Pershore, Worcestershire

Historical Description

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 ½ 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.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5


Ancient County Worcestershire
Hundred Pershore
Poor Law union Pershore

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

Transcript of the entry for Pershore from Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848

Land and Property

The full transcript of the Worcestershire section of the Return of Owners of Land, 1873.


Online maps of Pershore are available from a number of sites:

Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
Google Streetview.
National Library of Scotland. (Old maps) (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy). (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Worcestershire papers online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Worcestershire 1569 is available on the Heraldry page.