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The Lady Chapel at Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset, England. Photo by J. Demetrescu 2011.

This section covers sites visited from two periods in the history of early Christianity in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland: the post-Roman period from the 5th Century and extending into the 11th Century known as Early Insular Christianity, and the period covering the establishment of religious communities by monastic orders from the European Continent from as early as the 10th Century to their dissolution in the 16th Century.

Early Insular Christianity has two strands: Celtic Christianity from the 5th to the 8th Centuries, the Christianity surviving from the Roman period in the British/Brythonic areas of the British Isles (e.g., Ireland, Wales, Scotland) and spread to England by the Hiberno-Scottish mission, and Anglo-Saxon Christianity from the 7th to the 11th Centuries, the Christianity imported from Rome by Augustine of Canterbury in 597 A.D. At the Synod of Whitby of 664 A.D., King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to follow Roman rather than Celtic practices, but the two rites co-existed for another century. The Anglo-Saxon mission in the 7th and 8th Centuries spread Christianity to the Continent, as had the earlier Celtic missions. Beginning in the 10th Century, monastic orders, such as the Benedictines and Cistercians and others originating on the European Continent, formed communities until the dissolution in the 16th Century.

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