Pershore and Bredon

25 June, 2013 – 3:48 pm

Here are some photos of a memorial I carved back in 2011, I am particularly honoured to help in remembering our armed forces.

It is at the West end of Pershore Abbey and has a lovely seating area for quiet reflection.

It has some very fine examples of Norman and Early English Architecture but has seen a lot of destruction throughout it’s long history. In 1090 the building of the Abbey was started and carried on for 40yrs, I should imagine that apprentices turned to masters in that time and went on to train their own apprentices. The grounds would have been populated with craftsmen of all sorts the noise would have been amazing, with the chinking of hammer and chisel, the ringing of chisel on stone as they carefully carved the stones for this beautiful building. The South Transept and tower piers remain. Sadly in 1223 a fire on St Urban’s Day (the patron saint of wine growers) destroyed the Norman Quire. It took 16yrs to complete the rebuild in the Early English style, and in 1239 the Quire and combined Triforium and Clerestory were completed.
It must have been difficult repairing and rebuilding as these are additions to what was already there. If the work carried out previously was substandard or the initial drawing and setting out was wrong then building on something new could lead to problems in later times.

In 1288 another fire brought down the Norman tower and ruined the Quire roof, work was started in 1290 and continued for 40yrs to rebuild the tower, this time in the decorated style the Quire roof was built using Ploughshare Lierne Vaulting (named such because of the shape resembling the blade of a plough). The photos show this vaulting as well as the magnificent bosses rich with foliage and faces! Gloucester Cathedral has some very fine examples of this in their Quire Vaulting.

Then in 1540 the monastery was surrendered and it was bought for £400 to be the Parish Church. Something tells me this was not constructed very well as in 1686 the North buttress was built to support the tower after the North transept fell!!

In 1862 Gilbert Scott carried out restoration work and the lantern tower was built.

In 1913 the Western buttresses were built as cracks started to appear in the South Transept and the vaulting. these can be seen in the photos above.

This building would have been the same size as Tewkesbury Abbey and it is likely that the same group of masons worked on these two as well as Gloucester Cathedral-I feel a connection to these buildings as a former member of the masons who helped in some of the restoration at Gloucester Cathedral.

The photos below are taken at St Andrew’s Church just over the road, I was particularly taken with this little chap not sure what he is but this is where my inspiration comes from for some of things I carve and this sort of observation has served masons and carvers for thousands of years.


St Giles Church at Bredon, a stop on my way home and not far from Tewkesbury. The original Norman Church was started in 1180 and it consisted of a Chancel (the area at the east end where the alter would be), Nave, Tower and Porch,

During the 13th century the Early English South Aisle was built and during the first half of the 14th century the small Norman Chancel was replaced with the present decorated structure, the North Aisle and the tall slender spire were also added, this to me suggests a time of prosperity in the village.

The building has remained pretty much untouched since 1350 except for the odd repair and minor modification.

The two new dogs heads are not to my taste as they are a little Disney but the carver has tried to put a modern spin of what may have been there, round the corner on the North side is an original dogs head, very similar to the Deershurst dogs. Masons would have gone from church to church, copying and carving in their own styles. I have seen similar carving in Norway and if you look at The Hereford School of Sculpture you will see a correlation between churches and ecclesiastical buildings across the counties.

The photos below show carving on a 14th century coffin lid that was discovered accidentally, it has a cross of thorns in the middle which suggests a link to the sacred Glastonbury tree. It has been suggested that these are early members of the Reed family.

This beautiful memorial is from the mid 14th century and commemorates William and Katherine Reed of Mitton with their child. I particularly like this carving as they are so beautifully carved

these photos are of a beautiful example of 17th century carving in Alabaster and Black Marble, it is a memorial to Sir Giles and Lady Catherine Reed who died in 1611. They contributed a great deal to the village and their lasting legacy are the 17th century Almshouses which still provide homes for some of the elderly villagers.


I think you will agree that this carving is exceptional, so fine and the detail is breath-taking.


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