Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Tewkesbury

TEWKESBURY, an old market town of Gloucestershire, England; on the Avon at its confluence with the Severn; 9 miles N. N. W. of Cheltenham, and 15 S. by E. of Worcester. On the site of the cell of the hermit Theoc, from whom the place got its name, was founded in 715 a monastery, refounded in 1102 by Robert Fitzhamon as a great Benedictine abbey. Its noble church, consecrated in November, 1123, measures 317 feet by 124 feet across the transepts, and remains essentially Norman, in spite of later additions—Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular. It was restored by Scott in 1875-1879. Special features are the W. front and the massive central tower, 132 feet high. Many of the Clares, Despencers, Beauchamps, and other lords of Tewkesbury are buried here, as also the murdered Prince Edward and (possibly) Clarence; and in 1890 a tablet was erected to Mrs. Craik, the scene of whose “John Halifax” is laid in Tewkesbury. The place has also a town hall (1788), a corn exchange (1856), Telford's iron bridge over the Severn (1824) with span of 176 feet, a free grammar school, etc. Manufacture of mustard was previously the chief industry. It has now been replaced by the shoe trade. Within half a mile was fought (May 4, 1471), the battles of Tewkesbury, in which the Yorkists under Edward IV. gained a crowning victory over the Lancastrians. The town was incorporated by Elizabeth in 1574.