Page last modified 18/8/2020
The growth of monasticism in the early Church was a lay reaction to the perceived departure from original Christian ideals that the Church had undergone in the first few centuries after Christ’s death. However monasticism itself soon became subservient to the Catholic Church.
1415, By the time of the Council of Constance, this year, some 15,070 Benedictine abbeys alone had been established across western Europe.
1614, Salzburg Cathedral was founded.
698, The Monastery of St Peters, Salzburg, Austria, was founded.
1500, Antwerp Cathedral was completed (begun 1352).
651, The Benedictine Monastery at Stavelot, Belgium, was founded.
18/10/1937, Rheims Cathedral was re-consecrated.
1334, Construction of the Palace of the Popes, Avignon, began (completed 1362).
1212, Construction work began on Rheims Cathedral (completed 1311).
1204, The Cistercian Abbey of Port Royal, SW of Paris, was founded by Mahaut de Garlande.
1163, Construction began on Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (completed 1235).
1155, Senlis Cathedral was founded.
21/3/1098, Cîteaux Abbey was founded; the origin of the Cistercian Order. See 21/3/1098 in main section above.
1096, Toulon Cathedral was founded.
1084, The first Carthusian monastery was founded by St Bruno at Chartreuse, in the mountains near Grenoble.
1015, Building of Strasbourg Cathedral began.
910, Benedictine Abbey of Cluny founded. It became the largest of its Order in Europe.
660, The Abbey of |Notre Dame at Soissons, 110 km NE of Paris, was founded.
625, Abbey of St Denis founded.
600, Building work commenced on Arles Cathedral,
511, The Convent of St Cesaire, Arles, France, was founded.
430, St Claud Monastery, Jura, was founded.
14/8/1880. Cologne Cathedral was completed; it was begun in 1248 (or 1270/5)..
1628, Salzburg Cathedral was completed (begun 1614).
1488, Munich Cathedral founded.
1275, Essen Benedictine monastery was founded.
1137, Mainz Cathedral was completed.
1059, Bonn Cathedral begun.
980, Building of Mainz Cathedral began.
904, Tbe Benedictine Monastery of Luneberg was founded.
873, Essen Benedictine nunnery was founded.
853, Essen Minster founded.
802, The monastery at Munster was founded. St Ludger was the first Bishop (died 809).
796, Aachen Cathedral wasd founded by Charlemagne.
792, Construction of Fulda Cathedral, Germany,began.
764, Benedictine monastery at Ottobeuren, Bavaria, founded.
763, Benedictine monastery at Lorsch, Hesse, founded.
736, The Benedictine Abbey of Hersfeld, Hesse, was founded.
1142, Mellifont Abbey, Drogheda, was founded; the first Cistercians establishment in Ireland.
1289, Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden, was founded.
1264, The oldest church in Stockholm was founded, and dedicated to St Nicholas.
1220, Geneva Cathedral was completed after 60 years of construction.
1027, The Benedictine monastery of Muri was founded (suppressed 1841).
740, St Leodegar monastery, Switzerland, founded.
714, Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau, Lake Contsance, founded.
1/3/1986, Ely Cathedral became the first cathedral in Britain to levy an admission charge.
1895, Construction of the Catholic Cathedral at Westminister began.
14/5/1967. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was consecrated.
28/12/1966, Westminster Abbey celebrated its 900th anniversary.
30/5/1962, Coventry’s new Cathedral was inaugurated. The original mediaeval building had been destroyed by German bombers in November 1940.
25/5/1962. Coventry’s new cathedral, designed by Sir Basil Spence, was consecrated.
17/5/1961. Guildford Cathedral was consecrated.
19/7/1924. Liverpool Cathedral was consecrated, although it was not yet finished. Construction had begun in 1904.
28/6/1910. Westminster Cathedral, Catholic, was consecrated.
17/7/1904. The foundation stone of the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral was laid by King Edward VII.
