Gloucester Cathedral

loucester Cathedral's history goes back a long time. In 681 King Ethelred gave Osric permission to found a monastery in Gloucester in honour of St. Peter. In 1048, A few years before the Norman Conquest of 1066, the site was used by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, to found a Benedictine Monastery. The city of Gloucester being an important royal city at the time.

William the Conqueror found the monastery in a state of decay and he appointed the first Norman abbot, Serlo, in 1072. Serlo started major rebuilding work in 1089 that lasted until he died in 1104. The abbey church he built was consecrated in 1100. When Serlo died, in 1104, he was succeeded by Prior Peter and during his reign, the abbey church was given many donations of land. One of these being Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror's eldest son. An effigy of Robert can be seen in the Cathedral. The abbey also became an important Benedictine house in this century.

Above is a photograph of the Great Cloister. Normally cloisters are normally built to the south of the church but in this case they lie to the north. This may have been because of a lack of open space to the south. The cloisters may have been rebuilt between the middle and late 14th century and contain the first fan vaults to be seen in Britain. Fire played its part in the development of the abbey as the original Norman church had a wooden roof and was under constant threat. The abbey church was under constant financial threats as the cost of maintaining and adding to the building was so high. In 1284, John de Gamages became abbot at Gloucester and through his farming knowledge increased the stocks of sheep owned by the abbey and returned a profit. After de Gamages reign things again took a down turn, until the death of King Edward II. The King was buried at Gloucester and the number of pilgrims that visited the abbey gave it a much needed boost. Gloucester Cathedral was used as a location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

1048   Aldred founds Monastery at Gloucester
 Aldred, bishop of Worcester refounded a monastery at Gloucester. A monastery had already been founded at Gloucester in 681 by Ostric. 
1058   Gloucester Cathedral rebuilding starts
 Under the direction of Wulfstan, the future Bishop of Worcester, construction work began at Gloucester Cathedral. The new building was burnt down and rebuilt later by Abbot Serlo.[1] 
1072   Serlo takes over at Gloucester
 Serlo, William the Conqueror's chaplain, revived the floundering monastery at Gloucester and started major rebuilding work. Serlo died in 1104. 
1089   Serlo builds the crypt at Gloucester
 Some seventeen years after taking his position at Gloucester, Serlo built the crypt. 
1100 Jul 13  Abbey Church at Gloucester dedicated
 The abbey church at Gloucester built by Abbot Serlo was dedicated by Samson the Bishop of Worcester, Gundulph the Bishop of Rochester and Harvey Bishop of Bangor. 
1122   Gloucester fire
 A fire that started in the town of Gloucester spread to the Cathedral destroying treasures and all but a few books.[1] 
1134   Death of Robert Curthose
 Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror's eldest son, died in captivity in Cardiff Castle where he had been locked up since being defeated by his brother in 1106. Robert was buried in Gloucester Cathedral where there is an effigy of him still. 
1216 Oct 28  King Henry III Crowned
 King John's eldest son Henry was crowned King Henry III at the abbey church of Gloucester by Peter des Roches the Bishop of Winchester. The Earl of Pembroke, Earl Marshal of England (William Marshal), was declared Regent.

Episode: The First Barons' War  
1232   Oaks given to Gloucester
 Henry III donated one hundred and ten oaks from the forest of Dean to help in repair work at Gloucester church. 
1327 Sep  Edward II murdered at Berkeley Castle
 Edward was buried at the abbey church at Gloucester.

Episode: Isabella, She-Wolf of France and death of Edward II  
1377   Building work at Gloucester Cathedral
 Work on Perpendicular style choir and cloisters was begun at Gloucester Cathedral. 
1378 Oct  Parliament at Gloucester
 Richard II held a parliament at Gloucester from October to December in this year putting much strain on the abbey due to the size of the crowds. [2] 
Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1540 Jan  Abbey at Gloucester surrenders
 The monastery at Gloucester surrendered to Henry VIII as part of the dissolution of the monasteries.[1] 
1541   Gloucester given Cathedral status
 The abbey at Gloucester became a Cathedral at the centre of its own diocese. Previously it had been part of the Worcester diocese. John Wakeman was assigned as the first bishop. [1] 


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