The five-star Yorkshire monastery where the monks will have en-suite bathrooms

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Monks at a North Yorkshire monastery are eagerly awaiting the first renovation of their austere accommodation in 120 years.

Ampleforth Abbey, which is home to members of the Benedictine order, adheres to the monkish principles of simplicity and poverty - yet old-fashioned fittings are causing discomfort for its elderly residents.

A major £6.8million refurbishment is now underway at the abbey, which houses 58 monks, many of whom teach at the co-educational public school Ampleforth College.

The 'cells' will now have their own en-suite bathrooms, thus ending the established ritual of monks having to queue to use the showers in the shared facilities.

The decades-old plumbing had become so loud that a 'bathroom curfew' had to be introduced to minimise night-time noise.

While the expectations of today's teenage boarders has meant that dormitories at the nearby school have been upgraded multiple times, their teachers have had to make do with just the installation of electric lights and hand basins since the turn of the 20th century.

Building work at the abbey is expected to be completed by 2019, and the cells will be rejuvenated with comfy new furniture, storage and even Molton Brown products in the bathrooms.

The Fathers themselves had debated the suitability of the modernisation proposals while still ensuring they remained faithful to their vows, but eventually decided that the building was wasting energy due to problems with the heating system, water leaks and broken windows.

The gurgling sinks are described as sounding 'like Niagara Falls' and cannot be used after 10.30pm or before 5.30am, when members of the order rise for morning prayers.

The monks' ages range from 25 to over 90, and older members have been resident in the abbey, which was built in 1897, since the days before central heating was installed.

They have even sold off some of their own personally-hoarded 'clutter' to fund the project, which will include a new hearing loop for elderly Fathers.

They insist they are hoping for comfort rather than luxury when their accommodation is refurbished, and have been moving to temporary lodgings while work takes place.