Medieval Monastery Timeline

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  • c. 330 CE - c. 379 CE
    Life of Basil Great, one of the founding fathers of the Eastern Christian Church and Byzantine Monasteries.
  • 480 CE - 543 CE
    Life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, founder of the Benedictine order and European monasticism.
  • 635 CE
    Lindisfarne monastery in Northumbria is founded by the Irish missionary Aidan.
  • c. 700 CE - c. 715 CE
    Lindisfarne Gospels created in Britain.
  • 708 CE
    Traditional founding date of Mont-Saint-Michel, France.
  • c. 800 CE
    The Book of Kells is produced in Ireland.
  • 883 CE
    A decree by Byzantine emperor Basil I is the first recorded evidence of a monastery on Mount Athos.
  • 910 CE
    The Benedictine monastery of Cluny Abbey in Burgundy France is founded.
  • 963 CE
    The Great Lavra monastery on Mount Athos is founded by Saint Athanasios.
  • c. 1036 CE
    The Benedictine Vallombrosa Abbey near Florence is founded.
  • 1098 CE
    The Cistercian order is founded.
  • Oct 1164 CE - Dec 1170 CE
    Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, lives in exile in a monastery in France.
  • 1536 CE
    Henry VIII of England and Thomas Cromwell push a bill through Parliament which begins the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England and Wales.
  • 1539 CE
    Parliament passes an act to close all monasteries in England and Wales regardless of size.
  • Mar 1540 CE
    Waltham Abbey in Essex is the last monastery to close in England.