The New Minster, Winchester
Minster was founded in AD 901 by King Edward
the Elder, both as a Royal Mausoleum for his father, King Alfred
the Great, and as a town church for the newly established
burgh. It originally dominated the little 7th century 'Old Minster'
standing alongside. However, during the late 10th century, this was
completely rebuilt on a huge scale. In order to try and compete, the New
Minster erected a six storey bell tower in the AD 980s. An extant
description shows that it was covered in rich carvings, presumably in the
well-known 'Winchester style'. With the building of the present Cathedral after
the Norman Conquest, the New Minster was demolished and the monks forced
to move north to just outside the City's North Gate at Hyde. Here a fine
Abbey Church was built and the bodies of both King Alfred and King Edward
were reburied within it.
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