Abbot of Glastonbury

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The Abbot of Glastonbury was the head (or abbot) of Anglo-Saxon and eventually Benedictine house of Glastonbury Abbey.

The following is a list of abbots of Glastonbury:


Name Dates Works Notes
St Benignus ?458-469 (reputed)
’Worgret’ c.601-?
’Lademund’ c.663-c.667
’Bregored’ c.667
Beorhtwald c.667-676/7 Archbishop of Canterbury 693–731
Haemgils 676/7-701/2
Beorhtwald 701/2-709/10
Ealdberht 709/10-718/9 Church of SS Peter & Paul built by King Ine
Ecgfrith 718/19-?
Wealhstod 729 (rejected by some sources)
Coengils ?-737
Tunberht 737-?
Tyccea 754-760
Guba 760-762
Wealdhun 762-794
Beaduwulf 794-800
Muca 802-824
Guthlac 824-851
Ealhmund 851-867
Hereferth 867-891 (now thought probably to come before Ealhmund)
Stithheard 891-922
Aldhun 922-?
St Dunstan 940-957+ Lengthened Ine's church and added a tower. Raised the level of the cemetery and constructed various monastic buildings. later Archbishop of Canterbury[1][2]
?Ælfric occurs after Dunstan in some lists[2] (probably spurious)[3]
Ælfstan occurs in some lists after Ælfric (probably spurious)[3]
Sigar c. 970–975(?)[2] later Bishop of Wells 975–997[2]
Ælfweard c. 975–1009[2][3]
Brihtred (Beorhtred) from 1009 to ?[3]
Brihtwig (Brihtwine) c. 1017 to 1024[3] later Bishop of Wells[3]
Æthelweard (Aegelweard) c1024–1053[2]
Æthelnoth 1053–1078[3] deposed by Lanfranc[2]
Thurstan c1077–after 1096[2] Began a new church 1091. Translation of relics of St Benignus from Meare
Herluin 1100-1118[2] Rebuilt Thurstan's church on a grander scale
Seffrid Pelochin 1120/1-1125[2] Bishop of Chichester from 1125 to 1145
Henry of Blois 1126-1171[2] Built a bell tower, chapter house, cloister, lavatory, refectory, dormitory, infirmary, the 'castellum', an outer gate, a brewery and stables also Bishop of Winchester from 1129[1]
Robert of Winchester 1173-1180[2] Built a chamber and chapel previously Prior of Winchester[2]
Peter de Marcy 1186. New St Mary's Chapel consecrated. Work on Great Church begun. 1184 (25 May). Great Fire
Henry of Sully 1189-1193[2] supposed tomb of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere discovered in the cemetery c. 1190[1]
Later Bishop of Worcester 1193–1195[2]
Savaric FitzGeldewin 1193-1205[2] also Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury
(Master William Pica) (1198–1200) (elected 1198 but election quashed 1200)[2]
Jocelin of Wells 1206-1219[4] also Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury from 1206–1242
William of St Vigor 1219-1223[4]
Robert of Bath 1223-1235[4] Deposed 29 March 1235[4]
Michael of Amesbury 1235-c1252[4] Carried work on the choir forward
Roger of Ford 1252-1261[4] died 2 October 1261, buried at Westminster[4]
Robert of Petherton 1261-1274[4] Built abbot's chamber died 31 March 1274[4]
John of Taunton 1274-1291[4] Choir completed; west end of nave and galilee built. King Arthur's remains transferred to new tomb 1278. died 7 October 1291[4]
John of Kent 1291-1303[4]
Geoffrey Fromond 1303-1322[4] Spent £1,000 on buildings: completed various parts of the Great Church
Walter of Taunton 1322-1323[4] Built pulpitum at west end of choir died 23 January 1323[4]
Adam of Sodbury 1323-1334[4] Completed vaulting of nave of Great Church; worked on great hall and built a new chapel on the Tor
John of Breynton 1334-1342[4] Completed abbot's great hall and worked on various other related buildings including prior's hall
Walter de Monington 1342-1375[4] Extended choir by 40 feet, adding 2 bays. Completed abbot's chapel and infirmary. King Arthur's tomb transferred 1368.
John Chinnock (John Chynnock) 1375-1420[4] 1382. Restored chapel and rededicated it to SS Michael & Joseph; rebuilt cloisters, erected or repaired the dormitory and fratry.
Nicholas Frome 1420–1456 Finished chapter house, rebuilt misericord house and great chamber; constructed bishop's quarters and a wall around abbey precincts. Probably responsible for abbot's kitchen.
John Selwood 1456–1493 Built parish church of St John Baptist. Erected pilgrims' inn.
Richard Beere 1493–1524 Began Edgar Chapel; built crypt under Lady Chapel and dedicated it to St Joseph; built a chapel of the Holy Sepulchre at south end of nave; built the Loretto chapel; added vaulting under central tower and flying buttresses at east end of choir; built St Benignus' Church and rebuilt Tribunal
Richard Whiting 1525–1539 Completed Edgar Chapel Hanged on Glastonbury Tor, 15 November 1539


  1. ^ a b c Geoffrey Ashe (1973), King Arthur's Avalon, Fontana
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Knowles Heads of Religious Houses: England and Wales, I 940-1216 p. 50-52
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Knowles Heads of Religious Houses: England & Wales I 940-1216 p. 248-250
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Smith Heads of Religious Houses: England & Wales, II 1217-1377 p. 46-47


  • James P. Carley (1988), Glastonbury Abbey, St Martin’s Press, New York
  • Knowles, David; London, Vera C. M.; Brooke, Christopher (2001). The Heads of Religious Houses, England and Wales, 940-1216 (Second Edition ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80452-3. 
  • Smith, David M.; London, Vera C. M. (2001). The Heads of Religious Houses, England and Wales II. 1216-1377. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80271-7.