Repton

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Repton. A ‘double monastery’, founded in the late 7th cent., it had close associations with the Mercian royal house. The Mercian prince St Guthlac began his monastic career at Repton, and several Mercian kings and princes were buried there including Merewalh, Æthelbald (d. 757), and Wiglaf (d. 840). It was also the burial place of Wiglaf's grandson Wigstan, murdered in 849 and shortly afterwards recognized as a saint. The crypt of the present church may have been originally a free-standing mausoleum in which Wiglaf and Wigstan were buried. In 873–4 Repton was used as a winter fortress by the Viking great army. Recent excavations have revealed details of the fortifications and a mass burial, probably of those who died of disease during the occupation. The church was a significant minster in the later Saxon period and was created an Augustinian priory in 1153.

Barbara Yorke

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