Archaeology

Geo-physical survey of the parish churchyard

A geophysical survey of the parish churchyard (surrounding All Saint’s and St Lawrence’s churches) was undertaken in spring 2015. In preparation  for this study members of the committee collected and collated old records (including old archaeological digs). The party looked at the buildings, walls and ground to see if there were anomalies that would suggest new builds and alterations to medieval structures. Please see the photographs below:

The results of the initial geo-phys were, unfortunately, inconclusive. On the positive side, this does mean that there are still key questions which can still be investigated. Indeed, the following key areas have been identified as areas for possible further investigation:

  • The missing Chapel of St Katherine (on the north side of St Lawrence’s);
  • A covered walkway (linking the abbey great court to St Lawrence’s);
  • A possible processional route from the ‘Norman’ gateway to the north door of the Abbey (this is way the new abbot entered the abbey precinct); and
  • A cobbled road on the north side of the churchyard (leading to All Saints).

Survey of Evesham

Another project for future consideration is a survey of Evesham during the time when the Abbey was functioning. We have a few old maps that show the roads that were extant during the Victorian times so all later roads and builds can be identified and disregarded. If anyone has any really old maps they would like to disclose to us that would be very kind!

Armed with maps, notebooks and camera, we can study the buildings in the streets for signs of earlier structures. Looking at the footings and roofs can provide a lot of clues. A sagging roof often belies a Tudor building beneath. Behind a lot of respectable Georgian and Victorian there lie nearly entire Tudor black & white dwellings, wall paintings and features.

Hopefully we will be able to build up a good database of records and photos which can be linked to the old photos and historic texts to get a real insight into early Evesham.

Street names and tithe maps have been very informative and show that there was quite a selection of trades other than farming: Brick Kiln street, Vine Street, Port Street. Tanneries provided hides for the local shoe trade (Charles I fined the town in shoes for rebuilding the bridge after he raised it to stop Cromwell’s troops accessing the town).

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