Evesham Abbey (remains of)
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005297
Date first listed: 16-May-1949
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wychavon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 03732 43580
Part of Evesham Abbey, 105m south of the church of All Saints, Evesham.
Reasons for Designation
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, Evesham Abbey survives comparatively well as visible earthworks, stone walls and 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.
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 part of a Benedictine abbey situated on the north western side of the River Avon at Evesham. The monument survives as standing walls and buried foundations of the entrance gate, cloisters, chapter house, northern transept and precinct wall with the earthwork remains of fishponds. The abbey was constructed of lias and sandstone from 989 with additions during the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. An entrance arch is situated between the cloisters and the chapter house and is approximately 3m high with vaulted twin niches on the base. The arch has two rows of canopied niches with seated figures in the outer order and standing figures in the inner order. An area of standing masonry denotes the location of the west wall of the northern transept with the base of an arch. The base of the north western pier of the central tower is situated to the east. Situated on the south eastern side of the abbey precincts are two fishponds. The larger north eastern fish pond is approximately 57m long by 8m wide and is separated from a second fishpond by a dam and leat. Earthwork banks are situated parallel to the ponds on their south eastern side. The precinct wall is denoted by a dressed stone and rubble wall that is about 2m high situated on the north and south of the site continuing to the west to abut the gateway. The northern wall forms the southern boundary of the Church of St. Lawrence and contains several gateways. The abbey gateway is represented by buried features. The buried remains of the stables are situated to the south east of the gateway.
From its foundation in 701, Evesham Abbey alternated between monastic and collegiate foundation, finally becoming a Benedictine Abbey in 989 that lasted until its dissolution in 1539.
The south precinct wall, the transept wall and the Chapter House archway are listed at Grade II.
Parts of the abbey gatehouse and further abbey features survive in listed buildings to the north and west of the monument, but are not currently included in the Schedule because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WT 253
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Brooks, A, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (2007)
Pastscape Monument No:- 328414 & 518333
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing