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Historic England Research Records

Winchcombe Abbey

Hob Uid: 327803
Location :
Gloucestershire
Tewkesbury
Winchcombe
Grid Ref : SP0237028310
Summary : Abbey of St Mary and St Kenelm. Founded in 798 on site of a nunnery founded in 787, became a Benedictine abbey circa 969. Following destruction by fire in 1151, it was rebuilt, and it was rededicated in 1239. Dissolved in 1540. The Abbots House was used as a parish workhouse, demolished in 1815. Excavations have revealed much of the Mediaeval plan, but nothing earlier has been found. Some fragments of the abbey are incorporated into extant buildings. Dependency: Charlton Abbots leper hospital.
More information : (SP02372831) Remains of (TI) St Mary's Abbey (AT) (Benedictine)

(SP02412838) (Site of) Abbot's House (AT)

(SP02402826) Cross (Site of Tower) (TI)

Winchcombe Abbey was founded by King Kenulph (sic=Coenwulf) of Mercia in 798, on the spot where a nunnery had been erected by King Offa in 787. It was restored in 969, soon after which Benedictine monks were introduced, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St Kenelm. After destruction by fire in 1151, it was rebuilt and dedicated in 1239, finally to be demolished after the Dissolution (2). In 1815 the Abbot's House, which had been used as a parish work-house, was pulled down. Excavation in 1962 at SP024284 revealed a property boundary of the late 11th or early 12th century, intensive rubbish pit digging, and heavy wall footings of the same date (6). Loftus Brock noted two houses NE of St Peter's church containing 15th century work, which may have been a portion of the Abbey buildings (4), and a much restored house, now known as "St Mary's Abbey", was originally the Abbey malt house (7). Stone coffins, tiles and other relics of the Abbey are preserved in the parish church.

The 'Abbot's House' site is occupied by a modern dwelling; fragments of dressed and moulded stone are built into the boundary wall. Finds recorded in 1962 were exposed during the construction of a laboratory at SP02442837 (a).

Of the two houses noted by Loftus Brock,that at SP02322832 ('St Mary's Abbey', now called 'Winchcombe Abbey') has an E wall showing features of probably 15/16th century date and later. The other modernised house containing 15th century work is at SP02332835 ('The Old House'); it also has an external S wall encased in dressed ashlar, many stones have mouldings on the inward face (a), numerous mason's marks are visible.

Finds from the Abbey site are exhibited within St Peter's church (see illus card).

A modern inscribed stone cross at SP02402826 marks the centre of the tower of St Mary's Abbey Church located by Loftus Brock's excavation in 1893. See photos.

Published 1:2500 survey correct.

SP 02 28 WINCHCOMBE COWL LANE (west side)
4/30
Abbey Old House (formerly listed as
4.7.60 Abbey Hotel)

- II*

Abbey building, now detached house. C16 core but much subsequent modification, entrance facade largely C19. Originally one long block, but now with return gabled wing of C19 at east end, and C20 flat roofed addition west end. Cut and squared limestone to coved cornice on north and parapet south, coped gables, that to west with large diagonally set square base to ball finial, and to east stone stack with moulded capping, concrete tile roof to north, stone slate to south; portion of roof centrally taken up as mansard. Entrance front, gable left with 2-storey hexagonal C19 hipped roof bay with chamfered mullion casements, then, in angle, lofty 4-centred arch to part glazed 6-panel door in two-storey 5-bay extension from main roof with 2-light chamfered mullion casements under stepped drips and one canted oriel on rounded corbel at bay 2, first floor, over series of C19 casements at ground floor, also, far right, wide 4-panel flush door. Low extension, left in cut squared limestone to flat weathered parapet. Garden front, 2 storeys and attic in 7 bays, sashes with glazing bars, but far right is 2-storey bow with triple sashes, and far left 1-storey C20 bow. Central glazed door. At west end, 3-storey gable with canted bay. Interior: at east end heavy arch-braced roof with upper crucks, wind bracing and untrimmed rafters, good open well C18 or early C19 stair with turned balusters.

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25"
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Journal of the British Archaeological Association
Source details : E P Loftus Brock
Page(s) : 446
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 32, 1876
Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JWS 29-JUN-73
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE(HHR) Bor. of Tewkesbury, Glos, Oct 1984, 13.
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Source Number : 12
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 80,485
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Schedule amendment 08-JUN-2000
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 14-15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 52, 1930
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Memories of Old Gloucestershire 1911 89-97 (E A B Barnard)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Leland's Itinerary 1535-43 Pt 5 fo 686
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Excavations 1962 8 MPB & W (B K Davison)
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Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : MHLG (1990/11/A June 1948) 45
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 81
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Annals of Winchcombe & Sudeley 1877 opp p 149 (E Dent)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 9a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : N Quinn Esq The Old House Winchcombe
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Nunnery from 787-797
Monument End Date : 797
Monument Start Date : 787
Monument Type : Nunnery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Refounded as minster
Monument End Date : 968
Monument Start Date : 798
Monument Type : Minster
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Reformed to Orders in 969
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 969
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Monastic Dwelling, Abbey, Church
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt after fire
Monument End Date : 1239
Monument Start Date : 1151
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Abbots house used as workhouse
Monument End Date : 1815
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Workhouse
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Gloucestershire)
External Cross Reference Number : 39
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : GC 411
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 28873
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 02 NW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 330027
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1302360
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 330469
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1341393
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1893-01-01
End Date : 1893-12-31
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1962-12-31
Associated Activities : COWL CANE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 02 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-06-29
End Date : 1973-06-29
Associated Activities : BACK LANE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : BACK LANE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : BACK LANE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : PIGEON CLOSE, COWL LANE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE INFANTS' SCHOOL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : 'RAPPORT', 20 HIGH STREET, WINCHCOMBE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE C OF E INFANTS SCHOOL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : THE ABBEY OLD HOUSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT ST. MARY'S ABBEY
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE ABBEY
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE ABBEY HOUSE
Activity type : DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT WINCHCOMBE ABBEY
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT ABBEYFIELDS COMMUNITY CENTRE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE LIBRARY
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : WINCHCOMBE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT WINCHCOMBE ABBEY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT WINCHCOMBE ABBEY
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31