Although there had been substantial donations to the church in the course of the last two centuries of the Roman Empire, the amount of property transferred to the episcopal church and to monasteries in the following two and a half centuries would seem to have been immense. Probably rather more than 30 per cent of the Frankish kingdom was given to ecclesiastical institutions; although the Anglo-Saxon church was only established after 597, it also acquired huge amounts of land, as did the churches of Spain and Italy, although the extent conveyed in the two peninsulas is harder to estimate. The scale of endowments helps explain the occasional criticisms of the extent of church property, and also the secularisations and reallocation of church land, and indeed suggest that the transfer of property out of the control of the church in Francia and England in the eighth century may have been greater than is often assumed. The transfer of land should probably also be seen as something other than a simple change of ownership. Church property provided the economic basis for cult, for the maintenance of clergy, who were unquestionably numerous, and for the poor. In social and economic, as well as religious terms, this marked a major break with the Classical World.