There were settlements around the River Avon in the Bronze Age and in Roman and early Anglo-Saxon eras, and archaeological explorations have discovered artefacts and information. Much of this activity was on the “far” side of the river, in what are now South Littleton, Bengeworth and Hampton – on the main routes from Alcester to Pershore and Cheltenham, or further afield in Beckford.
Within the loop of the Avon, the first impulse for settlement occurred in the year 709, when the Bishop of Worcester, Saint Egwin, founded the Abbey. You can read more about early Evesham here, and a note about the foundation of the Abbey here,
The Abbey and the town grew together through the benevolence of the Saxon kings of Mercia and England and then under the Normans. The medieval bridge linking Evesham to Bengeworth was a major, development greatly enhancing the ferry at Hampton and the complex of bridge and fords at Littleton. Abbey and town prospered up to the middle of the 16th century until, at its peak, the Abbey was one of the greatest and richest in England.
The videos here describe the Abbey at its peak
Alongside the Abbey church itself were the “chapel” churches of All Saints – which remains the parish church of Evesham – and St Lawrence – which was declared redundance and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, and the Bell Tower, which survived when the Abbey itself was dissolved in 1539 and demolished soon after. The other buildings surviving from the Abbey complex include the Almonry and the archway leading to the Market Square. This Page tells the history of the Almonry, and here shows the building through the chaging seasons
Evesham saw its share of turbulence in the troubles of the Barons’ Wars in the 13th century and is most noted as the site of the Battle in 1265 which saw the death of Simon de Montfort.
The town featured significantly in the Civil Wars of the 17th Century, as a garrison for Parliamentary troops before being taken by the Royalists under Colonel Edward Massey. The second Battle of Evesham, in 1645, was fought on almost exactly the same site as that 380 years before.
Evesham prospered with improved communications, with enhancements to navigation on the river, with the turnpike roads and with the coming of the railways in the 19th century.
The articles here tell more about different aspects of Evesham’s history