About Tewkesbury Abbey
Tewkesbury Abbey is one of the greatest examples of medieval architecture in the country, it is also one of the largest parish churches in England.
The Abbey was founded by Robert Fitzhamon and his wife Sybil de Montgomery. Robert was also Earl of Gloucester and this title remained with his descendant, often through the female line, until Tudor times. Their names are a roll call of the rich and powerful of the English medieval period. Through their political prominence the Abbey was affected by many of the national events of the times.
In May 1471 Edward VI won the Battle of Tewkesbury; a turning point in the Wars of the Roses. The Lancastrian heir to the throne, Edward, Prince of Wales, and many prominent Lancastrian nobles were killed during the battle or were dragged from sanctuary in the Abbey and executed.
The first Abbot was Abbot Gerald who travelled from Cranborne in Dorset to found the new monastery at Tewkesbury. The Abbey was a Benedictine foundation until it was dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII in 1540. Most of the monastery buildings were lost at the Reformation, the Abbey Church itself was saved by the townsfolk for their parish church, for the then enormous sum of £453.
Much of the church remains unchanged from the early 12th century: the Nave Pillars, Norman tower and West front. The East End of the Abbey contains original medieval windows, a Quire clerestory and number of chapels.
There is a strong musical tradition at Tewkesbury Abbey. Along with visiting choirs, the Abbey Parish choir sing services on Sundays and the major Christian festivals, and Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum sing Choral Evensong during term time. In addition to these services there are many concerts in the Abbey each year and our Musica Deo Sacra festival takes place annually in late July
Tewkesbury Abbey Shop
A special shop in a special place selling a wide range of gifts including jewellery, books, cards and CD’s. Tewkesbury Abbey is a Fairtrade Church.