Abbey Church of Holy Cross with Saint Edburgha, Pershore
Description: Abbey Church of Holy Cross with Saint Edburgha
Date Listed: 11 February 1965
English Heritage Building ID: 474443
OS Grid Reference: SO9478545789
OS Grid Coordinates: 394785, 245789
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1104, -2.0776
Location: Church Walk, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 1BN
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There is also a scheduled monument, Pershore Abbey (site of), at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.
Explore more of the area around Pershore, Worcestershire at Explore Britain.
SO9445 CHURCH WALK
648-1/5/93 (West side)
11/02/65 Abbey Church of Holy Cross with St
(Formerly Listed as:
Abbey Church of Holy Cross)
Abbey, now parish church. Founded C7; present building C11-C13
with some later-medieval remodelling; some C17 buttressing
following Dissolution; major restoration 1860s by Giles
Gilbert Scott; further alterations early C20.
MATERIALS: mainly of limestone ashlar with parapeted plain
tile, stone-tile and lead roofs.
PLAN: apse; chancel with choir aisles, N and S transepts and
crossing tower; the nave demolished at Dissolution.
EXTERIOR: C19 apse has narrow lancets with continuous
hoodmould; diagonal buttresses with offsets; corbel table; and
Chancel N aisle has moulded single-light windows; continuous
hoodmould; plain corbel table; moulded plinth; offset
buttresses which have moulded strings and crocketed pinnacles
with geometric blind tracery and rise as flying buttresses
extending to clerestory.
N clerestory has single-light windows with deep moulded
embrasures surmounted by continuous hoodmould; lombard frieze
and embattled parapet; polygonal E end surmounted by crocketed
NE chapel has coped gable with apex stone and Perpendicular
tracery to its E window. S chancel aisle similar to N aisle
with Perpendicular E, SE and S windows; clasping buttresses,
some incorporating slender 3/4 round shafts; blocked pointed
and moulded arch to former S transept chapel with clustered
shaft piers and remains of springing to vaulting.
South transept: mostly Romanesque. Its E wall has 2 further
attached moulded pointed arches with blocked round-arched
features; adjacent are 3 bays of C13 crocketed blind arcading
of former sedilia and piscina, with quatrefoil mouldings;
embattled parapet with lombard frieze incorporating
South transept S wall: chevron-moulded blind arcading to
gable, interspersed with single round-headed lights;
cable-moulded string course; remodelled triple lancet window;
roofline of former monastic buildings visible; central pier
and blocked doorway.
South transept W wall: similar lombard frieze; roofline of
former nave S aisle visible, and blocked aisle round arch with
adjacent 3-light Perpendicular window and lancets to corner
West wall has blocked round-headed crossing arch with
relieving arch above; remains of nave and arcade walls have
Romanesque piers with cushion capitals; heavily-moulded former
S doorway of 6 orders with stiff leaf capitals to E; inserted
W window and door; the W wall all now heavily buttressed.
North transept: remodelled and reinforced, but retains blocked
round-headed arch to former N nave arcade.
Tower: of 4 stages, completed 1330; 4 octagonal pinnacles,
embattled at base, surmounted by large crockets with
weathervanes; ringing chamber has four windows to each side,
of 2 lights with geometric tracery, each central pair louvred
and flanked by blind outer windows; ballflower-moulded string
course and parapet; 3rd stage has embattled string course with
ballflower mouldings at base and 2-light windows with
trefoil-headed tracery; on W side, former nave roof-line is
visible and small blocked round-arched window; on E, N and S
sides, former chancel and transept roof-lines interrupt
2nd-stage windows; lancets to staircase corner turrets.
INTERIOR: comprises apse and former chancel of 5 bays, now
used as church, and crossing with nave truncated at W arch.
