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Gloucester, Abbey of


Monastery dedicated to St. Peter in the county of Gloucester and the Diocese of worcester, England. The site was occupied c. 681 by a nunnery established by Osric of Mercia, and later by seculars and Benedictine monks. It never flourished until William the Conqueror appointed his chaplain, Serle, as abbot in 1072. The king and his sons gave ample endowment for 80 monks. The abbey was noted for fine building, especially when funds were obtained from pilgrims visiting the tomb of Edward II (d. 1327), whose body was brought there by Abbot Thokey. The builders were pioneers of the perpendicular style (see church architecture). The abbey was dissolved in January 1540, and the following year the church became the cathedral of the new diocese established by henry viii.

Bibliography: w. h. hart, ed., Historia et cartularium monasterii sancti Petri Gloucestriae, 3 v. (Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores 33; 186367). The Victoria History of the County of Gloucester, ed. w. page (London 1907) v. 2.

[f. r. johnston]

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