Evesham Abbey


Evesham Abbey Gateway. By Nilfanion – Wikimedia UK, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47642109



  • Evesham, Worcestershire
  • OSGB – SP 0374 4363
  • Grade I Listed Building


*                                  Fortified abbey.

701                              Founded by St. Egwin, 3rd Bishop of Worcester, after seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.

710                              Built.

710-717                       St. Egwin was Abbott of Evesham.

717                              St. Egwin died and was buried in the Abbey church.

717-941                       The Abbott’s of Evesham were, in order, Ethelwod, Aldbore, Aldbath, Aldfefert, Tildbrith, Cutulf, Almund, St. Credanus, Thincferth, Aldbald, Ecbrith, Elfred, Wilford, Kinelm, Kinath, Ebba, Kinath, and Edwin.

941                              Secular Cannons replaced the monks.

941-969                       Held by seculars.

960                              St. Dunstan and St. Ethelwold returned the site to the Benedictine Monks and St. Oswald, Bishop of Worcester was made Abbott.

969-976                       Oswald was Abbott.

976                              The monks were expelled and secular cannons were installed by Alfhere, Prince of Mercia.

976                              Late: Alfhere, Prince of Mercia, was dieing, and he made a monk, Freadgar, Abbott. Freadgar could not get rid of the seculars and he exchanged Evesham with Earl Godwin of Towcester.

976-989                       Held by seculars.

977                              The Benedictine monks were removed.

989                              Monastic site.

989-996                       Between: Bishops in order, Bishop Ethelwing, Bishop Ethelston, Adulf, Bishop of Worcester.

995                              Foundation of Evesham Abbey.

1012                            c: Brithmar was Bishop.

1014                            The Benedictine monks were given the site back again.

1014-1044                   Alfward was Abbott.

1018                            King Cnut gave the Abbey lands at Badby and Newnham.

1020                            King Cnut gave the Abbey lands in Gloucestershire, Winchcombe and Northampton.

1034                            Alfward was made Bishop of London but remained at Evesham. He made Avitius, Prior of Evesham, Dean of Christianity for the Vale of Evesham.

1040                            Churches in the Vale of Evesham were under rule of the Abbey and not the Bishop or Archdeacon of the Diocese.

1044                            Alfward died at Ramsey as the monks refused to let him into Evesham.

1044-1059                   Manny was Abbott.

1055                            Edward the Confessor granted Swell Minor and Grafton Major to Evesham.

1059                            Abbott Manny resigned.

1059-1077                   Ethelwig was Abbott.

1077-1104                   Walter de Cerisy was Abbott. He built a new church, the crypts nave and tower. He also increased the monks, but granted Abbey lands to his relatives and gave them offices of Secular Dean and Steward, taking it away from the Prior.

1086                            Domesday: Evesham owned lands at Acton, Upton, Witton, Hantune, Sheriff’s Lench, Daylesford, Evenlade, Bransford, Arrow, Kings Broom, Bidford, Temple Grafton, Burton, Exhall, Atherstone, Wiigenshill, Milcote, Weston, Salford, Salford Cornwell, Chiselton, Shipton, Deanfield, Hidcote, Pebworth, Dorsington, Weston Stoke and Kineton. The Abbey held 67 monks.

1100-1108                   Blackenhurst was granted to the Abbey in return for four knights’ fees. They provided knights to defend the Abbey.

1102-1122                   Robert de Jumieges was Abbott.

1104-1122                   Robert de Jumieges granted lands to his relatives.

1122-1130                   Maurice, a monk, was Abbott.

1130-1149                   Reginald was Abbott and he removed houses of the knights from the garden of the monastery he also built a wall around the Abbey, a parlour, kitchen and guest chamber.

1139                            Abbott Reginald made a pilgrimage to Rome to plead liberty against Bishop Simon.

1149-1159                   William de Andeville was Abbott and he attacked and destroyed William de Beauchamps castle at Bengeworth.

1159-1160                   Roger, monk of St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, was Abbott.

1160-1191                   Adam, monk of Cluny, was Abbott and he made improvements.

1191-1213                   Roger Norreys was Abbott and he wasted the lands by indulging on himself.

1195                            The monks, led by Thomas de Marleberge, appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Hubert, about Abbott Norreys behaviour.

1198                            The monks again appealed to Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury.

1201                            Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury came to Evesham to see Abbott Norreys, who had bribed some monks and no action was taken.

1206                            November: Thomas de Northwich and Thomas de Marleberge were expelled by the Council of Reading. Thirty monks left with Marleberge. Abbott Norreys sent armed men after them but the monks held their own. The monks reached William de Beauchamps lands and Abbott Norreys was fearful Beauchamp would side with the monks, so he promised to give them whatever they wanted. The monks returned to the Abbey.

