An important midlands market town in the centre of the fruit-growing district of Evesham Vale. In the spring the vale is a mass of blossom and in the autumn it is rich with local produce. The town lies inside a loop of the River Avon and is resplendent with many ancient timbered houses, elegant Georgian buildings and green open spaces. Although the bustling town centre has some serious traffic congestion issues, there are many interesting features here worth seeing.
Evesham Town Hall and Tudor Round House © Travel About Britain
Several charming old inns are preserved in the narrow streets leading to the central market place. At the edge of the square stands the 15th-c. half-timbered Round House (Booth Hall) with overhanging upper storeys and gabled attics. Although the house is not actually round but square shaped. Next to this stands a fine stone built Town Hall of Elizabethan origins, with later 18th-c. additions. Originally the hall had an traditional open ground floor for market stalls, but the arches have all now been filled-in with windows.
Riverside Shopping Centre, Bridge Street © Travel About Britain
The main shopping facilities can be found on the High Street and Bridge Street. On the south side of Bridge Street is the fine old whitewashed Crown Hotel, built round a traditional courtyard. Part of the town's original medieval wall can be found at the end of this street. Dresden House, on the High Street, is one of the town's finest 18th-c. buildings, constructed of mellowed brickwork, with a richly carved cornice.
The medieval half-timbered Almonry, in Vine Street, dates from the 14th-c. It was formally the home of the Abbey Almoner, who was responsible for the distribution of alms to the poor. It now contains a local history museum with exhibits covering the history of the old abbey and the famous Battle of Evesham.
The Almonry Heritage Centre © Travel About Britain
An open park at the edge of the town is the site of an 8th-c Benedictine Abbey, one of the largest of its kind in Europe. It was demolished in 1539, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Only a few of the original buildings survive, including Abbot Reginald's gatehouse and a magnificent 16th-c. bell tower. The 110ft (33m) gothic style bell tower stands on high ground with commanding views over the river. The abbey precincts contain gardens and flowerbeds which run right down to the river bank, where there are pleasant tree-lined walks and gently meandering pleasure boats.
River Avon at Evesham © Travel About Britain
Evesham Bell Tower © TAB
Close to the bell tower stand two notable churches, that of St Lawrence (16th-c) and All Saints (12th-c). St Lawrence was overly restored in the 1830s but All Saints still retains some of its original Norman features and good fan vaulting in the Chapel of Our Lady, in the south transept.
The town was made famous in 1265 by the Battle of Evesham, when the rebel Earl of Leicester 'Simon de Montfort' was defeated by Prince Edward. Simon de Montfort was interred under the high altar of the abbey following the battle and a memorial to him now stands over the site.
The Abbey Manor (circa 1840), is located in pleasantly wooded gardens about one mile north west, closer to the scene of the battle. An obelisk commemorating the Battle of Evesham can be found in its grounds. A little further north is Evesham Country Park; a pretty open space with family attractions, light railway, a wildlife visitors centre and craft shops.