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PERSHORE ABBEY

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The Abbey at Pershore was originally founded circa 689 by Oswald, nephew of Ethelred, King of Mercia, for secular canons, later for monks, then for secular people and nuns. It was refounded circa 972 for Benedictine monks. The first Abbot, Foldbright, was appointed in 984. It was suppressed in 1540, the aisled nave, Lady Chapel and sacristy being demolished along with the other monastic buildings. Only the Norman crossing with its tower, the transepts and the 13th century choir were retained for ecclesiastical use. The north transept collapsed in the 17th century. Excavated in 1929-30, the claustral buildings were arranged to the south. Only the buildings of the east side of the cloister could be identified, including the slype (a narrow covered passage-way), circular chapter house, calefactory (a warming room), and the refectory on the south side. During the 1929 excavations, a pair of 4th century jewelled Roman tweezers were found in the south cloister alley near the entrance to the refectory. Traces of the Saxon church have been found after excavations on the choir.

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