As I was saying…
The bridge was erected in 1856 and as far as I can recall it is called the Workman Bridge (named after the mayor at the time).
That is the Avon stretching away into the distance. Evesham sits in a lobe of the Avon, and like Tewkesbury it probably suffers each time the Avon floods. The image below shows the Avon towards the bottom of the lobe and the bus came into the town over a bridge that is just beyond the bend.
Having crossed the Avon at the Workman Bridge I now had a longish walk along the banks till I reached the cemetery. It was a pleasant walk because the area was very beautiful, and of course the sun was shining like crazy.
I was actually quite grateful for the shade. The bridge in the image above is the one I had just crossed and I was now in a public park called Worksman Gardens and there was one piece of public art that really struck me.
Called Whale Bone Arch, it features a carved Bowhead Whale (Greenland Right Whale) and it was based on a set of real whalebones that used to be on display in Evesham. The arch is the same size as that of a real whale, and it was created by Steven Cooper and the whale was carved by Tom Harvey. The original bones are at the Evesham Hotel.
And in the distance was the bridge I had come across with the bus. In my original navigation I had considered walking down to this bridge and crossing back into town and walking back to the bus stop, but had scrapped the idea.
The cemetery was in sight! and there were 41 graves to find: 10 from WW1 and 30 from WW2 (and one that is maintained by CWGC). It is not a large amount, but somedays a single grave can keep you searching for hours.
The other graves were scattered throughout the smallish cemetery, but unfortunately I could not find the one private memorial from WW1, the graves are not marked and legibility was poor in the one area where I suspected the grave was. Gravehunting over, it was time to head back to town and considering my bus back to Tewkesbury.
I leisurely strolled back towards town, enjoying the day and pleasant weather. Evesham Methodist Church is situated on the one corner of the river bank next to Workman Bridge, and it is a very pretty building too.
There were a lot of people about though and it was heading towards 11 am. The bus was leaving at 11H48 with the next one scheduled for 12H48. I had just missed the one so would get the next one, leaving me enough time to find the Quaker Burial Ground. I had first seen one of these in Southampton way back in 2013 and it had been a very pretty place. We have a Society of Friends Burial Ground in Tewkesbury, but it was not recognisable as a graveyard. Personally I find them very interesting people of enormous faith and courage, so finding another burial ground was a good find. The history of the Quakers in Evesham may be found at their website.
There were a number of ledger stones laid flush with the grass, the oldest one I saw was from the 1830’s, and there was a burial from the 2000’s in the “peace garden” too. Unfortunately I did encounter one person and I got the impression that it was time to leave as I was disturbing him. It is a pity because I really would have liked to have found out more about the burials.
I was back in town now and located the bus stop and visited that shop I mentioned in the first part of the blog, and it was a real treasure house of goodies. There are a number of things I need to explore further in Evesham, for starters there is Evesham Vale Light Railway, and of course tracking down the whale bones at the hotel and visiting the Almonry Museum and relooking the Abbey area. There are still a few reasons to return to Evesham, and possibly explore Stratford upon Avon as I saw buses tagged with that city in town. The £4 bus fare is well spent, and certainly cheaper than the bus to Cheltenham. There is also a GWR train that runs from Great Malvern to London on an almost hourly basis and I have used that twice to get to Oxford.
How does Evesham feature in the Domesday Book?
- Hundred: Fishborough (‘No longer exists as a named location, but can be identified on the ground.’)
- County: Worcestershire
- Total population: 27 households (quite large).
- Total tax assessed: 3 exemption units (medium).
- Taxable units: Taxable value 3 exemption units. Payments of 1.0 rent.
- Value: Value to lord in 1066 £3. Value to lord in 1086 £5.5. Value to lord c. 1070 £4.
- Households: 27 smallholders.
- Ploughland: 3 lord’s plough teams. 4 men’s plough teams.
- Other resources: Meadow 20 acres. 1 mill, value 1.5.
- Lord in 1066: Evesham (St Mary), abbey of.
- Lord in 1086: Evesham (St Mary), abbey of.
- Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Evesham (St Mary), abbey of.
- Phillimore reference: 10,1
(Domesday Book images are available under the CC-BY-SA licence, and are credited to Professor John Palmer and George Slater )
On my 2nd visit I found the “Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Egwin” as well as a statue of “Our Lady of Evesham”. I was finally able to get into the church in June 2019
And that was Evesham in a nutshell. I really enjoyed my visit and it was a very pretty place with wide pavements and interesting historical artefacts. And, as such I will leave you with some random images of my visit. See you again Evesham.
DRW © 2018. Created 19/05/2018. More images added 01/01/2019. Domesday Book images are available under the CC-BY-SA licence, and are credited to Professor John Palmer and George Slater . More images added 23/06/2018