[Espresso Addict, 2010, Source: Wikimedia Commons]
-The church (A-E) was almost always on the north side of the monastery, allowing it to face east (very important) and preventing it from blocking the sun from the cloister. If the terrain didn’t allow that, it was built in the south instead, though in northern Europe especially this made the cloister even colder.
-The sacristy (H), where everything necessary for performing Mass was kept, and the chapter house (I), where the religious held their chapter meetings were located next to the church along the east side of the cloister.
-The dormitory was located on the upper floor of the east side of the cloister, often with the latrines (L) at the south end. Underneath this was the undercroft. This may have been where the scriptorium was located, though a lack of light might have caused problems.
-The refectory (J), where the religious ate took up the south side of the cloister. In Cistercian monasteries, this was generally perpendicular, to allow for a kitchen (Q) and warming room (unmarked) by the cloister as well. In other monasteries the kitchen was generally attached to the refectory but not the cloister.*
-The buildings along the western side of the cloister could be used for a number of things. Many monasteries used them for storage. Cistercian male monasteries used this space as a dormitory for their lay brothers.
-Other buildings** would be located outside this general group and did not have a standard location.
It’s important to remember that none of this was set in stone (pardon the pun). It was more of a starting point. Builders could and did rearrange things to fit the terrain and add buildings to suit the needs of the monastery.***
** For example, Abbot’s/Abbess’s House, infirmary, guest house, and school if the monastery had any of these.
***At least in drawing up the plans. Moving buildings after they had been constructed would have been a bit difficult.
Finally, for reference, a Cistercian monastery:
[Adrian de Montfort, Kirkstall Online, Source: Wikimedia Commons]
Lawrence, C. H. Medieval Monasticism. London: Longman, 1984.
Stalley, Roger. Early Medieval Architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
For an example of a monastery with only slight differences, look at the St. Gall Plan.
For an example of a monastery where the builders started with this basic layout in mind and then had to deviate strongly from it, look at the floor plan of Mont St. Michel in France: Upper Level, Lower Level. (It's in French. I couldn't find an English version.)