An unusual type of hermit existed in Medieval Europe. Called an anchorite, or anchoress as a large percentage of these individuals were women, they were sealed into small rooms in the walls of a church or abbey.
They received food and water through a small window by which they could also hold conversations, but they were never to see or touch another person again. Living a life of religious seclusion, anchorites were supported by the church and often turned to for spiritual advice.
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By –Immanuel Giel 12:05, 16 August 2007 (UTC) (Own work (own photography)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons