An abbey was a collection of buildings centered around a church and inhabited by monastics. The community was, usually, either entirely male and governed by an abbot, or entirely female and governed by an abbess. The exception was the double monastery, which was often run by an abbess. Abbeys were usually founded by a specific monastic order and arranged according to that order's customs. Almost always completely self-sufficient, an abbey might owe legal, manorial or financial obligations to a secular leader or to superiors in the Catholic Church.

Also Known As: convent, friary, nunnery, monastery, or priory

Common Misspellings: abby

Examples: Bede spent most of his life in one abbey.