Winchester
Community ID
 
939
 
Alternate Names
 
S. Mary's Winchester, Nunminster, Nunnaminster, S. Mary and S. Edburga
 
Town
 
Winchester
 
Diocese
 
Winchester
 
Region
 
Hampshire
 
Modern Location
 
Winchester
 
Corporate Status
 
Abbey
 
Dedication
 
S. Mary and S. Edburga
 
Date Founded
 
963
 
Date Terminated
 
1536, after being terminated in 1141 and then later refounded
 
Religious Order
 
Benedictine
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Foundation Information
 

According to tradition, Ealhswith, widow of King Alfred, founded S. Mary's Winchester south of High Streeet and east of the New Minster. The community underwent a reform after 964. Canons were attached until 1350 as at Wilton and Romsey.

 
Notable Heads
 

Abbess Aethelthryth or possibly her daugther, Aelghiua, was appointed as head at the time of the reform. Beatrice and Alice are named as the two heads that immediately followed he conquest.

 
Notable Members/Residents/Guests
 

Eadburh, daughter of Edward the Elder, took the veil at Winchester.

 
Population Counts
 

There were probably 70-80 nuns in the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1381 there were 39 nuns. In 1536 there were 26 nuns, 13 lay-sisters, 5 priests, 32 servants and dependants, while 26 girls, daughters of lords and gentlemen, were boarded and educated in the abbey. In 1539 there was an abbess and 22 nuns.

 
Secular Political Affiliations
 

Nunnaminster enjoyed royal patronage but, for reasons that are unclear, it did not prosper as other royal foundations did.

 
Assets/Property
 

Under the abbess Eadgifu, Nunnaminster may have received two mills in exchange for surrendering an urban watercourse to New Minster. In 1066, Nunnaminster's total land holdings amounted to 73 hides and one and a half virgates of land valued at 79 pounds 15 s. By 1086, this land had been much reduced.

 
Income
 

In 1535 the community's net income was over 179 pounds.

 
Other Economic Activities
 

The community educated girls.

 
Litigations
 

Abbess Eadgifu witnessed the settlement of a dispute between Wynflaed and Leofwine over land in Berkshire.

 
Early Documents
 

Codex Witoniensis

 
Relics
 

The Annals of Winchester, excerpted by Dugdale, place the body of Stint Edbuga at the monastery at the time of Edward son of Elveredus, king of the Angles just before a male monastery is founded (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 1, 206).

 
Manuscript Sources
 

Ms. in Bibliotheca Cottoniana: Domittiani A. 13 (Annals of Winchester)

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

Dugdale states that a monastery of nuns was built at Seftibery near Winchester by King Alrud. This may be that monastery Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 1, 190.

 
Conversi/ae and servants
 

In 1536 there were 13 lay-sisters, 5 priests, 32 servants and dependants, while

 
Admin. Notes
 

BOSB--Benedictine Order
NOTE: This is one of those communities that lists activity of the men for long after women have ceased to be present.
[V0936]

 
Contributors
 
Marilyn Dunn; Bruce Venarde
 
Date Started
 
963
 
Date Finished
 
1536
 
Length
 
801