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TEWKESBURY (/ˈtjuːksbri/ TYEWKS-bree ) is a town and civil parish in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
, England. It stands at the confluence of the River Severn and the River Avon , and also minor tributaries the Swilgate and Carrant Brook. It gives its name to the Borough of Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
, of which the town is the second largest settlement. It lies in the far north of the county, forming part of the border with Worcestershire
Worcestershire
.

The name Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
comes from Theoc, the name of a Saxon who founded a hermitage there in the 7th century, and in the Old English
Old English
language was called Theocsbury. An erroneous derivation from Theotokos enjoyed currency in the monastic period of the town's history.

The Battle of Tewkesbury , which took place on 4 May 1471, was one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography

* 1.1 Nearby places

* 2 Demography * 3 Landmarks * 4 Governance * 5 Railways * 6 Road transport

* 7 Culture

* 7.1 Festivals and fairs

* 8 Cultural references * 9 Notable people * 10 Sports and recreation * 11 Twin town * 12 References * 13 External links

GEOGRAPHY

NEARBY PLACES

* Bredon * Bishop\'s Cleeve * Cheltenham
Cheltenham
* Evesham
Evesham
* Gloucester
Gloucester
* Pershore * Malvern (Great Malvern) * Upton upon Severn * Cotswolds * Forest of Dean
Forest of Dean
* Malvern Hills * Winchcombe * Gretton * Worcester
Worcester

DEMOGRAPHY

At the 2011 UK census the town itself had a population of 10,704. If the neighbouring parishes of Wheatpieces (3,577), Northway (5,080) and Ashchurch Rural (957) are added, the figure rises to 20,318. The Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
urban area is divided in two by the north-south running M5 motorway , opened in February 1971. However, the town is generally considered as the built-up area to the immediate east and west of the M5 at junction 9, with the town centre, abbey and old town situated to the west. The close proximity of large areas of land that are prone to flooding, as evidenced by the severe floods that struck the region in July 2007, would make further expansion difficult. However, the present Borough of Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
, created on 1 April 1974, also contains a large portion of rural north Gloucestershire, extending as far as the edges of Gloucester
Gloucester
itself and also Cheltenham, and has a present population of 81,943.

LANDMARKS

Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
War Memorial, locally known as the Cross

The town features many notable Medieval
Medieval
, Tudor buildings, but its major claim to fame is Tewkesbury Abbey
Tewkesbury Abbey
, a fine Norman abbey church, originally part of a monastery, which was saved from the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII after being bought by the townspeople for the price of the lead on the roof to use as their parish church . Most of the monastery buildings, as well as the vineyards, were destroyed during this time. The Abbey Mill however still remains, resting upon the Mill Avon, a channel allegedly built by the monks. This channel represents one of the biggest projects in Tewkesbury's history, though the present weir dates only from the 1990s, replacing two sluice gates installed in the 1930s. The Abbey Mill is also sometimes known as "Abel Fletcher's Mill", but this is simply the name given to it in Dinah Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman, whose setting Norton Bury is based on Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
(see the Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
in Literature section below).

The abbey is thought to be the site of the place where the hermit Theoc once lived. The great Romanesque arch on the west front is particularly striking, and the stained glass window at that end has been restored. The monastery was founded by the Despensers as a family mausoleum, and the Despenser and Neville tombs are fine examples of small-scale late medieval stonework.

The tower is believed to be the largest Norman tower still in existence (though that at Norwich Cathedral is another strong contender). The tower once had a wooden spire which may have taken the total height of the building to as much as 260 feet (79 m), but this was blown off in a heavy storm on Easter Monday 1559; the present pinnacles and battlements were added in 1600 to give the tower a more "finished" look. The height to the top of the pinnacles is 148 feet (45 m). The abbey is thought to be the third largest church in Britain that is not a cathedral (after Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
and Beverley Minster ). From end to end it measures 331 feet (101 m), though prior to the destruction of the original Lady Chapel (also at the time of the dissolution), the total length was 375 feet (114 m). The abbey is a parish church , still used for daily services, and is believed to be the second-largest parish church in England, again, after Beverley Minster . The Royal Hop Pole , mentioned in 'The Pickwick papers'

Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
claims Gloucestershire's oldest public house, the Black Bear, dating from 1308, although this is currently closed and for sale with its future as a pub in doubt. Other notable buildings are the Royal Hop Pole Hotel in Church Street (which has recently been converted into a part of the Wetherspoons pub chain with the discovery of a former medieval banqueting hall in the structure), mentioned in Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
' The Pickwick Papers , the Bell Hotel, a large half-timbered structure opposite the Abbey gateway, and the House of the Nodding Gables in the High Street.

