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Name:Abbey Church (Site of Conventual Church), Evesham
HER Reference:WSM00570
Type of record:Monument
Grid Reference:SP 037 436
Map Sheet:SP04SW
Parish:Evesham, Wychavon, Worcestershire

Monument Types

  • ABBEY (MEDIEVAL - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (POST MEDIEVAL to 21ST CENTURY AD - 1540 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Events

  • Watching Brief in 2004 at Abbey Park, Evesham (Ref: WSM33652)
  • Excavations in 1987/8 Within the Abbey Precinct, The Great Courtyard, Evesham (Ref: WSM06005)
  • Observations of Excavation in 1958 at Evesham Abbey. (Ref: WSM44908)
  • Excavations in 1988 Within the Abbey precincts, South-East End of Church, Evesham (Ref: WSM29701)
  • An Impulse Radar Survey at Evesham Abbey (Ref: WSM44912)
  • Resitivity Survey in 1986 at Abbey Gate, Evesham (Ref: WSM72065)
  • Excavations in the 19th century at St Mary's Abbey, Evesham (Ref: WSM72507)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Historic Environment Flood Risk Assessment (NHPP)

Full description

Excavations in the 19th century have shown early Norman crossing and transepts (with east apses) and the late Norman nave with rounded piers. The chapel with crypt, aisles and square end was of the time of Thomas of Marlborough (1207-36), the narrow Lady Chapel of the late 13th century or early 14th century. Visible remains are scarce. A plan of the excavation is within. [9]

Church: a lump of north transept with base of the north respond of the arch to the north aisle. Of the chapter house, the very fine entrance arch. [1]

A minster church was founded circa 700 AD possibly on the site of an older church "the work of the Britons". [5]

Location is conjectural. [6]

Within area scheduled by English Heritage. [7]

The current Abbey park has a number of display and interpretation panels. [8]

There was then an assessment of the display and interpretation facilities. The church was rebuilt in entirety on a least three occasions, and by the Norman period the monastic precinct included church, cloisters and a variety of other buildings, following the standard Benedictine plan for a commmunity of monks. During the medieval period the precinct saw many further alterations. By the 14th century the monastery was completely encircled by a stone precinct wall. The size and importance of Evesham Abbey is indicated by documentary records. In the late 11th century the abbey housed 67 monks. There wer some 65 servants at this time, working in the church, infirmary, kitches, bakehouse, brewhouse, orchard and gardens. Other monastic servants included fishermen, shoemakers and watchmen. In common with the majority of monastic communities, Evesham Abbey was dissolved in 1540 and a large number of the monastic buildings were dismantled. There is no doubt that the town of Evesham owes its origin to the foundation of the monastery. At the time of Domesday (1086) the town is recorded as a monastic town under the sole lordship of the Abbot and convent, and it remained under the control of the Abbey until late in the medieval period. [13]

Extract relating to the Abbey. [10]

See also. [12][14][15]

Impulse Radar Survey of the Abbey. [11]

Within Archaeologia Volumes 1-88 1824 are the description of the remains of Henry of Worcester, Abbot of Evesham, found in the ruins of the Abbey Church of Evesham. [16]

Articles relating to the Abbey. [17]

Guide to the Abbey and parish churches. [18]

"Memoir on the Antiquiries discovered by Edward Rudge Esq, in excavating the ruins of the Abbey church of Evesham" read to the Society of Antiquiries, London, 3rd May 1832. [19]

