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Monastic Life

During Anglo-Saxon times, Worcester was one of the most important monastic cathedrals in the country and was home to a community of Benedictine monks. Reminders of this monastic life can still be seen: in various ruins in the Cathedral grounds; and also in the Cloisters, Garth Garden, stalls in the quire, and Chapter House which are still in use today.

Worcester was a great centre for learning and some of the texts produced by the monks can still be seen in the Cathedral library today. The large scriptorium was the work place for several famous scribes including Florence of Worcester, John of Worcester and an unnamed scribe known by his distinctive shaky handwriting as ‘The Tremulous Hand of Worcester’

In 1540 Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries in England and, at the Cathedral Priory of Worcester, the last Prior was elected as the first Dean.

Those particularly interested in monastic history can book a specialised tour via the Chapter Office on 01905 732902 or