Pershore Abbey

Pershore Abbey in Worcestershire, was founded in the 7th century and came under the Benedictine rule in about the 10th century. Today the long nave of the abbey church has disappeared, but a parish church occupies the lofty chancel and south transept.


History of Pershore Abbey

The history of Pershore Abbey began in 681, when Ethelred of Mercia gave estates to St Oswald, Bishop of Worcester, to establish a monastery at Pershore.

By 689 a monastic community had been established, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin, Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

The monks of Pershore Abbey enjoyed a period of stability under the strong Mercian kings, but the 9th century brought fear and uncertainty in a time of Viking raids and Danish rule.

In 972 King Edgar's charter confirmed the estate and the abbey came under the Benedictine Rule. In 1090 the Norman Abbey was built. The south transept and tower piers survive from this period.

The abbey was dissolved in 1539. The monastic buildings, the Norman nave, the Lady Chapel and St. Edburga's Chapel were demolished and their building materials were sold. Fortunately, parishioners of Pershore bought what was left to be their parish church.

When the north transept collapsed in 1686, a wall was built in its place. Further alterations were carried out, including a restoration by George Gilbert Scott in 1852 and support struts added in 1913.

What to See at Pershore Abbey

The church as it now stands represents only a small portion of the original building, so has a rather foreshortened appearance. The exterior is dominated by a lofty tower and transepts that look exceptionally large without a long nave to balance their height. Large modern buttresses support the west side of the church.

Entrance is through the south transept, with leads under the tower and then into the chancel, which is now the nave of the parish church. The chancel has fine Gothic arches and side aisles, with dramatic rib vaulting everywhere. The nave/chancel vault has some splendid roof bosses, most of foliage but a few with Green Men hidden among the leaves.

Quick Facts on Pershore Abbey

Site Information
Names:Pershore Abbey
Categories:monasteries; ruins; abbey churches; England's Thousand Best Churches: Four Stars
Styles:Gothic; Anglo-Norman
Dates:1090 and later
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:52.110419° N, 2.077548° W
Address:Pershore, England
Lodging:View hotels near Pershore Abbey
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

More Information

View of Pershore Abbey from the south. © Holly Hayes
View from the southwest, with struts where the nave used to be. © Holly Hayes
Norman blind arches on the south transept. © Holly Hayes
The chancel-turned-nave, looking east. © Holly Hayes
Vault of the chancel. © Holly Hayes
Roof boss with Green Man. © Holly Hayes
North aisle and chancel, looking west. © Holly Hayes

Map of Pershore Abbey

Below is a location map and aerial view of Pershore Abbey. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.