29/6/1895, The foundation stone of Westminster Cathedral, London, was laid.
20/5/1840. York Minster was badly damaged by fire.
5/12/1697. The first Sunday service was held in Sir Christopher Wren’s new St Paul’s Cathedral (consecrated 2/12/1697), London; the foundation stone had been laid on 22/6/1675.
See also Great Britain for religious conflicts during 16th century
1460, Winchester Cathedral was completed.
1405, Construction work on Bath Abbey began (completed 1499).
1378, St Machar Cathedral, Aberdeen, founded.
13/2/1322, The central tower of Ely Cathedral in England fell.
1316, England had some 900 religious houses with 17,500 members; in 1216 the total was 700 houses with 13,000 members, and in 1066 just 50 houses with 1,000 monks and nuns. Over this period the population of England had tripled.
1307, The towers of Lincoln Cathedral were completed.
1293, An order of St Clare nuns was established in London, the ‘Sorores Minores’. Set up by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, this gave its name to The Minories today.
19/6/1285. Westminster Abbey completed.
1273, Sweetheart Abbey (Cistercian), near Dumfries, Scotland, was founded by Devorgilla, Lady of Dumfries,in memory of her late husband, John Balliol.
1258, Richmond Friary, Yorkshire (Franciscan), was founded.
20/9/1258. Salisbury Cathedral was consecrated. Construction had begun on 28/4/1220 when the foundation stone was laid..
1238, Inchmahome Priory (Augustinian), Perthshire, was founded.
6/10/1238, Peterborough Cathedral was consecrated.
1232, The Augustinian Priory of Selthorne, Hampshire, was founded.
19/6/1224, The foundation stone of Elgin Cathedral was laid.
1204, Beaulieu Abbey (Cistercian), Hampshire, was founded by King John.
1204, Medmenham Abbey, (Cistercian), Buckinghamshire was founded.
1197, Construction work began on Glasgow Cathedral. This replaced an earlier church built in 1136 by Bishop John Achaius, which had burnt down.
1196, Tor Abbey, Torquay, was founded.
1182, Bicester Priory (Augustinian) was founded by Gilbert de Basset.
1181, The first Carthusian Monastery in England was founded, at Witham.
1180, The Cathedralof St Davids, Pembrokeshire, was founded.
1178, Lesnes Abbey, Bexley, London, was founded by Richard de Lucy. See London, 1936.
1177, The Augustinian Waltham Abbey was founded.
1170, Newstead Abbey (north of Nottingham) was founded by the Augustinians.
1158, Construction of Oxford Cathedral began.
1161, Dudley Priory (Cluniac) was founded.
1154, Chicksand Priory, Bedfordshire, (Gilbertine) was founded.
1153, Faversham Priory, Kent Benedictine was founded.
1152, Kirkstall Abbey, near Leeds, was founded; originally founded at Barnoldswick in 1147, moved to Kirkstall 5 years later.
1150, A Benedictine Priory was founded at Birkenhead.
1150, The Augustinian priory at Christchurch (Bournemouth) was founded,
1147, Faversham Abbey (Cluniac) founded.
1145, Woburn Abbey (Cistercian) was founded.
1144, St Andrews Priory (Augustinian) was founded.
1142, CoggeshallAbbey (Cistercian) was founded.
1140, Forde Abbey, Dorset, (Cistercian) was founded.
1137, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkneys, was founded.
1136, The Cistercian Abbey of Melrose was founded by King David I of Scotland.
1134, The Cistercian Abbey of Stratford (east London) was founded. By 1134 there were over 30 Cistercians houses across Europe; by 1154, over 280; and by 1200, over 500. By the 1400s, at their peak, there were some 750 Cistercians houses in existence. They came to exercise a significant influcnec over Church affairs.
1132. Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, was founded.
9/5/1131, Tintern Abbey was founded.
1130, Neath Abbey, south Wales, was founded by the Cistercians.