The Historic England scheduling for this monument was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 May 2015. This monument includes part of a Benedictine abbey situated on the north western side of the River Avon at Evesham. The monument survives as standing walls and buried foundations of the entrance gate, cloisters, chapter house, northern transept and precinct wall with the earthwork remains of fishponds. The abbey was constructed of lias and sandstone from 989 with additions during the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. An entrance arch is situated between the cloisters and the chapter house and is approximately 3m high with vaulted twin niches on the base. The arch has two rows of canopied niches with seated figures in the outer order and standing figures in the inner order. An area of standing masonry denotes the location of the west wall of the northern transept with the base of an arch. The base of the north western pier of the central tower is situated to the east. Situated on the south eastern side of the abbey precincts are two fishponds. The larger north eastern fish pond is approximately 57m long by 8m wide and is separated from a second fishpond by a dam and leat. Earthwork banks are situated parallel to the ponds on their south eastern side. The precinct wall is denoted by a dressed stone and rubble wall that is about 2m high situated on the north and south of the site continuing to the west to abut the gateway. The northern wall forms the southern boundary of the Church of St. Lawrence and contains several gateways. The abbey gateway is represented by buried features. The buried remains of the stables are situated to the south east of the gateway. From its foundation in 701, Evesham Abbey alternated between monastic and collegiate foundation, finally becoming a Benedictine Abbey in 989 that lasted until its dissolution in 1539. The south precinct wall, the transept wall and the Chapter House archway are listed at Grade II. Parts of the abbey gatehouse and further abbey features survive in listed buildings to the north and west of the monument, but are not currently included in the Schedule because they have not been formally assessed. Despite partial destruction, excavation, and the construction of road and path surfaces, Evesham Abbey survives comparatively well as visible earthworks, stone walls and buried features. [20]

See also [21].

Sources and further reading

<1>Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1968. The Buildings of England: Worcestershire. The Buildings of England. Dewy- 720.94244. p145.
<2>Bibliographic reference: Page, W. 1913. A History of the County of Worcester: Volume III. Victoria County History. III. p386.
<3>Guide: Cox BG. 1962. Evesham Abbey, a short history for visitors.
<4>Bibliographic reference: Andrews, F B. 1932. Pershore on the Eve of the Suppression 1534-9. TBAS Vol.56 pp.77-101.
<5*>Bibliographic reference: Dalwood H. 1996. CMHTS Archaeological Assessment of Evesham and Bengeworth, Hereford and Worcester. Archaeological Service - Worcestershire County Council. Archaeological Service - Hereford And Worcester County Council. 315.
<7*>Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1987. Schedule for Evesham Abbey. English Heritage.
<8*>Bibliographic reference: Templeton, L. 1998. Evesham Abbey Park Interpretation Panels. WCCAS internal report. 540.
<9>Bibliographic reference: William Page. 1906. A History of the County of Worcestershire. II. Victoria County History. II. p388-389.
<10*>Bibliographic reference: James, M R. 1925. Abbeys: Extract relating to Evesham. Great Western Railway.
<11*>Bibliographic reference: Various. 1989. CBA West Midlands Annual Archaeological News Sheet. Vol 32. Council for British Archaeology West Midlands. 32.
<12>Bibliographic reference: Butler Maureen. 2002. The Lost Abbey of Evesham.
<13*>Bibliographic reference: Justin Hughes and Malcolm Cooper. 1990. Evesham Abbey: An assessment of Display & Interpretative Facilities. Archaeological Service - Worcestershire County Council. Archaeological Service - Hereford And Worcester County Council.
<14>Bibliographic reference: Cox B G. 1962. Evesham Abbey A short history.
<15>Bibliographic reference: Finberg H P R. 1972. The Early Charters of the West Midlands. Studies in Early English History.
<16>Bibliographic reference: . 1941. List of papers and notes on Worcestershire subjects in The Antiquaries Journal, the Archaeological Journals. Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeology Soc. XVIII.
<17*>Newspaper cutting: Various. Various. Newspaper Articles relating to Evesham Abbey. WHEAS. 32.
<18*>Guide: Cox D C. 1980. Evesham Abbey and the Parish Churches: A Guide. Vale of Evesham Historical Society.
<19>Bibliographic reference: Rudge, E J. 1832. Memoir on the Antiquiries discovered by Edward Rudge Esq, in excavating the ruins of the Abbey church of Evesham. Society of Antiquiries.
<20>Digital archive: English Heritage. Reg updates. THE NATIONAL HERITAGE LIST FOR ENGLAND. English Heritage.
<21>Bibliographic reference: Knowles, D., and Hadcock, R.N.. 1972. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. 65, 258,472.