The Abbey Cottages, adjacent to Tewkesbury Abbey
Tewkesbury Abbey
, were built between 1410 and 1412. They were restored 1967 to 1972 by the Abbey Lawn Trust, a building preservation charity. They house the John Moore Museum, residential homes and commercial offices. The John Moore Museum was established in 1980 in memory of the writer and naturalist, John Moore . The museum consists of three buildings: the main John Moore Museum, home to an extensive Natural History collection; the Merchant's House, restored to its Tudor appearance; and the Old Baptist Chapel. The Old Baptist Chapel, located off Church Street, is a timber-framed building, formally a medieval hall house dating to the 1480s. Sometime in the 17th century, it was converted for use as a Nonconformist meeting house. Including the original baptistery and pastor's room, the building is of significant historic interest. The building was restored to its 1720 appearance in the 1970s by Tewkesbury Borough Council. It was further renovated and interpreted in 2015 by the Abbey Lawn Trust and is used as a venue for a variety of cultural events. Behind the chapel is a small cemetery for those who were members of the congregation. This includes the grave of William Shakespeare-Hart, fifth great grand nephew of William Shakespeare. The cemetery is managed by Tewkesbury Borough Council.

At the Tudor House Hotel in the High Street however, although it is indeed chiefly a Tudor building, the frontage comprises artificial half-timbering attached to a brick-built façade. The local branch of Store Twenty-One (formerly Marks the bridge was widened in the mid-to-late 1950s to meet traffic requirements.

GOVERNANCE

TEWKESBURY TOWN COUNCIL

TYPE

TYPE Parish Council

LEADERSHIP

MAYOR Cllr Karen Brennan

DEPUTY MAYOR Cllr Peggy Clatworthy

STRUCTURE

SEATS 16 Councillors

INDEPENDENT 16 / 16

ELECTIONS

VOTING SYSTEM Multiple non transferable vote

LAST ELECTION 7 May 2015

MEETING PLACE

Town Hall, High Street, Tewkesbury

WEBSITE

www.tewkesburytowncouncil.gov.uk

The Town Council (not to be confused with Tewkesbury Borough , which is a wider area than Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Town) has 16 members from the 4 wards of Town with Mitton, Newtown, Priors Park, and Mythe who are elected every four years. Councillors were last elected in 2015, with all councillors sitting as independents. The Mayor of Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Cllr Karen Brennan is the civic head of the Council and chairs meetings of the Full Council. The Council also appoints a Deputy Mayor who supports the Mayor in their duties and often succeeds to the office of Mayor in the following civic year. The Council was formally established in 1974 following the dissolution of the municipal borough of Tewkesbury, but continues to occupy the same premises and maintains the same civic role within the Town.

Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
is also covered by Tewkesbury Borough Council (district level) and Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
County Council . Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
is part of the wider Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
constituency for elections to the House of Commons and is represented in the European Parliament
European Parliament
as part of the South West England
England
constituency in the European Parliament.

RAILWAYS

Main article: Tewkesbury railway station
Tewkesbury railway station

The first station was originally opened by the Birmingham and Gloucester
Gloucester
Railway in 1840 and was sited in the High Street It was replaced in 1864 by a new station built for the Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
and Malvern Railway . This closed on 14 August 1961, when the Ashchurch to Upton-on-Severn passenger service was withdrawn by British Railways (through trains to Great Malvern had previously ceased in December 1952). Freight traffic continued until final closure in December 1964.

Today Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
has no railway station. The nearest is Ashchurch for Tewkesbury railway station
Tewkesbury railway station
2.3 miles from the town center. It was the last mainline station in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
to be reopened, as British Rail was being fragmented into Railtrack .

The nearby Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Warwickshire Railway has views of Tewkesbury Abbey
Tewkesbury Abbey
en route between Cheltenham
Cheltenham
Racecourse and Winchcombe.

ROAD TRANSPORT

Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
is served by the M5 and M50 motorways and the A38 and A46 trunk roads . There are frequent direct buses to Ashchurch for Tewkesbury railway station
Tewkesbury railway station
and to Cheltenham
Cheltenham
. Other direct bus services include Gloucester
Gloucester
and Evesham. Congestion on the A46 around Ashchurch and junction 9 of the M5 is being addressed through a series of road works starting in 2014.

CULTURE

* Roses Theatre , combines an arthouse cinema and a live performance venue. The Roses Theatre is where comedian Eric Morecambe collapsed after a charity performance in May 1984. He died hours later in Cheltenham
Cheltenham
General Hospital . Eric is remembered at the theatre with the naming of a conference/changing room: The Eric Morecambe Room. * Battle of Tewkesbury , mentioned in Shakespeare
Shakespeare
's play Richard III . * Raymond Priestley , geologist on Robert Falcon Scott
Robert Falcon Scott
's expedition to the South Pole
South Pole
, left one of the sleds, used on that expedition, to the former Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Grammar School (c. 1576 – 1972). It is now kept in the Tewkesbury School 's Humanities
Humanities
building. * Tewkesbury mustard , a blend of mustard and horseradish , made the town famous in the 17th century and is again being manufactured. The mustard was mentioned in some of Shakespeare's works. * Ska punk
Ska punk
band are from Tewkesbury. * Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Town Band (a brass band ) plays locally, tours abroad and takes part in competitions. * Wednesdays and Saturdays, one of the town centre car parks is the location of Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Market. A farmers\' market is also held every month close by Tewkesbury Abbey
Tewkesbury Abbey
.

