Early this week, I was researching transport choices to visit Sudeley Castle. Looking around the area as displayed on the map, my eyes drifted around and I noticed Tewkesbury, which seemed to be more accessible via bus than Sudeley. I checked some images online to see whether the place would be visually interesting (it passed the test) and was very excited to learn about its 900-year old Abbey. Off I went.
The trip would have been trouble-free were it not for the rail works that are taking place in the path from Bristol to Birmingham, but then, I am currently not constrained by work or other obligations, so it’s not that bad. I took a train to Cheltenham Spa from Bristol and later bus number 42 left me right in the centre of the lovely medieval river city of Tewkesbury; a Gloucestershire town nestled in the confluence between the rivers Avon and Severn.
According to Britannia encyclopedia, the name of the town comes from the Saxon “Theoc” or “Theot”, a hermit that lived in the area in the 7th century. From Theoc it evolved into “Theocbury” and from there into its current form. Supposedly, Theoc settled in the area where the Abbey is set, although the building that we see today was constructed in the 12th century.
Throughout the centuries, this town has been prosperous, thanks to its strategic location near rivers. Tewkesbury is famous for its mustard, serving as the scenario for the Battle of the Roses in the 15th century, its fine Tudor and Georgian architecture and of course, the Abbey.
It was in 1087 when work first began and 1121 when it was consecrated.
The massive columns are Norman and some of them include marks made by masons. The Abbey has 14 of these gigantic and thick columns.
Below, the Quire features the sun, an emblem of the House of York. It serves as a memorial to their victory over the House of Lancaster in the Battle of Tewkesbury, 15th century (Battle of the Roses).
Below one of the roof bosses. They describe different episodes of the life of Christ.
Below, an autumnal view of the Abbey. The tower is Norman.
Below, wall painting at the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, The Chantry of Lord Edward Despenser.
The front of the Abbey, see below.
Walking away from the Abbey, and wondering about, you can see the imposing building peeking through.
Rows of Tudor houses in Tewkesbury.
I am thinking the helmet might be a reminder of the bloody past of these lands.
If you are into Tudor buildings, Tewkesbury is certainly worth a visit.
Nice shot of river Avon in an Autumn evening.