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Historic England Research Records

Alcester Abbey

Hob Uid: 328443
Location :
Warwickshire
Stratford-on-Avon
Alcester
Grid Ref : SP0881157895
Summary : The Benedictine Abbey of Alcester was founded around 1138-40 by Ralph le Boteler. In 1465, following severe impoverishment, its status was altered to that of a cell of Evesham Abbey. At the Dissolution the cell was swiftly suppressed along with other lesser religious houses in 1536 and all traces of the buildings were quickly erased as the ruins were used as a convenient quarry for the re-modelling of the ancient manor house known as Beauchamp Court (SP05NE4), and for the repair of the bridge at Bidford-on-Avon (SP05SE 8). There is no evidence of any post-Dissolution occupation. Probably by the seventeenth century and certainly by the eighteenth century the site of the former abbey had reverted to agricultural use which rendered any surviving monastic earthworks superficially unimpressive. The site is now only recognisable by slight earthworks, its field name and a local road name.
More information : (SP 0876 5790) Alcester Abbey. A Benedictine house
founded 1140.

"The site was encompassed by the R. Arrow to the north and east and by a connecting moat on the south and west, as that it became known as the church of Our Lady of the Isle."

In 1467, owing to mismanagement and neglect the Abbey was absorbed by the great neighbouring house at Evesham, and
Alcester was reduced to the status of Priory, (a dependant cell to Evesham). It was dissolved with the lesser houses in 1536.

Excavations (no report available) in 1938 partially revealed the plan of the Abbey (1-3).

Slight surface disturbance at the indicated site and in the field immediately to the north are the only surface indications
of this abbey.

Minor earthworks to the SE at SP 089 578 appear to have been part of a water complex and may possibly have been associated (4).

Scheduled as 'Alcester Abbey (Site of)' (5).

SP 0876 5790 (FCE) Benedictine monastery of Alcester was founded around 1138-40 by Ralph le Boteler. In 1465, following severe impoverishment, its status was altered to that of a cell of Evesham Abbey. At the Dissolution the cell was swiftly suppressed along with other lesser religious houses in 1536 and all traces of the buildings were quickly erased as the ruins were used as a convenient quarry for the re-modelling of the ancient manor house known as Beauchamp Court (SP05NE4), and for the repair of the bridge at Bidford-on-Avon (SP05SE 8). There is no evidence of any post-Dissolution occupation. Probably by the seventeenth century and certainly by the eighteenth century the site of the former abbey had reverted to agricultural use which rendered any surviving monastic earthworks superficially unimpressive. The site is now only recognisable by slight earthworks, its field name and a local road name.

The above description is summarised from a detailed level 3 RCHME 1:1000 scale survey conducted in May 1992. The results of the survey are held in the NMR archive. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : V.C.H.Warw.2. 1908 59-61
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ibid 3. 1945.8
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sp.25" (W. A. Seaby 1954)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHS 31-OCT-68
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE AM's in England 1978 105
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Wayne Cocroft/MAY-1992/RCHME: Alcester Abbey Survey
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Source : Alcester Abbey/ink survey
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Source : Alcester Abbey
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Source : Alcester Abbey/pencil survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1465
Monument Start Date : 1140
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1536
Monument Start Date : 1465
Monument Type : Benedictine Cell
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WA 165
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Warwickshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 534
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21562
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 05 NE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 927360
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 328414
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ALCESTER ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1923-01-01
End Date : 1923-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ALCESTER ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1938-01-01
End Date : 1939-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 05 NE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-10-31
End Date : 1968-10-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ABBEY MEADOW/RECREATION GROUND FLOOD BARRIER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: ALCESTER ABBEY SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-05-01
End Date : 1992-05-01