EBK Activity Sheets for Kids


headed up by St. Aethelwold

  • In the mid-10th century, monasteries all over England were not run properly. Many were falling down.
  • A monk named Aethelwold was made an important Abbot in Abingdon (in Berkshire). He rebuilt the monastery there.
    Aethelwold was very interested in the way monasteries were run in Europe.
  • So he sent his friend, Osgar, to France. Osgar learnt how to run a monastery properly, according to the 'Rules of
    St. Benedict'. These were rules about how monks should behave and how a monastery should be laid out around a cloister. When Osgar returned home, he showed Aethelwold how to do this.
  • Prince Edgar of England went to school at Abingdon and was taught by Aethewlold. When he became King, he appointed Aethelwold as Bishop of Winchester. This made him very important. His friend, St. Dunstan, was made
    Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Together, these 3 persuaded everyone to change how they ran monasteries. They also set up lots of new ones. This was known as the 'Monastic Reform' movement.
  • Aethelwold's own monastery at the Old Minster in Winchester became very famous. It was the home of many skilled writers, manuscript illuminators, metalworkers, artists and stone carvers. The nearby Nunnaminster was famous for its needlework.


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