1128, Holyrood Abbey was founded by King David I of Scotland.
1128, Waverley Abbey, near Farnham, was founded; the first Cistercian Abbey in England.
1127, Furness Abbey, originally Benedictine was founded. It became a very wealthy Cistercian house.
1121, Reading Abbey (Benedictine) was established by King Henry I.
1119, Guisborough Priory was founded by Robert de Brus. At the time of the reformation this was one of the wealthiest monastic institutions in England.
1212, Southwark Cathedral begun.
1112, Exeter Cathedral was founded.
1106, The Augustinian Priory of St Mary was founded at Southwark (London).
1108, Chichester Cathedral was founded. Built in wood, it burned down in 1114 and was rebuilt in stone in the 1100s. It fell down in 1861 and was again rebuilt, 1865-66.
1104, The Cluniac Priory at Thetford was founded by Bigod.
1103, The Augustinian Priory at Worksop was founded.
1093, Hugh le Gros founded the Benedictine monastery of Chester.
11/8/1093, Construction of Durham Cathedral in England began. It was completed in 1133.
6/5/1092, Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated (begun 1075).
1089, Bermondsey Abbey founded.
1083, The foundations of the present-day Ely Cathedral were laid by its first Norman Abbot, Simeon..
1079, Work began on Hereford Cathedral.
1077, St Albans Abbey rebuilt (see 793). The first Cluniac monastery in England built, at Lewes.
1070, Work began on York Cathedral.
1069, Selby Abbey (Benedictine) was founded.
1066, England now hosted about 10 nunneries and 35 monasteries.
28/12/1065, Westminster Abbey was consecrated.
1022, Gloucester Abbey (Benedictine) was founded. Earlier, a nunnery (681) and a monastery (821) had been established in the city.
1018, Buckfast Abbey was founded.
974, A Benedictine monastery was founded at Eynesbury, near St Neots.
970, Ely Abbey refounded (first founded 670), by the Benedictines.
See also Great Britain
966, Worcester Cathedral was founded by St Oswald.
961, Tavistock Abbey (Benedictine) was founded by Ordgar, Eoldorman of Devon.
938, Aethelstan founded Milton Abbey, Dorset.
932, Aethelstan founded Exeter Monastery (Benedictine).
888, Athelney Abbey (Benedictine), Somerset, was founded by King Alfred.
793, St Albans Abbey (Benedictine) was founded by Offa, King of Mercia. This Abbey was rebuilt in 1077.
715, Tewkesbury monastery was founded.
709, Evesham Benedictine Abbey was founded.
705, Wells Cathedral founded by Pope John VII (died 707).
705, Frome monastery was founded by Aldhelm.
685, Winchester Cathedral founded.
682, Jarrow monastery was founded by Benedict Biscop.
681, Gloucester Abbey founded.
678, Ripon Abbey founded by St Wilfrid. Pope Donus died, succeeded by Pope Agatho (died 681).
674, Monkwearmouth Abbey (Sunderland) was founded by Benedict Biscop.
674, Hexham Monastery was founded by St Wilfrid.
673, Ely Abbey founded by St Etheldreda (but burnt by the Danes in 870, refounded 970). Malmesbury Abbey founded.
670, Barking Abbey, east London, founded.
666, Chertsey Monsatery was founded; refounded by Edgar as a Benedictine monastery in 964.
660, Ripley Monastery, Yorkshire, was founded.
657. Whitby Abbey founded by Abbess Hilda.
658, Leominster Convent was founded by Merewald, King of Mercia.
655, The Benedictine monastery at Peterborough was founded by the Mercian, Thane Saxulf.
650, Dereham Abbey, Norfolk, was founded by St Withberga.
635, Lindisfarne Abbey, Holy Island, was founded by Oswald, King of Northumbria.
627, The first York Minster, made of wood, was replaced by a stone strcture by King Edwin of Northumbria.
