A selection of short articles.
Contributed by Margaret Goodrich of Pershore for the PBHQ
Pershore was built around the great Abbey and the market place in today's Broad Street. It also lay on one of the main routes from Worcester to London. A market was held on Sundays which changed to Tuesdays in 1219. A fair was granted in the early 1220s to be held for 4 days around St Edburga's day, July 7.
THE TOWN AND ITS MANORS
The town was divided into two manors, one belonging to the Abbey, the other to Westminster Abbey. Pershore Abbey owned the west end of the town, including the High Street , Westminster the eastern end, including Bridge Street. The division was made straight down the centre of Broad Street. The manor house for the Abbey may have been a house on the river side of the High Street where below the current beautician's shop, lie arched rooms and possibly a chapel where a piscina can be seen. This is where the Abbey's manor court would have been held. Westminster held its own court.
Most of the houses would have been along the High Street, and the approach to the Abbey. Newlands, despite its name, developed before the 13C, houses clustering around the Abbey gate and on the approaches down the hill, today's Newlands, and up Head Street.
Westminster had to retain the bridge over the Avon as it was in their manor. But "portage" for repairs was levied on the tenants of both manors. In the 14C Westminster banned tennis, football and dicing and mastiffs were to be kept indoors at night and all their tenants were to be in by 9pm. A constable would try to enforce the manor courts' rules. Miscreants would appear before court and suffer fines or bodily punishment. There must have been some stocks somewhere.
The streets were to be thoroughly cleaned each month. I think the main street would have been cobbled and probably Hedstrete (Head St) which must have been a main approach to the Abbey as the gate house was somewhere at the bottom of Newlands. A small section of cobbled street has been found nearby. I expect the market place might be cobbled too. Otherwise the lanes and paths running down to the river and off the High Street and Bridge Street were probably just muddy paths and tracks.
In 1086 (Domesday) there were 28 burgesses and in 1276, 78 payers for a government subsidy. So the town was not large but growing. ( the population, generally, grew considerably in the 13C but then dropped back in the 14C with poor climate conditions, failed harvests and plagues for both stock and humans.
Occupations in Pershore would have been a little involvement in the wool trade but only on a small scale, agriculture, animal husbandry, a carpenter, a tanner, tile works, perhaps, and maybe a potter or two. And some small shopkeepers such as butchers and bakers. all that was necessary to support a smallish urban community, many of whom would be largely self sufficient.
There would also be plenty of inns both for visitors to the Abbey and travellers along the road.
Contributed by Edward Crowther for the PBHQ
Pershore Hall was built in 1862, but we know from the deeds and an engraving of Pershore dated about 1830 that there was a house on the site long before then. Also several of the trees in the garden date from before 1860. The estate was about 250 acres and stretched from what is now Station Road down to Bow Brook. To the south west the land belonged to the Croome Estate, while to north the land belonged to Henry Workman who was mayor of Evesham, and whom the "old" Evesham bridge is named after. We sold the land to the insurance company that then owned the Croome Estate. John Bomford then bought it when he bought the rest of his farm.
Pershore Hall, which seems to have had several names, Pleasant Hall, Mount Pleasant, the Mount, before it became known as Pershore Hall. Older local people still call it the Mount and often do not know where Pershore Hall is. The Hall was built by Edward Humphires. He came from near Stratford on Avon. Over the years he had several factories in Pershore making iron castings, steam engines, and thrashing machines. One of the factories was what is now known as Abbey Garage. I can remember in the 1970s that the workshop still had, in the roof the shafts and pulley wheels used to drive the machinery, driven be a steam engine. He imported coal and iron ore up the Avon to where the football ground now is. After the railway came he moved his factory, now Allan's, to next the railway station at Pinvin, from where it was much cheaper to get his coal and iron ore. The company continued under several names, Fisher-Humphires for one, making agricultural machinery. In the 19th century the company had at least one overseas branch in Odessa in the Ukraine.
In the 1920s The house belonged the Deakin family who planted the land with plums and made jam in several factories in Pershore and also in Wigan They also owned land round Stoulton where he grew peas. The old tin shed on the on the left before the railway bridge* is said to have contained an early pea viner .
* In Stoulton parish
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