Ancient Diocese of Dorchester

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The Diocese of Dorchester was an Anglo-Saxon Roman Catholic diocese in southern and eastern England.

The Bishop of Dorchester had his seat, or cathedra, at Dorchester Abbey in Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. The Wessex diocese covered most of Hampshire, Berkshire, parts of Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. The Mercian diocese covered most of the south and eastern Midlands of England.


The Anglo-Saxon dioceses after 950

The cathedral at Dorchester was founded in 634 by the Roman missionary, Saint Birinus. It was the bishop's seat for the Diocese of Wessex, which was moved to Winchester in 660. It again became the seat for a diocese, in around 675, when the Mercian Diocese of Leicester was transferred there and renamed. The diocese of Dorchester merged with that of Lindsey in 971 and it became the Diocese of Lincoln in 1072 when the bishop's seat moved to Lincoln.