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Bell's Cathedrals

The Cathedral Church of Gloucester, A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief History of the Espicopal See

Henri Jean Louis

Library of Alexandria
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING It is neither possible, nor desirable, within the limits of a book of this size and scope, to go fully into the question, interesting though it be, of the relative claims of Aldred and Serlo to the honour of the first building of the Abbey of Gloucester. Professor Willis, in his lecture addressed to the meeting of the Archæological Institute, held at Gloucester in 1860, after giving various reasons for believing that the crypt dates back no further than 1089, when the foundation-stone was laid by Abbot Serlo, goes on to state that he was clearly of opinion that when the foundations of the cathedral were laid, the crypt was planned to receive the existing superstructure and no other. Professor Freeman, in his lecture published in the Records of Gloucester Cathedral, says: The first thing we do know for certain is, that in the year 1089, thirty-one years only after the dedication of Ealdred’s church, Serlo, the first Norman Abbot, began the building of a new church, which was itself dedicated in 1100. From the record quoted by Mr W. H. Hart (Chartulary, i. 3), the first mention of the abbey is in 681, when it was founded by Osric, viceroy of King Ethelred. It was dedicated to St. Peter, and Kyneburga (the sister of Osric) was the first Abbess of a double foundation for monks and nuns. She died in 710. Osric himself was buried in his church in 729 (Hart, i. 5), and his sister was buried near him, in front of the altar of St. Petronilla, which was on the north side of the then existing church