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Historic England Research Records

Wilton Abbey

Hob Uid: 214695
Location :
Wiltshire
Wilton
Grid Ref : SU0996031000
Summary : Benedictine nunnery and abbey allegedly founded in 830, and refounded in 890 and 934 and dissolved in 1539. This was one of the main nunneries of England for much of its existence. It was rebuilt in stone with a gift from Edith, wife of the Confessor. Many of the buildings, except the Almonry, were demolished prior to the construction of Wilton House, which was built on the site. Dependency: Hospital of St Mary Magdalene, Wilton.
More information : (SU 09873108) Almonry (NR) (1)

The Abbey of Wilton (for Benedictine Nuns) of St Mary,
St Bartholomew and (later) St Edith is supposed to have been
founded in 830 and re-founded in 890. However the first authentic
date is 934 when Athelstan granted land to the monastery of
St Mary at Wilton. The convent church was rebuilt in stone in
1065. In 1086 the abbey had the highest gross income recorded
for any nunnery in England. Traditionally it was fortified
by Stephen in 1143. Dissolved in 1539, it was granted
to Sir William Herbert in 1541. (2)

Apart from a Gothic arch discovered in the north range of
Wilton House and some apparently medieval masonry brought
to light recently in the south range, the only surviving
building is that known as 'the Almonry' which may have been the
'Bellhouse' court of the barony of Wilton (4). Dating from the
14th century it was presumably near the original entrance to the
abbey. The church and conventional buildings are usually said
to have lain slightly west of the quandrangle built
after 1544 but no foundations have come to light there. Aubrey
described a room which seems to have been in the north-west
corner of the quadrangle as a former dormitory. If the Tudor
great hall and kitchens which were in the north range,
represented the refectory group the abbey church would have been
more or less on the site of the south front. (3-4)

Additional information. (5-6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 267-268,485
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : A history of Wiltshire, volume 3
Source details :
Page(s) : 231-42
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Country Life
Source details : Hussey C
Page(s) : 1044-45
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : (9 May 1963)
Source Number : 5
Source : A history of Wiltshire, volume 6
Source details :
Page(s) : 2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Churches of south-east Wiltshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 2,3,9,11-13,44
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in stone
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 1040
Monument Type : Benedictine Nunnery, Abbey
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Allegedly founded 830
Monument End Date : 830
Monument Start Date : 830
Monument Type : Benedictine Nunnery, Abbey
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Allegedly refounded in 890
Monument End Date : 890
Monument Start Date : 890
Monument Type : Benedictine Nunnery, Abbey
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Refounded in 934
Monument End Date : 934
Monument Start Date : 934
Monument Type : Benedictine Nunnery, Abbey
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Dissolved in 1535
Monument End Date : 1535
Monument Start Date : 1535
Monument Type : Benedictine Nunnery, Abbey
Evidence : Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 03 SE 53
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 214597
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1062294
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 214600
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 03 SE 53
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-02-19
End Date : 1974-02-19
Associated Activities : Primary, WILTON HOUSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WILTON HOUSE GROUNDS
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31