchorites have been found in the deserts of Egypt. In 312 AD, Anthony the Great retired to the Thebaid region of Egypt to escape the persecution of the Emperor Maximian. Anthony was the best known of the anchorites of his time due to his degree of austerity and his powers of exorcism; the deeper he withdrew into the wilderness, the more numerous his disciples became. They refused to be built their cells close to him; this became a first true monastic community. Anthony, according to Johann August Wilhelm Neander, inadvertently became the founder of a new mode of living in common, Coenobitism. At Tabennae on the Nile, in Upper Egypt, Saint Pachomius laid the foundations for the coenobitical life by arranging everything in an organized manner.
He built several monasteries, each with about 1,600 separate cells laid out in lines. These cells formed an encampment where the monks performed some of their manual tasks. There were nearby large halls such as the church, kitchen and guest house for the monk's common needs. An enclosure protecting all these buildings gave the settlement the appearance of a walled village; this layout, known as the laurae, became popular throughout Palestine. As well as the "laurae", communities known as "caenobia" developed; these were monasteries. The monks were not permitted to retire to the cells of a laurae before they had undergone a lengthy period of training. In time, this form of common life superseded that of the older laurae. In the late 300s AD, Palladius visited the Egyptian monasteries, he described three hundred members of the coenobium of Panopolis. There were seven smiths, four carpenters, twelve camel-drivers and fifteen tanners; these people were divided into subgroups, each with its own "oeconomus".
A chief steward was at the head of the monastery. The produce of the monastery was brought to Alexandria for sale; the moneys were given away as charity. Twice in the year, the superiors of several coenobia met at the chief monastery, under the presidency of an "archimandrite" in order to make their reports. Chrysostom recorded the workings of a coenobia in the vicinity of Antioch; the monks lived in separate huts. They were subject to an abbot, observed a common rule; the layout of the monastic coenobium was influenced by a number of factors. These included a need for defence, economy of space, convenience of access; the layout of buildings became orderly. Larger buildings were erected and defence was provided by strong outside walls. Within the walls, the buildings were arranged around one or more open courts surrounded by cloisters; the usual arrangement for monasteries of the Eastern world is exemplified in the plan of the convent of the Great Lavra at Mount Athos. With reference to the diagram, the convent of the Great Lavra is enclosed within a strong and lofty blank stone wall.
The area within the wall is between four acres. The longer side is about 500 feet in length. There is only one entrance, located on the north side, defended by three iron doors. Near the entrance is a large tower, a constant feature in the monasteries of the Levant. There is a small postern gate at L; the enceinte comprises two large open courts, surrounded with buildings connected with cloister galleries of wood or stone. The outer court, the larger by far, contains the granaries and storehouses, the kitchen and other offices connected with the refectory. Adjacent to the gateway is a two-storied guest-house, entered from a cloister; the inner court is surrounded by a cloister. In the centre of this court stands the katholikon or conventual church, a square building with an apse of the cruciform domical Byzantine type, approached by a domed narthex. In front of the church stands a marble fountain, covered by a dome supported on columns. Opening from the western side of the cloister, but s