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Oxford University Summer School for Adults: Monastic Architecture in England

The abbeys and priories were a focus of rich architectural creativity, and a remarkable amount of this extraordinary architecture survived the dissolution of England's monasteries in the sixteenth century. While, for example, the great abbeys of Reading and Glastonbury are essentially archaeological sites today, abbey churches such as Sherborne and Waltham survive to serve thriving parishes, and among the monastic cathedrals, Canterbury retains not only the great church itself but also many of its monastic buildings. We will trace the dramatic growth of the monastic orders in Britain expressed through their architecture.