TEWKESBURY (/ˈtjuːksbri/ TYEWKS-bree ) is a town and civil parish
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 , of
which the town is the second largest settlement. It lies in the far
north of the county, forming part of the border with
Tewkesbury comes from Theoc, the name of a Saxon who founded
a hermitage there in the 7th century, and in the
Old English language
was called Theocsbury. An erroneous derivation from Theotokos
enjoyed currency in the monastic period of the town's history.
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 .
* 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
* Bishop\'s Cleeve
* Malvern (Great Malvern)
Upton upon Severn
Forest of Dean
Forest of Dean
* Malvern Hills
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 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 , created on 1 April 1974, also contains
a large portion of rural north Gloucestershire, extending as far as
the edges of
Gloucester itself and also Cheltenham, and has a present
population of 81,943.
Tewkesbury War Memorial, locally known as the Cross
The town features many notable
Medieval , Tudor buildings, but its
major claim to fame is
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 (see the
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 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
The Royal Hop Pole , mentioned in 'The Pickwick
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 '
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 , 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.
TEWKESBURY TOWN COUNCIL
Cllr Karen Brennan
Cllr Peggy Clatworthy
16 / 16
Multiple non transferable vote
7 May 2015
Town Hall, High Street, Tewkesbury
The Town Council (not to be confused with
Tewkesbury Borough , which
is a wider area than
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
Karen Brennan is the civic head of the Council and chairs meetings of
the Full Council. The Council also appoints a Deputy
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 is also covered by
Tewkesbury Borough Council (district
Gloucestershire County Council .
Tewkesbury is part of the
Tewkesbury constituency for elections to the House of Commons
and is represented in the
European Parliament as part of the South
England constituency in the European Parliament.
Tewkesbury railway station
Tewkesbury railway station
The first station was originally opened by the Birmingham and
Gloucester Railway in 1840 and was sited in the High Street It was
replaced in 1864 by a new station built for the
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.
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 to be reopened, as British
Rail was being fragmented into
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway has views of
Tewkesbury Abbey en route between
Cheltenham Racecourse and
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 . Other direct bus
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.
Roses Theatre , combines an arthouse cinema and a live performance
Roses Theatre is where comedian
Eric Morecambe collapsed
after a charity performance in May 1984. He died hours later in
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 's play Richard
Raymond Priestley , geologist on
Robert Falcon Scott
Robert Falcon Scott 's expedition
South Pole , left one of the sleds, used on that expedition, to
Tewkesbury Grammar School (c. 1576 – 1972). It is now
kept in the
Tewkesbury School 's
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 band are from 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
Tewkesbury Market. A farmers\' market is also held every
month close by
Tewkesbury Abbey .
FESTIVALS AND FAIRS
* In February
Tewkesbury holds a Winter
Beer Festival , organised by
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 Festival , "Europe's largest battle re-enactment and fair".
Thousands of re-enactors travel to the town from around the world to
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.
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
* Victorian author
Dinah Craik (1826–1887) visited
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
Bredon Hill , even though neither place is in
* 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.
Henry Disston - industrialist - born
Robert Harold Compton - South African botanist - born Tewkesbury
Kathleen Hawkins - poet - born
* Alfred Jones - cricketer - born
Henry Green - author - born
Anna Ford - newsreader and TV presenter - born
Eric Morecambe - British comedian - collapsed backstage at the
Roses Theatre 1984.
* John Moore - writer - born
Raymond Priestley - scientist, Antarctic explorer, educationalist
- born -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
* ^ 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
Wayback Machine .
* ^ C. J. Litzenberger, ed.
Tewkesbury Churchwardens' Accounts,
1563-1624 (Stroud, Gloucester: 1994) vii.
* ^ Jenkins, Simon (1999). England's Thousand Best Churches. p.
* ^ Pub-explorer.com. Pub-explorer.com.
* ^ Secret meetings, codes & community: the story of the Old
Baptist Chapel in
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.
Tewkesbury Grammar School 1576 – 1972, Paul Fluck, Grenfell
* ^ Archived 6 April 2008 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Anthea Jones Tewkesbury
* ^ "Showmen\'s Guild of Great Britain Central Office".
* ^ "Musica Deo Sacra".
* ^ "Bavarian twin has much in common with sibling". Gloucester
Citizen. Retrieved 30 March 2014.