Monday 20 January 2020


We visited Tewkesbury last Saturday, our first time. We had planned on staying for several hours but it started raining soon after our arrival and given that we've had nothing but rain (with a few exceptions) for the last few months, and we are so fed up with it, that we strolled around town for a bit, then visited the wonderful abbey, and then headed back home. Consequently, my impressions of the town are minimal.

Tewkesbury is a market town, standing at the confluence of the rivers Severn and Avon. The town claims Gloucestershire's oldest public house, the Black Bear, dating from 1308, although this is currently closed and for sale with its future as a pub in doubt. 

The town features many notable Medieval, Tudor buildings

We saw this narrow alleyway and decided to explore

A cottage on our right

ahead,  at the Baptist burial ground, established in 1655

Some of William Shakespeare's descendants are to be found here

We turned back, and since it had started raining decided to have a look at the old Baptist chapel. It's an extraordinary building that has a rich history of both domestic and religious use. It started life in the 15th century as a medieval hall house, with a fire in the middle of the building and the family sleeping on the gallery upstairs.

In 1623 Baptists began meeting there, initially in secret, making it one of the oldest in existence. The building was modernised in the 18th century to make it more suitable for its use as a place of worship. A pastor's room was added along with a vaulted ceiling, tall glazed windows and a baptistery. After 1805, when a larger chapel was opened in the town, the building was separated into two cottages with a reduced chapel between them. In the 1970s, the building was restored to its 1720 appearance by the Council.

The baptistry

a replica of the building

We then took the stairs up to the gallery

A view of the pulpit from upstairs

A small room which I presume must have been the pastor's room

with the smallest fireplace I have ever seen

and then back to the alleyway and we made our way to the Abbey.

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