Monastic churches in Dorset and Hampshire - 3

Wimborne Minster

A Benedictine abbey for nuns was founded here in 705 by Cuthberga, the sister of the king of Wessex. St Cuthberga is now the dedicatee. It became an important monastic centre and In 871 King Ethelred I of Wessex, the elder brother of Alfred the Great, was buried here. The monastery was destroyed by invading Danes in 1013, though the church survived. In 1043 Edward the Confessor founded a college of secular canons here to minister over a wide area.  The church and other buildings were rebuilt in Norman times.
  In 1318 the minster was made a ‘royal peculiar’ by Edward II. This removed any diocesan control of the institution. It was a wealthy institution until Henry VIII came along: he helped himself to much of that wealth. It ceased to be a royal peculiar in 1846; it is now the parish church of the Dorset town of Wimborne., more correctly known as Wimborne Minster.
  There is much to see here.  Two very fine features are the medieval astronomical  clock, and the chained library, one of only five in the world. On our visit the attendants very kindly let us photograph the library, not usually allowed.  



  Some views of the interior.

Tomb of John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset and his wife Margaret

The Crypt


Back to Christchurch Priory                                          On to Sherborne Abbey

Art in context index
                                                                                   home page - explore the site