- About the place
- Visitors information
The See of Sherborne was created in AD 705 when the great Diocese of Winchester was divided in two, and Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury, was appointed as the first Bishop of the West Saxons.
The new Cathedral of Sherborne served St Aldhelm and twenty-six succeeding Saxon Bishops, but soon after the Norman Conquest the Bishop’s seat was moved to Old Sarum, and later Salisbury. Earlier, in 998, St Wulfsin had ejected the community of secular canons who served the Cathedral, and invited monks of the Order of St Benedict to replace them. Sherborne Abbey remained a Benedictine house until 1539 when Abbot John Barnstaple and his sixteen fellow monks surrendered it to King Henry VIII. Relations between the monks and the people of
Sherborne had not always been good - a riot in 1437 had resulted in a fire which permanently reddened the walls of the choir and the crossing - and the parishioners were delighted to regain possession of what has ever since been their parish church.