Wiltshire minster parochiae and West Saxon ecclesiastical organisation
This thesis examines the evidence for the parochial layout of Wiltshire in the Anglo-Saxon period,
and through a detailed examination of surviving sources reconstructs a network of minsters and
their parochiae for much of Wiltshire. Extensive case-studies of certain areas both emphasise the
potential difficulties of interpretation when undertaking such reconstruction, and reinforce the
main tenets of the `minter hypothesis'. Evidence for connections with the secular administrative
pattern is so strong as to indicate a late Saxon system of `hundred minsters', but there is
sufficient reason to suggest that this system was subject to alteration prior to 1086, in association
with administrative adjustments and the growth of secular and ecclesiastical estates.
These conclusions are reinforced by further discussion of lesser churches of Anglo-Saxon
Wiltshire, some of which made significant local contributions to the late Saxon parochial layout.
Comparison with case studies from other parts of the south suggests that the conclusions of this
study have a general validity for the development of ecclesiastical organisation throughout