FESTIVALS AND FAIRS

* In February Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
holds a Winter Beer Festival , organised by the Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
branch of CAMRA . * Since 2005, an annual Food and Drink Festival has been held, in or near the Abbey grounds. * On the second full weekend of July the town hosts Tewkesbury Medieval
Medieval
Festival , "Europe's largest battle re-enactment and fair". Thousands of re-enactors travel to the town from around the world to re-enact the Battle of Tewkesbury near to the original battle site. The festival includes a "living history" recreation of a medieval encampment, games, food and a large fair where re-enactment clothing, furniture and weaponry can be purchased. In 2008 the festival celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Medieval
Medieval
Festival 2007

* In July the Water Festival takes place with events on the river and the banks including an evening procession of lit boats ending with a firework display. The festival started in 1996 but its future is now in question due to funding issues and the 2006 event was much reduced in scale. The event was cancelled in 2007 as it coincided with the Summer 2007 Flood (it went ahead later in the year). The event was scheduled for 2008 on Saturday, 20 September, but was again cancelled due to flooding in the weeks prior to the event. * In October the town holds the annual mop fair . Originally a hiring fair where people came to seek employment, the event is now a large travelling funfair taking over much of the centre of town. The fair itself is also an underlining point of Tewkesbury's industrial past, as Walker Gallopers were produced in the area by Walkers in the early 20th century. The fair is organised by The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain (Western Section) * Every year at the end of July and into August the Abbey hosts a festival of liturgical music entitled Musica Deo Sacra (Music Sacred to God).

CULTURAL REFERENCES

* Victorian author Dinah Craik (1826–1887) visited Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
in 1852, and later set her most famous work John Halifax, Gentleman (pub. 1857) in the town, calling it Norton Bury in the book. There is a "Craik House" in Church Street, near the Abbey, but Mrs Craik never lived there and had no other connection with Tewkesbury. There is a memorial to her in the Abbey's south transept . * Author John Moore (1907–1967) was born and lived in Tewkesbury. He set his novel Portrait of Elmbury (pub. 1945) as a "fictionalised biography" of Tewkesbury, the town being the "Elmbury" of the book. Another of his books, Brensham Village (pub. 1946) used nearby Bredon as its basis. A local museum has been named after him. * A.E. Housman 's A Shropshire Lad also mentions Tewkesbury, as well as nearby Bredon Hill , even though neither place is in Shropshire
Shropshire
. * The opening scene of the 1995 film version of Richard III takes place at the Field Headquarters of King Henry's army at Tewkesbury. * In 2008 an episode of the UK TV series Top Gear was filmed in the vicinity, with a car being used as the "fox" in a fox hunt.

NOTABLE PEOPLE

* Henry Disston - industrialist - born Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
1819. * Robert Harold Compton - South African botanist - born Tewkesbury 1886. * Kathleen Hawkins - poet - born Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
1883. * Alfred Jones - cricketer - born Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
1900. * Henry Green - author - born Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
1905. * Anna Ford - newsreader and TV presenter - born Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
1943. * Eric Morecambe - British comedian - collapsed backstage at the town's Roses Theatre 1984. * John Moore - writer - born Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
1907. * Raymond Priestley - scientist, Antarctic explorer, educationalist - born -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ Toulmin Smith L. , ed. 1909, The Itinerary of John Leland, London, IV, 150 * ^ Open Domesday Online: Tewkesbury * ^ Tewkesbury Borough Council – Statistics Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ C. J. Litzenberger, ed. Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Churchwardens' Accounts, 1563-1624 (Stroud, Gloucester: 1994) vii. * ^ Jenkins, Simon (1999). England's Thousand Best Churches. p. 228. * ^ Pub-explorer.com. Pub-explorer.com. * ^ http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/fears-for-future-of-county-s-oldest-pub-as-it-is-put-up-for-sale/story-29561857-detail/whatson/story.html * ^ Secret meetings, codes & community: the story of the Old Baptist Chapel in Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
- official guidebook, ISBN 978 1 78442 134 2 , published 2015 * ^ "William Shakespeare\'s family roots traced to Tewkesbury". 29 January 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk. * ^ http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/a46-ashchurch-and-m5-junction-improvements * ^ Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury
Grammar School 1576 – 1972, Paul Fluck, Grenfell Publications 1987 * ^ Archived 6 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ Anthea Jones Tewkesbury * ^ "Showmen\'s Guild of Great Britain Central Office". Showmensguild.co.uk. * ^ "Musica Deo Sacra". * ^ "Bavarian twin has much in common with sibling". Gloucester Citizen. Retrieved 30 March 2014.

EXTERNAL

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