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A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

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Monasticism had a very strong influence on the history of Gloucestershire on account of the great possessions of the religious houses.

The chief Benedictine monasteries had their origin before the beginning of the ninth century. Gloucester was founded about 681, Tewkesbury about 715, Winchcombe in 798. Of the smaller houses of the order, Deerhurst was founded about 804, and became a cell of the monastery of St. Denis about 1059. The priories of Newent, Horsley, and Brimpsfield were established as cells of Benedictine monasteries in Normandy in the reign of William the Conqueror. The priory of St. James, Bristol, was founded about 1137, Stanley St. Leonard in 1146.

Before the middle of the twelfth century the Augustinian canons had four important houses. In 1131 they took the place of the secular canons of Cirencester. The monastery of Lanthony by Gloucester had its origin in 1136; St. Augustine's, Bristol, in 1148. The secular canons of St. Oswald's Minster at Gloucester gave place to Augustinians about 1150. Beckford was founded as a cell to St. Barbe-en-Auge, about 1135. The priory of St. Mary Magdalen, Bristol, which after the Norman conquest was the only monastery for women in Gloucestershire, was founded for Augustinian canonesses before 1173. In 1260 Horsley became a cell of Bruton, in Somerset.

Although the Cistercians came to England in 1128, and spread rapidly in the north and in the marches of Wales, the small monastery of Flaxley, in the Forest of Dean, was not founded until about 1151. The more noted house of Hayles had its origin in 1246.

The preceptories of the Templars and Hospitallers were established at Guiting and Quenington before the end of the twelfth century. In 1222 the Carthusians settled for a few years at Hatherop, but afterwards moved to Hinton in Somerset.

In the thirteenth century the Friars came to Bristol and Gloucester.

Westbury-on-Trym, which was a Benedictine monastery in the tenth century, and again after the Norman Conquest, probably became a collegiate church of secular canons in the middle of the thirteenth century.

Hospitals at Bristol, Gloucester, Cirencester, Berkeley, Lechlade, and elsewhere were founded, some for lepers, others for the sick and needy.