Community ID
Alternate Names
S. Mary's Minster
S. Mary
Date Founded
743 or earlier. Refounded by c. 975 as a house of Benedictine monks by King Edgar amd Bishop Oswald.
Date Terminated
800-899 (9th century)--women may have been present as late as 1086
Foundation Information

A grant of 743 suggests the presence of a double community. It seems to still be there in 774 when another grant is made to Lady Aethelburga, the abbess. The property was later inhabited by monks and it is possible that it was only a house for religious women during Aethelburga's lifetime (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 1, 567).

Notable Members/Residents/Guests

The following 11th century women have been shown to have some attachment to the male community at Worcester: Wulfgifu, mother of S. Wulfstand, bishop of Worcester; Eadgyth, lease holder of Knightwick and possibly daughter of Wulfgifu; Aelfeva, who held one hide of land for what she could beg at Cudley.

Miscellaneous Information

Two entries in the Domesday book suggest that two women, Aelfeva and Eadgyth, held land from the monastery as vowesses in the 11th century. This evidence and a reference of William of Malmesbury to Wulfstan's mother having taken the veil at Worcester in old age opens the possibility that female religious were still accommodated at Worcester, despite its reform, in the 11th century.

Admin. Notes

This is one of those communities where it may be worthwhile to include at least something about the male Benedictine community to which the women affiliated themselves.

Bruce L. Venarde
Contributors Notes

Complicated. Needs further investigation.

Date Started
Date Finished