Exploring the most Picturesque & Historic parts of England
Viewing the Evesham skyline from across the waters of the River Avon the visitor gets a dramatic glimpse of a "dreaming spires of Oxford" in miniature, for on the landscape rises the spires of two churches behind the tower of Evesham's historic abbey tower.
Evesham Abbey is a pre-Conquest foundation of a Benedictine order. Under Norman rule it flourished to become a popular pilgrimage centre, this is possibly due to its inception which grew through a herdsman of the Bishop of Worcester, who claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary on the spot the abbey was built. The herdsman's name was Eoves, and the name Evesham is believed to have evolved from this.
At the height of its power and fame, the abbey church had 15 alters, a significance of the affluence enjoyed by the monks of Evesham. This prosperity ended with Henry VIII's Dissolution when several of the monastic buildings were demolished. What remains is well worth seeing, these buildings comprise of the abbey gateway, cloister archway, almonry and two churches built within the confines of the abbey by the monks. The finest of the relics is the abbey bell tower dating from around 1533 and thought to have been built by Abbot Clement Lichfield who ruled the order at that time.
Historically, the body of Simon de Montfort was brought to the abbey for burial following his demise during the Battle of Evesham which took place near Greenhill in 1265. This was the final conflict of the Baron's War, the rebels suffered defeat by the forces under the leadership of Prince Edward, later to become King Edward I.
The abbey makes a powerful visit, it lies in beautiful grounds set out in a series of monastic gardens where visitors can see the remains of old fish ponds together with a pretty 18th century garden featuring herbs and other delicate plants.
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