Ancient Monuments

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Pershore Abbey (site of)

A Scheduled Monument in Pershore, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.11 / 52°6'36"N

Longitude: -2.0778 / 2°4'40"W

OS Eastings: 394766.133394

OS Northings: 245747.885461

OS Grid: SO947457

Mapcode National: GBR 2JM.PHX

Mapcode Global: VH938.X7X8

Entry Name: Pershore Abbey (site of)

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1959

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005303

English Heritage Legacy ID: WT 260

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Pershore

Built-Up Area: Pershore

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Pershore

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


Monastic buildings and associated buried archaeological remains 50m south-west of Abbey Church of the Holy Cross with St. Edburgha.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 May 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes the monastic buildings of a Benedictine abbey situated on the eastern side of the River Avon at Pershore. The monument survives as the buried foundations of the cloisters, chapter house, southern transept, refectory and calefactory that were constructed of limestone from about 689 with many medieval additions.

The features of this monument are known only from archaeological excavations of 1929 and are represented by buried features within the constraint area.

The site was known as Pershore Abbey and was founded about 689 and refounded into the Benedictine order in 972. The first abbot was appointed in 984 and the abbey was dissolved in 1540.

Parts of the abbey church and further abbey features survive in listed buildings to the north-east of the monument, but are not currently included in the Schedule because they have not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Early monasteries were built to house communities of monks or nuns; sometimes houses were `mixed' and included both sexes. The main buildings provided facilities for worship, accommodation and subsistence. They included a series of timber halls and perhaps a stone church, all located within some form of enclosure. Benedictine monasticism had its roots in the rule written about AD 530 by St Benedict of Nursia for his own abbey at Monte Cassino. Benedict had not intended to establish an order of monasteries and wider adoption of his rule came only gradually. The first real attempt to form a Benedictine order came only in 1216. The Benedictine monks, who wore dark robes, came to be known as `black monks'. These dark robes distinguished them from Cistercian monks who became known as `white monks' on account of their light coloured robes. Over 150 Benedictine monasteries were founded in England. As members of a highly successful order many Benedictine houses became extremely wealthy and influential. Their wealth can frequently be seen in the scale and flamboyance of their buildings. Benedictine monasteries made a major contribution to many facets of medieval life and all examples exhibiting significant surviving archaeological remains are worthy of protection. Despite partial destruction, excavation, and the construction of road and path surfaces, the monastic buildings and associated buried archaeological remains survive comparatively well as buried features. The monument is of considerable interest with many differing features showing provision for worship and subsistence. The monument will include layers and deposits containing important archaeological information relating to its use and construction.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Brooks, A, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (2007)
PastScape Monument No:- 118028

Source: Historic England

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