with Stan Brotherton
Thursday 26 April 2018.
The penultimate speaker’s night of the season found us listening to Stan Brotherton as he talked to us about Evesham Abbey, past, present and future.
After speculations of an early Romano-British church, Stan talked about the early beginnings of an Anglo Saxon minster. He then progressed through the early years of building and improvements under Egwin and a succession of Abbots, to the later grander building of magnificent proportions that – it has been suggested – dwarfed the Bell Tower we know so well. In 1540 the results of the Dissolution saw the Abbey’s demise, and within a few years it was little more than a foot print in the ground. Its bones became part of the buildings of the town and villages that surrounded it.
In the early 18th century Edward Rudge, whose family owned the land, undertook an excavation of much of the site of the Abbey Church and Chapter House.
Stan then explained the ambitious plans that the Evesham Abbey Trust were hoping to realise, to open up much of the site to the public in the form of a garden that would reflect the scale and grandeur of the nave and cloisters. “Before and after” photos around the site indicated the work already in progress to clear the ivy that had been consuming the walls – colourful stones that had been hidden for decades – and showed the promise of wonderful things to come.