Tewkesbury Abbey

ewkesbury Abbey is situated on the river Avon on a site which may have been occupied by a Benedictine monastery in 715. In 1087 the Manor of Tewkesbury was handed by William Rufus to his cousin Robert FitzHamon. FitzHamon, along with Abbot Giraldus, founded the present Abbey in 1092. The Abbey's dimensions are almost identical with those of the original Westminster Abbey. In 1107 when FitHamon died at Falaise in Normandy his son-in-law Robert Fitzroy became Earl of Gloucester and continued the building work. On October 23rd 1123 Tewkesbury Abbey was consecrated. The Abbey was built mainly from stone imported from Caen. The church is a very good example of Norman architecture. The nave, transepts and tower are all Norman. The piers in the nave are very large cylinders typical of the Norman period. The eastern part of the building is in the Decorated sytle and had a star vault. At the far end there is an apse and radiating chapels.

Dimensions: General

Total Length3060
West wall to east window2550
Length of nave1580
Length of choir970
Height of nave590
Width of nave716
Transept width1220
Height of tower1480
Area25110 sq.feet
Source: Medieval Monasteries and Minsters:Roberts;
The ground/floor plan of Tewkesbury Abbey
1087   William Rufus gives Manor of Tewkesbury
 William Rufus gave the Manor of Tewkesbury to his cousin, Robert FitzHamon. Together with the patronage of the Priory of Tewkesbury. 
1092   Tewkesbury Abbey Founded
 Robert FitzHamon, the cousin of William Rufus, together with Abbot Giraldus, founded the present Abbey at Tewkesbury.  
1107   FitzHamon dies
 Robert FitzHamon died of his injuries at Falaise in Normandy in 1107. His son-in-law Robert Fitzroy succeeded to the Manor of Tewkesbury and continued the building the Abbey at Tewkesbury.  
1123 Oct 23  Tewkesbury Abbey consecrated
 Five bishops took part in the consecration of Tewkesbury Abbey. 
1471 May 4  The Battle of Tewkesbury
 The Yorkists led by King Edward IV and his brother Richard Duke of Gloucester met the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury. Richard was able to outflank the Lancastrians led by Edmund Beaufort, the self-proclaimed Duke of Somerset. Once Somerset's men had been dealt with, Richard attacked the rear of the Lancastrian line which broke apart and fled. Many of the Lancastrian leaders were caught and killed including Edward the Prince of Wales. Margaret of Anjou was also captured.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  

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