604, Rochester Cathedral, Kent, was founded on land donated by King Ethelbert. The present building dates back to 1083.
603, The first Church of St Pauls, London, was built. St Andrews Church, Rochester, was built.
601, The first York Minster was built. Made of wood, it was replaced bya stone edifice in 627.
597, St Augustine founded a Benedictine monastery in Canterbury.
558, The Abbey of Bangor, Wales, was founded by St Comgall.
525, Bangor Cathedral was founded.
1116, The Cistercian monastery of Eberbach was founded.
1050, The Benedictine convent at Friedrichshafen was founded.
1147, Lisbon Cathedral built
1401, The Cathedral of Seville was founded (completed 1519). It stands on the site of a mosque.
1350, The Cathedrals of Palma (Majorca),was completed.
1324, Burgos Cathedral was consecrated.
1227, Construction work on Toledo Cathedral began.
781, Oviedo Cathedral was first founded (rebuilt 1388-1528).
1) 1450, The Vatican Library was founded.
2) 1386, Milan Cathedral was begun.
3) 1296, Construction of Florence Cathedral began.
4) 1253, The Franciscan Monastery of Assisi was completed.
5) 1187, Verona Cathedral was completed after 48 years of construction.
6) 1184, Modena Cathedral was consecrated after 85 years of construction.
7) 1157, Aderno Monastery, Sicily, was founded.
8) 8/10/1094, St Marks Basilica in Venice was consecrated.
9) 8/10/1085, The Cathedral of St Marks in Venice was consecrated.
10) 828, St Marks, Venice, founded.
11) 614, Columban founded the Monastery of Bobbio, northern Italy.
12) 13/5/609, The Pantheon in Rome was consecrated as "St. Mary and the Martyrs" (informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda") by Pope Boniface IV.
13) 529, The Monastery of Monte Casino was founded by St Benedict, founder of the Benedictine Order.
14) 378, Ravenna Cathedral was begun by St Ursus.
15) 330, The first Basilica of St Peter was erected in Rome.It was demolsiehd in 1506 to make way for the present structure.
963, The first monastery at Mount Athos was established.
327, The Monastery of Stavrovouni, Cyprus, was built by order of St Helena, mother of Constantine the Great.
1561, St Basils Cathedral, Moscow, was completed after 27 years under construction.
1393, Konevetz Monastery, Lake Ladoga, was founded.
960, Valaam Monastery, Lake Ladoga, was founded.
1877, Saigon Cathedral was built.
1654, Manila Cathedral, Philippines, was begun (completed 1672).
590, St Elijahs, the oldest monastery in Iraq, was founded, on a hiil above Mosul. It was destroyed by ISIS in 2015,
27/12/537. Emperor Justinian of Constantinople opened the Church of St Sophia, five years after building started. It was hailed as the finest church in Christendom. It replaced an original church to St Sophia built by Constantine in 330 but burnt down in the rebellion of 532. However this church collapsed on 7/5/558, severely weakened by an earthquake in December 557. A third St Sophia was built, and completed on 24/12/562. The dome was designed by the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles, who is also said to have invented a device that used steam power to produce artificial earthquakes.
15/2/342, The original Hagia Sophia was dedicated in Constantinople
17/12/335. The Emperor Constantine’s construction, the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, opened. ‘Christ’s tomb on Golgotha was discovered in 328 and Constantine ordered the building of this place of worship here.
325, Erection of the first Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem.
1873, Anglican Cathedral of St David, Hobart, Tasmania, completed (foundations laid 1817).
1817, The Anglican Cathedral of St George, Freetown, Liberia, was founded.
527, The Monastery of St Catherine, Sinai, was founded by Empoeror Justinian.
4.4. North America
1650, The French Cathedral, Quebec, was dedicated.
4.5. South America
1724, Havana Cathedral, Cuba, was founded.
1573, Construction of Mexico City Cathedral began (completed 1813).
1563, Bogota Cathedral, Colombia, was founded.