1214                            Abbott Randulf drew up constitutions.

1214-1229                   Randulf, Prior of Worcester, was Abbott and he improved the Abbey lands and built mills, dovecotes, fishponds and cleared some forest trees.

1216                            The Constitution by Abbott Randulf was confirmed by a General Council in Rome.

1229                            Henry III seized the temporalities for almost a year.

1229-1236                   Thomas de Marleberge, Prior of Worcester, was Abbott and he enlarged and improved the buildings.

1236-1242                   Richard le Gras was Abbott.

1243-1255                   Thomas of Gloucester was Abbott.

1255                            Henry III kept the temporalities that Rome was informed.

1255-1263                   Henry, Prior of Evesham, was Abbott.

1256                            Henry III was ordered by Rome to assign the temporalities to the Abbott, Henry of Worcester.

1265                            Was the third richest Abbey in England. Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, was at the Abbey when he heard the Royal army was approaching. He decided to ride out and meet them into what is known as the Battle of Evesham. Simon de Montfort was killed. He was buried at the Abbey.

1266                            When Abbott Henry died the king again held the temporalities until this date when William de Whitchurch was elected Abbott.

1266-1282                   William de Whitchurch was Abbott.

1269                            The Bishop was given jurisdiction in the church of Abbott’s Morton only – this ended the long battle between the Bishop and the Abbott.

1272-1307                   Edward I granted loans to the Abbots.

1282-1316                   John de Brokehampton was Abbott and he wrote the Evesham Book. He improved the buildings, built granges, made canals and improved churches on Abbey lands with alters and chancels

13th C                          Late: Chapter House.

1307-1327                   Edward II granted loans to the Abbots.

1317-1344                   William de Cheriton was Abbott.

1318                            Edward II granted the Abbey the custody of the temporalities.

1332                            26th May: Licence to crenellate granted. The Abbey was ‘A Royal foundation subject only to Rome’.

1336                            Pope Innocent announced the Abbey wholly exempt from Episcopal jurisdiction.

1336                            15th March: Licence to crenellate granted.

1345-1367                   William de Boys was Abbott.

1367-1379                   John de Ombersley was Abbott.

1379-1418                   Roger Zatton was Abbott.

14th C                          Stables and gateway. Attacks were made on properties of the Abbots.

1418                            The Abbey held 31 people, some had died of the Black Death. Abbott Zatton let the Abbey fall into debt.

1418-1435                   Richard Bromsgrove was Abbott.

1435-c1460                 John Wykewan was Abbott.

1460-1467                   Richard Pembroke was Abbott.

1467-1477                   Richard Hawkesbury was Abbott and he let the Abbey fall into debt stating he had to entertain nobles which had cost a lot of money.

1477                            Abbott Upton had managed to pay off the debts of the Abbey.

1477-1483                   William Upton was Abbott.

1483-1491                   John Norton was Abbott.

1491-1514                   Thomas Newbold was Abbott.

15th C                          Almonry. Attacks were made on properties of the Abbots.

1514                            Clement Litchfield was Abbott.

1535                            The yearly revenue was put at £1,183 12s 9d profit.

1538                            Suggestions put forward the monastery should be converted into an educational establishment were rejected.

1539                            Destroyed during the Dissolution.

1539-1540                   Philip Hawford/Ballard was Abbott.

1540                            Abbott Hawford surrendered the monastery to the king and in return received a pension of £240 a year. The church was demolished apart from the tower. After intervention from locals who had helped build the tower. June – Suggestions put forward the monastery should be converted into an educational establishment were rejected.

1540-1547                   Ministry of Rolls showed revenue also at £1,183 12s 9d profit.

16th C                          Bell tower.

1645                            25th May: Battle of Evesham – the Abbey was captured by General Massey.

1811-1884                   Excavated

1830’s                         Excavated  .

1881                            Excavated

1958                            Excavated

1975                            Watching Brief t.

1986                            Evaluated

1986                            Surveyed by Ancient Monuments Laboratory Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.

1986                            Watching Brief

1987                            Evaluated

1987-1988                   Evaluated .

1988                            Evaluated

1988                            Excavated

1993                            Evaluated

1994                            Excavated

1996                            Watching Brief

1996                            Excavated

1997                            Watching Brief

1997                            Watching Brief

20th C                          Abbot Reginald’s Gateway, late 13th century chapter house, 14th century stables and late 14th century gateway, 15th century almonry and 16th century bell tower still remain.

2002                            Watching Brief



Evesham Abbey Bell Tower.


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