MARKET PLACE (East side)
Church of All Saints
Parish church mainly of C15 and C16, restored in 1874-76 by F. Preedy.
MATERIALS: local grey lias rubble and buff limestone in regular courses, ashlar to porch and south chapel, tile roofs, except for the slate vestry roof.
PLAN: aisled nave with west tower and west porch, south chapel, transepts, chancel with north-east organ chamber and vestries.
EXTERIOR: the church is mainly in Perpendicular style, of which the porch is notable for its unusual plan and lavish decoration. It has a deep embattled parapet with tall corner pinnacles, and is richly decorated with carved panelling and quatrefoil friezes. North and south doorways have carved spandrels and there is a five-light straight-headed west window. The slender three-stage tower has diagonal buttresses, two-light belfry windows, an embattled parapet with corner pinnacles, and a tall parapet spire with lucarnes.
The south transept and south aisle are embattled and the aisle is buttressed and has gargoyles renewed in the 1970s. The aisle has two triangular-headed three-light south windows and four-light west window. The south transept has similar five-light south and four-light east windows. The south chapel, which matches the fine porch, and was built for Abbot Wych, is buttressed, including diagonal buttresses, has pierced battlements and is lit by tall three-light transomed windows. The north aisle is different from the south aisle. It has a steeply pitched roof and 1870s windows, including two three-light Perpendicular windows, a two-light Decorated window, and four-light Perpendicular west window. The north transept retains a five-light C14 window with intersecting tracery. The nave has three quatrefoil clerestory windows on the north side, two two-light east windows above the chancel and two west windows at similar level.
The chancel is unbuttressed, has a five-light geometrical east window with a frieze of blind quatrefoils beneath the sill. The south side has a priest's doorway, two large three-light windows and a lancet to the left. There is a small two-light north window. The north east organ chamber has a two-light transomed east window and the embattled north east vestry has a hipped roof.
INTERIOR: the porch has a flat panelled ceiling with large C16 central boss showing the Five Wounds of Christ. The doorway into the nave, within a small vestibule at the base of the tower, is C12, with round arch on responds with capitals. The chancel arch is C14 style, of which the inner order is on corbels, but only the upper part is medieval. The C15 nave arcades are similar to each other but the north is lower. Piers have hollow mouldings that continue up into the arch.
Roofs are C19 but may reproduce the previous roofs. The nave has a six bay crown-post roof with four-way bracing. The north aisle has a plain five bay arch-braced roof on corbels. The south aisle has a restored cambered roof with moulded cross beams and painted bosses. Transepts have wide double-chamfered arches into the nave. The north transept has a cambered panelled roof with richly moulded ribs and gilded bosses. The south transept has a shallow king-post roof on foliage corbels. The south aisle chapel has a tall panelled arch, and retains its original fan vault, with friezes of large quatrefoils decorating the walls. The chancel has a cusped arch-braced roof with cusped wind braces; chancel walls are unplastered and comprise bands of different coloured stone. The C14 doorway from chancel to vestry has two orders of decorative cusping. There is a cusped north aumbry, and canopied piscina. Other internal walls are plastered and painted. The nave has a parquet floor, the chancel and south chapel have a C19 encaustic-tile floor by Godwin of Lugwardine.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: there is a good Perpendicular font with octagonal bowl decorated with quatrefoils on an arcaded stem. Other fittings are mainly C19 and early C20. The alabaster reredos, showing the deposition from the cross, was designed by Preedy and made by Boulton of Cheltenham. The polygonal stone pulpit of 1875 is also by Preedy, with figures of the Evangelists in niches, and angels in the spandrels. It stands below a wooden tester added by Francis Bligh Bond in 1911.
The 1905 wooden chancel screen is by C. Ford Whitcombe: it has rood figures, of which the crucifixion was carved at Oberammergau and the Virgin and St John were carved by Richard Haughton of Worcester. Iron chancel gates of 1910 are by Blunt and Wray, in Arts-and-Crafts style. A canopied reading desk behind the screen is by Bligh Bond, also 1911. Bligh Bond's main contribution was the screen between south aisle and chapel, and wooden reredos in the chapel. Early C20 choir stalls have shaped ends to the benches and poppy heads to the frontals. Nave benches have shouldered ends and apex roundels.
There are numerous wall monuments, mostly of the C18 and C19. The grandest is to Elizabeth Baylies (d 1754), attributed to Henry Cheere, with a wreathed urn surmounting a convex inscription panel. Others include Elizabeth and Ann Cave (d 1728) by Richard Squire, William Baylies (d 1760) possibly by Cheere and Thomas Dunn (d 1781) by W. Stephens. One small C14 stained glass figure of Christ is in a tracery light in the north aisle, above figures of SS Oswald and Wilfrid by Percy Bacon of London. The remainder of the stained glass is late C19 and early C20. It includes the north transept window by Capronnier of Brussels (1882) and the south transept window, designed by Henry Holland for Powell's of London (1882-83).
HISTORY: All Saints is one of two parish churches in the precinct of Evesham Abbey. It has some C12 masonry in the west wall of the nave but is otherwise C14 and C15, with porch and chapel added c1505-10, at the expense of Abbot Clement Wych, last abbot of Evesham Abbey, Lichfield. There was a major re-ordering 1874-76 during restoration by Frederick Preedy (1820-98), architect of Worcester, although initial plans had been prepared by Barry & Sons of Liverpool. Apart from general repairs, they enlarged the chancel and added a new vestry and organ chamber, rebuilt the north aisle, and provided new seating. The south chapel was restored in 1895 (plaque inside building). The outer (choir) vestry was added in 1897 by R.A. Briggs.
A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, 2007, pp 291-92.
W.R. Turner, The Churches and Bell Tower of Evesham, 2001.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The church of All Saints, Evesham, is listed at Grade I for the following principal reasons:
* It is a substantial and well-preserved medieval town church that contributes to the historic integrity of the former abbey precinct, thus possessing strong group value.
* For the extent of its surviving medieval fabric, including C15 nave arcades, tower and spire.
* It has fine C16 work in the porch and south chapel.