Wimborne Double Monastery
Community ID
 
894
 
Alternate Names
 
Winburn, Wimburn
 
Region
 
Dorsetshire
 
Modern Location
 
Wimborne
 
Corporate Status
 
Abbey
 
Dedication
 
S. Mary and S. Cuthberga
 
Date Founded
 
705 (traditional date), (or 715)
 
Date Terminated
 
876 (possibly as late as the 960s)
 
Religious Order
 
Benedictine
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Foundation Information
 

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, this minster was founded by Cuthburga after the death of her husband, Alfridith of Northumbria. According to other sources, she never consummated her marriage and retired first to Barking and then built the nunnery. A letter from bishop Aldhelm of Sherbourne grants a liberty to Wimborne as early as 705 (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 2, 88-89). Quenburga, sister of Cuthberga is sometimes listed as co-foundress. Some sources say that the monastery was destroyed by Danes. There are references to royal burials at Wimburne in the 960s that suggest some kind of community was still present to remember the kings. Its gender remains unknown. During the reign of Edward the Confessor secular cannons were found here. The new community existed from before 1066 to 1547.

 
First Members
 

Cuthburga acted as the first (?) abbess.

 
Notable Heads
 

A letter from Boniface mentions two abbesses, Cneuburga and Coenburga. Abbess Tetta, or possibly Eta, is named in the Life of Leoba who joined Boniface on his mission to Germany. According to Dugdale, Agatha and Lioba were educated by Tetta, and became abbesses, consecutively, at Scovershim in Germany (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 2, 88.

 
Secular Political Affiliations
 

The family of the king of Wessex supported the minster.

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

The majority of the Saxon foundation was destroyed by the Danes in tenth or eleventh century, however, the later Norman buildings still remain. For more information see ">http://www.wimborneminster.org.uk/"> [Wimborne Minster] .

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

Aethelwold seized Wimborne as his refuge when challenging his cousin Edward for the throne of Wessex. According to John of Worcester, Aethelwold kidnapped a nun to make good his escape. Thus it has been suggested that nuns remained at Wimborne later than the tradition of destruction by Danes allows. Furthermore in 962, a king, Sigeferth, killed himself and was buried at Wimborne (See Veiled Women, vol. 2, 235-237) and royalty were not usually buried at a community where there was no one to remember them.
Men and women were seperated by high walls in the community (Veiled Women, vol. 1, 53).

 
Contributors
 
WRL Project
 
Date Started
 
705
 
Date Finished
 
876
 
Length
 
307