Pershore, a town, two parishes, the head of a poor-law union, petty sessional division, and county court district, in Worcestershire. The town stands in the valley of Evesham, on the river Avon, 9 miles SW by W of Worcester, 6 W of Evesham, 102 from London byroad and 113 by railway; was anciently called Persere, Pearsore, and Perscora; is alleged by some to have got its name from the plentifulness of its pear orchards; owed its origin to the founding of a monastery at it by Oswald, nephew of King Ethelred, in 689; suffered devastation by fire together with its monasteryin 1002, 1223, and 1288; sent members to Parliament in the time of Edward I; went thence into decline, and did not revive till the middle of the 18th century; is now a seat of petty sessions and county courts; consists of clean, wide, well-paved streets; and has a head post office, and a station on the G.W.R., 1 1/2 mile N of the town. Holy Cross Church was the church of a Benedictine abbey, built about 970 on the site of the ancient monastery; measured originally 250 feet from E to W, and 120 along the transepts; consists now of only the clerestoried choir, which was rebuilt about 1230, the S transept, two chapels, and the tower, with a modern chancel; is variously Norman, Early English, and Decorated; was well restored in 1863-65 under the direction of Sir G. Gilbert Scott; and contains an altar-tomb of an abbot and an effigy of a knight, and other monuments as well as numerous stained windows. St Andrew's Church is a small Norman edifice with a low tower, and was restored in 1887. There is a Baptist chapel. The workhouse was erected in 1836 at a cost of £3000. The working men's club occupies what was formerly the town-hall, in High Street, and comprises reading-room, library, &c. There is a music-hall for concerts, &c. The cemetery, on the Defford Road, was opened in 1875. There are two banks, A market for fat stock is held monthly, and fairs for cattle and horses are held on 26 June. Wool-stapling was at one time flourishing, but has much declined. Market gardening and fruit growing are the chief industries, and there are two jam factories and a manufactory of agricultural machines. The town comprises parts of both parishes-Holy Cross having a parish council of nine members, and St Andrew's one of seven.
The parishes are Holy Cross and St Andrew's. Holy Cross parish includes the hamlets of Drakes Broughton, Walcot, and Wadborough, and comprises 4594 acres; population, 2631. St Andrew's parish includes the chapelries of Pinvin, Defford, Besford, Bricklehampton, and Wick, and the hamlet of Pensham ; and comprises 8286 acres; population, 2244. The livings are in the diocese of Worcester, and they comprise, first, the vicarage of Pershore St Andrew, with the perpetual curacies of Pershore Holy Cross, Pinvin, Bricklebampton, and Broughton; second, the vicarage of Defford-with-Besford, and third, the vicarage of Wick. Net value of Pershore St Andrew, £300 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. The vicarage of Defford-with-Besford was formerly a double perpetual curacy, annexed to Pershore St Andrew, but is now a separate charge. Wick is separately noticed.
The full transcript of the Worcestershire section of the Return of Owners of Land, 1873.
The Visitation of Worcestershire 1569 is available on the Heraldry page.