diocese of Ely

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The see, now roughly conterminous with Cambridgeshire, was created in 1109. King Edgar and *Æthelwold founded a monastery here in 970 to replace the double monastery, established in 673, but destroyed by the Danes in 870. When the see of Dorchester was transferred to Lincoln in 1072, the abbot's request for a bishopric was not granted until 1109, when Henry I carved the Ely diocese out of the vast see of Lincoln. Based on a rich abbey, Ely was in the first league of wealth and power. But the town for centuries had a reputation as a squalid and unhealthy place, though the cathedral, begun c.1083, rose majestically above the fens, a landmark for miles.

Subjects: British History.

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