Skip to main content

Bath, Abbey of


Anglo-Saxon Benedictine monastery in Bath, England (patron, St. Peter). The early history of Bath is obscure and involved in the complicated politics of the Mercian hegemony. It was founded probably by the underking of the Hwicce in the last quarter of the 7th century as a convent of nuns. Apparently the nunnery did not prosper, if indeed it was ever a real community at all, and it came into the possession of the local bishop of worcester. In the 8th century the great Mercian king Offa took it from the bishop of Worcester and soon after some kind of genuine monastic community was found there. Bath did not prosper for long, and during the Viking wars it again became derelict. In the 10th century King Edmund gave the estates to a group of secular clerks who had been expelled from a monastery in Flanders by the reformer gerard of brogne. The abbey was reformed again, probably by oswald of york, and turned into one of the greatest English abbeys in King Edgar's reign. Although it is said that the martyr alphege of canterbury was abbot of St. Peter's in Bath, he was actually the abbot of a smaller, quite distinct community at Bath. After the Conquest, St. Peter's was largely destroyed in the rebellion following the death of William the Conqueror in 1087. At the same time it was decided to move the local see from Wells to Bath, and St. Peter's was rebuilt and henceforth became the seat of the bishops of bath and wells.

Bibliography: w. dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum (London 165573); best ed. by j. caley et al., 6 v. (181730) 2:256273. d. knowles and r. n. hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (New York 1953) 59, 253. d. knowles, The Monastic Order in England, 9431216 (2d ed. Cambridge, Eng. 1962), passim. d. knowles, The Religious Orders in England, 3 v. (Cambridge, Eng. 194860), passim.

[e. john]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bath, Abbey of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 22 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Bath, Abbey of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (February 22, 2019).

"Bath, Abbey of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.