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St. Aelfgith the Ellder of Shaftesbury - © Nash Ford PublishingSt. Aelfgith the Elder,
Abbess of Shaftesbury

(c.AD 875-c.895)

St. Aelfgith was the daughter of King Alfred the Great of England. She was probably destined for a religious life from an early age and may have been brought up at one of the favoured Wessex nunneries such as Wareham or Wimborne. However, a forged charter claims that she took the veil because of ill health.

In thanksgiving for his victories over the Vikings, her father built for her the nunnery at Shaftesbury in AD 888. She died on 4th June, probably around AD 895 - since land which her father had planned to leave her never came into the possession of Shaftesbury Abbey. She should not be confused with her nephew’s wife, St. Aelfgith the Younger.


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