From the Time Traveller's Guide to Pershore

Scroll down the page until you find the information you need. You will find more information about this place in the Time Traveller's Guide on the heritage detective's website.

You have found Pershore Bridge a stone arched bridge over the River Avon.

Information for Arthur.

You have discovered that this bridge is no longer used for traffic. It is probably the bridge built in 1413 after Abbot Upton had fallen off the stepping stones and drowned in the river!  There have been several bridges here over the River Avon. In 1290 Sir Nicholas de Mitton left 12d for the repair of a bridge and there are records of a long running dispute between the Abbot of Westminster and the people of the town. The abbot owned the land either side of the bridge and local people thought he should repair the bridge but in the end they shared the cost.  In the early 20th century the Dean and Chapter of Westminster were still responsible for repairing the bridge - they paid the County Council to do it!

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You have found a place called Avon Mill Place. 

Information for Arthur.

The houses here look quite new but the name records something much older. You have discovered that there was once a flour mill here, it burned down in the late 20th century.  The Abbot of Pershore and the Abbot of Westminster built mills on their manors and there have been many types of mill on this river over the years. Arthur will know that it was profitable for the lord of the manor to build a mill.  He would rent out the mill to one of his tenants, the miller, and then insist that everyone else paid the miller to grind their corn into flour. They would, of course, have to pay for this service or they would have to pay a fine to their lord if they did not!  The Lord of the Manor here was the Abbot of Westminster.

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You have found a very wide street called Broad Street

Information for Arthur

You have discovered that this street tells a very important story.  it is the site of the old Pershore market. Today it is only occasionally a market place normally it is a car park. If you visit the Heritage Centre in the Town Hall in the High Street you will be able to see pictures of some old Pershore markets. In medieval times it would have looked very different. It was here that the land that belonged to the Abbot of Westminster joined the land that belonged to the Abbot of Pershore. Read more about this on the Pershore timeline in the Time Traveller's Guide.  There is still a covered retail market in Pershore.  It is open every day from Wednesday to Saturday. Find the car park by the Asda Supermarket and the market is on the other side of the car park.

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You have found St. Andrew's Church Centre, an old stone building that looks like a church.  

Information for Arthur.

You have discovered that this old building was once a church, it was dedicated to St. Andrew and it was a parish church built for the tenants of the Abbot of Wesminster to use.  The parish was enormous, it included many outlying settlements and villages - Birlingham, Bricklehampton, Defford, Pensham, Pinvin and Wick. The abbot’s tenants would regularly have to travel to Pershore, they would come for the manor court held at the estate office of the great Manor of Binholme, they would come for the Hundred Court which was held at Great Calcroft and of course they would come for the weekly market.  While in Pershore they would visit the parish church and take part in the great celebrations and festivals of the Christian year. Today the church has been deconsecrated and is used as a parish centre, the bells in the tower still ring out as new generations learn the ancient art of bell ringing.

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You have found a rather strange looking church, it looks as if a lot has happened here.

Information for Arthur. 

 You have discovered that it was once an enormous church with a great long and busy nave. People would come to this church from all round the parish of Holy Cross, they would worship God in the nave at the altar of the Holy Cross. This was their church. The air would have been thick with the smell of incense and all around candles would have been burning.  Arthur will remember all this, the churches he knew were brightly painted, there were statues in the niches and shrines for the sacred relics of the saints. He will know about the Benedictine monks who lived a life of prayer and lived in the monastery buildings that abutted the abbey church.  He will not know about that fateful day when the king's men destroyed everything the monks held sacred. Neither will he know what happened to the buildings and the abbey land.  Suggest Arthur takes a walk around the outside of the church and looks at the carvings and sculptures, the different shapes of the windows, the walls and the great arches that help keep the tower from falling down and then he should go inside to see the wonderful vaulting, he will not know anything about that either. What will he think?

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You have found a pair of entry posts, each with a different heraldic shield.

Information for Arthur.

These are the shields of Pershore Abbey and Westminster Abbey.  How is this when the monasteries were dissolved way back in 1539?   Long after the monks had gone and Henry VIII had redistributed the Pershore lands, the Westminster lands were returned to the newly formed Dean and Chapter of Westminster. Westminster Abbey was to remain influential in the town and the surrounding villages until well into the 19th century. They still have influence in the church today.

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You have found the Almonry a black and white timber framed building built in Tudor times.

Information for Arthur.

You have discovered that an earlier building, also called the Almonry, was once the home of the abbey almoner, he was the monk whose job it was to give alms to the poor and sick.  There was no National Health Service in medieval times and it was the monks who cared for the sick and the destitute.  They came to the abbey gate to receive food, drink and care. You can tell Arthur that all this stopped when the monastery was dissolved.  The people who lived in the little settlement that had grown up around the abbey went on working the land and buying and selling in Pershore market.

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You have found Monks Orchard.

Information for Arthur

You have discovered a small orchard planted with apples and plums.  This area is well suited to the growing of fruit.  In the 19th century most people worked on the land and many grew fruit and vegetables.  In earlier centuries the monks of Pershore Abbey would have grown fruit but the apples, pears and plums of those days would not have been the same varieties we grow today.  Our fruit is larger and probably much juicer.  Tell Arthur that in Pershore today there are schoolmen who teach people the best ways to grow fruit and vegetables!

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Information from the Heritage Knights

There are markets in Pershore today.  You can see photographs of markets in olden days in the Heritage Centre above the Town Hall in the High Street.  Until very recently most people in the Pershore area made their living by working on the land so they needed a local market to sell any produce they did not need for themselves.

Pershore is a good place to hold a market, the roads come in to Pershore from all directions and, except when the River Avon is in flood, people can easily travel over Pershore Bridge to reach the town.

Rules and regulations have always controlled the way trade is carried out at a market. The heritage detectives from Cherry Orchard First School discovered that in Arthur’s time it was the monks who were in charge of making sure everyone kept the town rules and controlled the weights and measures and the prices of bread and ale. This information would certainly imply that the monks were very involved in Pershore market but did they own it?  What about the two abbots?  


Explore change in Pershore

Pershore in 1949.
Pershore in 1949.
Pershore before the railways.
Pershore before the railways.
An artist's idea of what it may have been like.
An artist's idea of what it may have been like.