E apse, built C19 in Early English style on site of former
Lady Chapel, is 5-sided with 3 narrow lancets to E end flanked
by triple-arched blind arcades, all with narrow pointed
moulded arches, stiff leaf capitals and detached shafts, some
of Purbeck marble; vault has heavily-moulded ribs and central
Chancel: rebuilt following fire in 1223, has polygonal E end
with pointed E arch of 6 orders with roll mouldings supported
by stiff-leaf capitals above clustered piers of detached or
3/4 round shafts, some of Purbeck marble; similar, unmarbled,
piers to chancel arcades; combined triforium and clerestory,
rising above moulded string course, incorporate single pointed
lights within triple pointed-arched arcades of tall clustered
shafts with stiff-leaf capitals, blind at E end; tierceron
vaults have ribs rising from stiff-leaf corbels and stiff-leaf
Aisles: slender attached piers of clustered shafts with
stiff-leaf capitals and quadripartite vaults with roll-moulded
ribs; N aisle lancet windows are all moulded with shafts and
NE chapel: moulded piscina in S wall and trefoil-headed
shallow niche on E wall; S aisle has mainly Perpendicular
windows; SE chapel has medieval floor tiles and moulded
piscina in S wall.
North transept: blocked Romanesque arch with moulded capitals
to N choir aisle; above this, a later adapted opening, a
blocked opening, and former roof-line; taller Romanesque arch
with cushion capitals to former nave N aisle.
South transept: mainly Romanesque; roll-moulded arch with
cushion capitals to S choir aisle; wider arch to former E
chapel, now blocked and with inserted later-medieval blind
arcading of 8 bays of cusped tracery surmounted by coving with
leaf motifs; a deep, splayed, moulded round-arched window;
blocked doorway above; remains of bead-moulded blind arcading,
now shaftless, extends around SE and S walls; above is a
Romanesque triforium arcade with heavy capitals rising from
partly-moulded string course; similar clerestory arcade above
with 4 pierced quatrefoils in S wall; round arch to SW
staircase turret; blocked tall S nave aisle arch,as N aisle
arch; cross-vault with moulded ribs and leaf bosses
incorporating shields along ridge rib.
Crossing has tall round arches with double 3/4 round shafts
and some figurative, but mainly cushion, capitals; above, in
tower, are 2 tiers of trefoil-headed arcading with
heavily-moulded and partly-embattled string courses, part
blind and part incorporating 2-light tower windows with
trefoil heads, set back behind detached shafts; unusual
bellcage erected 1864 by Gilbert Scott.
FITTINGS: Romanesque font at NW with seated figures under
billet-moulded arcade; replaced lower pedestal and cover.
Benefaction board to Henry Smith and others, 1626, on NE tower
arch, has a painted inscription on painted boards within
moulded wooden frame. C18 hatchment over N entrance, of
painted canvas with motto Resurgam; further hatchments in SE
transept with inscriptions Morses Omnibus Communis and In
MONUMENTS: freestanding effigies in S transept include: to E,
an abbot, possibly William de Harvington or Abbot Hert, on
tomb chest incorporating quatrefoils; to W, a cross-legged
knight in chain mail, possibly Sir William de Harley, C13; on
SW wall, painted Haselwood wall monument commemorates Thomas,
d.1624, Elizabeth, and Sir Francis, and comprises one
recumbent and 2 kneeling figures, a blank inscription panel
within cartouche to rear, 3 free-standing piers supporting
elaborately-carved arms, and chest with strapwork panels and
scagliola decoration; further monument to Fulke and Dorothy
Haselwood has 9 children in relief; other modest C18 and C19
wall monuments; in S transept, free-standing war memorial with
cast bronze figure of Immortality by Alfred Drury; many ledger
slabs in floor throughout.
Parchment inspeximus of the Royal Privileges of the Abbey of
Pershore, 1453, in metal case fixed to crossing S wall.
C19 wallpainting in medieval style to W wall of crossing;
traces of medieval wallpainting on crossing piers.
Section of late-medieval woodcarving incorporating inscription
in NE transept; late-medieval wooden chest against W wall.
STAINED GLASS: includes windows by Clayton and Bell, Hardman
and Co and Kempe.
(BoE: Pevsner N: Worcestershire: Harmondsworth: 1968-; Wilson
M: Pershore Abbey: Much Wenlock: 1994-).
Listing NGR: SO9478845793
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.