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OLDMINSTER

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The Saxon monastery of Berkeley may originally have been located at Oldminster, although alternatively, this may have been a possession of the monastery. The pre-Conquest monastery of Berkeley is first recorded in a charter of 759 which has Abbot Tilhere as a witness. Although an abbess was appointed in 802, this does not necessarily imply that the house was a double house. The Domesday Survey records that the monastery had been destroyed, and its lands alienated, by Earl Godwin sometime between 1019 and 1053. Yet the church, at least, must have been spared since the VCH states that it was a prebendal church (a secular college according to Knowles and Hadcock) before the Conquest, which was dissolved in 1135 by its gift to Reading Abbey. It is thought that if the original monastery stood at Oldminster, it was moved to Berkeley after the alienation by Earl Godwin.

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