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Tewkesbury abbey

Tewkesbury abbey (Glos.) developed from a religious community founded in the 8th cent., ceded after many vicissitudes to the Benedictine monastery of Cranborne c.980. Robert Fitzhamon, lord of Gloucester, lavishly endowed Tewkesbury c.1090 and in 1102 Cranborne became its dependency. During the next century Tewkesbury flourished, establishing cells at Bristol and Cardiff. It continued to attract powerful patrons such as the de Clares, Despensers, and Beauchamps, many of whom were buried in the abbey. In spite of financial difficulties at the end of the 15th cent., in 1535 Tewkesbury had a net income of c. £1,600, making it the wealthiest monastery in the west midlands. At the dissolution the Romanesque abbey church (which survives) became the parish church.

Brian Golding

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