Wimborne Minster lies between Cook Row and
King Street in the town of Wimborne, which itself lies on on the
River Stour. The town was a Saxon settlement, and the foundation of
the Minster dates to about 705, when the sisters of the West Saxon
King Ina endowed a monastery here. Apparently this was a foundation
for both sexes, dedicated to one of the sisters, St Cuthberga. The
nunnery was destroyed by the Danes in 1013 during a wave of attacks.
The present Minster, with its twin mottled brown
towers dominating the town, was built by the Normans between 1120-1180
to support a secular college of canons founded by Edward the Confessor
on the site in 1043. The college was abolished in 1537, during the
Dissolution. An extensive restoration of the building's fabric took
place in 1855-1857. The Minster is home to the famous Quarterjack
clock, a fourteenth century astronomical clock.