Visit Tewkesbury and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, is an attractive old town with a wealth of ancient houses and timbered inns. The Bell Inn, one of the best examples, was once a monastery guest-house and has some l3th-century wall paintings dating from that time. Like so many places in Tewkesbury, it has associations with Mrs Craik's John Halifax, Gentleman. The Hop Pole is yet another ancient inn with a good l4th-century fire-place before which, in Dickens's book, Mr Pickwick warmed his coat tails. The house of the Nodding Gables has an appearance consonant with its name. Warwick House is 16th-century. The Cross House on Toizey Lane has splendid Elizabethan panelled rooms and is believed to have been the Court House of the Lords of Tewkesbury. The Baptist Chapel is one of the oldest in England; the present building was put up in 1690 and has some good 17th- and 18th-century furnishings. The Tudor House, a hotel, dates from 1540. The Classical Town Hall has some fine portraits in the mayor's parlour. Among them is a good half-length portrait of James Mattin, a late 18th-century M.P., painted by George Romney. The oldest inn of all claims to date from 1308. This is the Black Bear, a half-timbered building at the top of the High Street near King John's Bridge which crosses the River Avon and has incorporated into it part of the bridge built in 1200. The town stands by the confluence of the Severn and Avon and from the heights of Mythe Tute, between the two rivers, there is a view of the riverside country around, dominated by Thomas Telford's graceful iron bridge with its 176-ft span over the Severn.
Tewkesbury was the scene of one of the bloodiest last battles of the Wars of the Roses. After the death of Warwick the Kingmaker at Barnet, Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI, determined to make a final desperate bid for the Lancastrian cause. On 4 May 1417 the Queen's forces took up their positions on what is now known as Queen Margaret's Camp, Gunhill Manor and Lincoln Green. The Yorkists led by Edward IV took advantage of the poor tactics of the Lancastrians under the Duke of Somerset and destroyed them. The site is still known as the Bloody Meadow and can be seen from Lincoln Lane off the A38.
There is evidence that monks were settled in Tewkesbury by 715 and built a church in these meadows by the river. The Norman nave and tower of the present Tewkesbury Abbey are comparable to the best found anywhere in southern England. The tower is 132 ft high and 46 ft square. The pinnacles added in the 17th century might be regretted, but even these cannot detract from this majestic tower. The top affords a panoramic view of the Avon and Severn valleys, the Malvern Hills and, on a fine day, the Welsh mountains. The west front has a recessed sixfold Norman arch, 65 ft high, the largest of its kind in the kingdom. The great window was inserted in 1686. The 14 Norman columns supporting the l4th-century vaulting of the roof are some 19 ft round and over 30 ft high. Six chapels radiate from the 14th-century apsidal choir. Monuments to the historic families of the De Clares and Despencers abound. The beautiful Warwick Chantry was endowed by the Beauchamps (the family to which Warwick the Kingmaker belonged) and many of them lie buried in the abbey. The choir windows have some of the best English l4th-century glass. The south transept has its original Norman apse built before 1178. It now serves as a side chapel and has a Raphael painting which once hung at Versailles. The abbey possesses three organs. One is known as the Milton Organ and was in fact built for Magdalen College, Oxford. The organ case is a great deal older. Cromwell had it removed to Hampton Court and it is from this time it derives its name, as it is believed that Milton played upon it while he was secretary to the Protector.
Some of the loveliest stretches of the Lower Avon can be navigated for some 32 miles from Tewkesbury to Offenham, 2 miles above Evesham.
Nearby towns: Cheltenham, Evesham, Great Malvern, Ledbury, Pershore, Winchcombe
Nearby villages: Ashchurch, Ashleworth, Ashton under Hill, Beckford, Birlingham, Bishops Cleeve, Bredon, Bushley, Castlemorton, Chaceley, Church End, Coombe Hill, Deerhurst, Defford, Down Hatherley, Dumbleton, Earls Croome, Eckington, Eldersfield, Golden Valley, Great Comberton, Great Washbourne, Gretton, Hanley Castle, Hartpury, Hasfield, Innsworth, Leigh, Little Comberton, Little Washbourne, Long Green, Maisemore, Overbury, Prestbury, Severn Stoke, Southam, Staunton, Staverton, Strensham, Swindon, Tirley, Upton-upon-Severn, Welland
Have you decided to visit Tewkesbury or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Tewkesbury bed and breakfast (a Tewkesbury B&B or Tewkesbury b and b)
- a Tewkesbury guesthouse
- a Tewkesbury hotel (or motel)
- a Tewkesbury self-catering establishment, or
- other Tewkesbury accommodation