A Guide to Peterborough Cathedral
George Searle Phillips
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The history of our monastic establishments is but little regarded and as little known. The obscurity in which all monastic institutions is involved renders it difficult to give any certain and positive information respecting the origin of the building to whose history these pages are devoted; but it appears to have been founded at a very early period—the churches of Canterbury, Rochester, London, Westminster, York, and Winchester, being the only large sacred edifices that preceded it. The date of the first building is stated to have been a. d. 655—fifty-eight years after the introduction of Christianity into England by St. Augustine; and so large were the foundation stones, that it required eight yoke of oxen to draw them. From this it may be inferred that the structure was not, like many of the Anglo-Saxon churches of this period—built entirely of wood; though it was probably far inferior in size and style of architecture to the building which succeeded it.