Sherborne Abbey and School c. 1930
There are no Roman or early British remains at Sherborne,
which stands on a site sloping down to the River Yeo, its old
(Domesday) name being Scirburne ('clear brook'), although the monks
called the town fons limpidus. It is most likely then,
that the town grew up solely from it being the seat of the bishop.
It also occupies a strategic position because it is close to the source of
rivers flowing both north to the Bristol Channel and south to the
English Channel, hence less accessible to invaders from the coasts.
In the year 705 A.D. King Ine created the bishopric of the Western/newer Wessex with St. Ealdhelm (Aldhelm), then Abbot of Malmesbury (Wiltshire), as the first bishop.
Western Wessex, previously held by the Welsh, had been regained for England by King Kentwine and King Kenwealh during 650-680 A.D. and under the jurisdiction of the West Saxon bishop at Winchester, who from 676 to 705 A.D. was Haedde.
When he died the older Wessex was split
from the Newer Wessex (Dorset, Somerset and part of Wiltshire).
Winchester was the capital of the West Saxon kingdom from 676 onwards, but Sherborne was, by virtue of resisting the Danes, the capital for a brief period; this is how it came about.
For many years, particularly between 840 and 918, the bishops Heahmund and Werstan fought off the invading Danes. In 1075 the bishopric was transferred to Old Sarum (near Salisbury, Wiltshire) and Sherborne became an Abbey.
During the 14th C. the parish church of All Hallows was built on to the west end of the Abbey church; after the Dissolution it was demolished as being no longer required. At the dissolution the monastery had an income of £680 p.a. which was a large sum in those days.
The Conduit c. 1920
Sherborne Abbey and School before 1539|