Anglo-Saxon Glastonbury: Church and Endowment

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Boydell & Brewer, 1996 - History - 380 pages
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The early history of the religious community at Glastonbury has been the subject of much speculation and imaginative writing, but there are few sources which genuinely further our knowledge of Glastonbury Abbey in the Anglo-Saxon period. This has resulted in a lack of serious historical research and hence the neglect of an important ecclesiastical establishment. This study brings together the evidence of royal and episcopal grants of land and combines it with material from Domesday Book, to produce a survey of the landed endowment of Glastonbury Abbey before 1066, and an analysis of the history of its Anglo-Saxon estates. Although there is too little data to formulate a complete account of the Abbey's early landholdings, the surviving evidence, collected together here, outlines a history for each place named in connection with the pre-Conquest religious house; in addition, each case helps to establish an overall framework for the life-cycle of the Anglo-Saxon estate, building on our understanding of actual conditions of tenure and of the various fortunes ecclesiastical land might experience. LESLEY ABRAMS is Lecturer in History, Brasenose College, and Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford University.

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A lack of basic geography betrays the integrity of this study. Marten in Wiltshire has been associated with Damerham and Pentridge. The author claims that Marten was excluded from the Domesday survey. However, a brief study of the Kinwardstone Hundred for Wiltshire revelas 3 or 4 Domesday estates at Marten, none of which have an association with Glastonbury. Marten was part of a royal estate at Bedwyn during the late Saxon period, and much of it was granted to Mottisfont priory in the early thirteenth century. The mediaeval history can be conveniently traced in the Victoria Country history for Wiltshire volume 16.  

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Studies in Anglo-Saxon History/7 maps/Reserve 226


The Problem
The Sources
Charters in the Great Cartulary and Secretum domini
Index chartarum 3 5
Estates mentioned only in Domesday Book
Survey and Analysis
EstateManagement Tenure and the Evidence of Domesday Book
Estates named in Domesday Book as belonging to Glastonbury Abbey
Some Issues
Royal grants to Glastonbury Abbey
Index of Manuscripts

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