Sherborne Abbey

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The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin at Sherborne in the English county of Dorset, is usually called Sherborne Abbey. It has been a Saxon cathedral (705-1075), a Benedictine abbey (998 - 1539) and is now a parish church.

Contents

History

Cathedral

There may have been a Celtic Christian church called 'Lanprobi' at the site, and Kenwalc or Cenwalh, King of the West Saxons is believed to be one of its founders.[1]

When the Saxon Diocese of Sherborne was founded in 705 by King Ine of Wessex, he set Aldhelm as first Bishop of the see of Western Wessex, with his seat at Sherborne. Aldhelm was the first of twenty-seven Bishops of Sherborne.[1][2]

Abbey

The twentieth bishop was Wulfsige III (or St. Wulfsin). In 998 he established a Benedictine abbey at Sherborne and became its first abbot. In 1075 the bishopric of Sherborne was transferred to Old Sarum, so Sherborne remained an abbey church but was no longer a cathedral. The bishop (in Old Sarum) remained the nominal head of the abbey until 1122, when Roger de Caen, Bishop of Salisbury, made the abbey independent.

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