Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pershore, Worcestershire

Another day trip, this time to the small Worcestershire market town of Pershore.

This small Worcestershire market town is located between Worcester and Evesham. We ended up there by mistake after taking a wrong turning but I'm glad we did as it's a very attractive place.

The main attraction is the old abbey buildings. The abbey was dissolved 1539 and the nave was demolished and sold off but the rest of the building was bought by the town and became the parish church.

View of the abbey buildings in what would have been the cloister. The flying buttresses were added in the 17th century after part of the north transept collapsed. The nave originally would have stretched well beyond the edge of the photo to the left

The interior of the cathedral is still quite awe inspiring.

16th C Savage family memorial.

Originally located in the nave and therefore outside, this effigy was moved inside to protect it from elements. This unknown knight is believed to have been a crusader in service of the abbey. If you look closely at the right armpit of this knight can may notice the three buckles used to secure the front and back armour. As far as I know this is the only example of this fixing method shown in existence.

Detail of hunting horn and mail mitten.

Near to the abbey buildings is St. Andrew's church. I noticed this detail on the tower. I suppose if you asked a medieval stonemason what the largest, most dangerous animal he know he might have replied "a bear" - give it a pair of wings and you have a nasty looking dragon. Looked like it was wearing a muzzle, well you can never be too careful with dragons!

Along the main street of Pershore we stopped off for a swift half at a real ale pub called the Brandy Cask. As we were leaving we noticed a plaque which stated that during the war a Wellington bomber crashed into the building killed five crew members. It was literally a sobering moment to read the info on the plaque.

A little further down the same street and and just outside the town is the old Pershore bridge. The modern (1920's) bridge was built because the older structure couldn't cope with the traffic. The older bridge is also the site of an interesting episode during the English Civil War.

The original bridge was partly demolished by Royalist soldiers on the 6th June 1644 with the lost of 40 men (seems an unusually high number to me but that's what the info panel said) including a certain Major Bridge. In fact if you look closely at the largest central arch (the part destroyed) it is possible to see that it is a different design and colour to the other arches. I tempted to try and build a model of this bridge but that would have to wait until next year.

Information board by bridge. There are several concrete blocks scattered near to the bridge. These are actual WWII anti-tank obstacles .

Hopefully these blog posts go a little way in showing that whenever you venture of the off the main tourist areas you'll be richly rewarded with little gems like Pershore.

Date of visit:7th November 2009

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