Gloucestershire Places of Worship

Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin), Tewkesbury (1) (66k) Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin), Tewkesbury (2) (91k) Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin), Tewkesbury (3) (43k) Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin), Tewkesbury (4) (94k) Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin), Tewkesbury (5) (89k) Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin), Tewkesbury (6) (58k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of John Williams/Alf Beard
Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin), Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury Abbey (St Mary the Virgin),
Church Street / Gloucester Road,
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Cemeteries

This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in the 7th century, and we understand it is still open.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/345/3/6/33) for "The Abbey Church of Tewkesbury, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin" records that "the present Abbey was built in the reign of Henry I". The space available for public worship was said to be 1,400 sittings, all of which were apparently free, as there are no appropriated sittings in the Abbey. The Churchwardens locate the congregation". On March 30th there were about 500 at morning service, with 92 Sunday Scholars; about 250 in the afternoon, and 86 Sunday Scholars; and in the evening about 500 attendees. The return was completed by George Pruen Griffiths, its Curate, who gave his address as Church Street, Tewkesbury. He declined to supply figures for the average number of worshippers, instead remarking that "I would observe that during the Spring, Summer & Autumnal months the attendance in the Abbey is far greater than during the winter months. e.g. on a Sunday in June the congregation would be 3 times larger than on a wet and cold Sunday in the beginning of March".

In 1911, the antiquarian H.J.L.J. (Henri Jean Louis Joseph) Massé published an illustrated history of The Abbey Church of Tewkesbury, available elsewhere online. The booklet also includes an account of the Priory Church of Deerhurst.

Our final photograph is of the Abbey House, adjacent to the Abbey. M. Massé's history mentions it briefly - "it comprises portions of the infirmary and perhaps of the misericord, which survived destruction at the time of the suppression of the monastery". It was lost to the Church at the time of the Dissolution, but was repurchased in 1883 for £10,500. At the time, the estate included the Abbey House, the Abbey Gateway, three cottages, and about 9 acres of land, a portion of which was subsequently added to the churchyard.

Denomination

Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference SO8907532436. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 17 May 2017 at 09:01.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 28 Oct 2020 - 11:33:05 GMT from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 14 Jun 2019 at 13:31.

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