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WORCESTER CATHEDRAL

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The Saxon Cathedral and monastery. The see of Worcester was created in 680 at the synod of Hatfield as the episcopal see of the Hwiccas, and the Cathedral was built shortly afterwards. It was dedicated to St. Peter and was originally composed of a mixed company of clerks and monks. A separate monastery of St Mary, probably a double house, was created in 743, the two churches probably sharing the same cemetery. St Mary's eventually swallowed and superseded the earlier establishment. It became collegiate, and was refounded for Benedictine monks circa 974-7. In 969, the keys to the cathedral and its endowments were surrendered to St Marys, and Bishop Oswald began the construction of a new cathedral with the monks from both former establishments. By 977 it had been reformed to the Benedictine order. (See SO85SW8 for the later cathedral and Benedictine monastery.)Excavations in 1970 revealed 21 burials in the south passage and 14 in College Green (see plan). Those in the south passage appear to have been buried before the refectory was built and may therefore belong to the 10th century Saxon minster. There were no grave goods but the filling contained Roman sherds and some coarse gritty pottery possibly late Saxon. Part of a large baggy pot in the same ware was found in a pit under the burials. The College Green burials contained similar pottery and are probably of the same date.

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