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PERSHORE - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

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The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"PERSHORE, partly comprises the parishes of St. Andrew's and Holy Cross, and is a post and market town, in the upper division of the hundred of Pershore, county Worcester, 9 miles S.E. of Worcester, and 102 W. by N. of London. It is a station on the West Midland railway. It is situated under-Aylesborough and Bredon hills, and on the western bank of the Avon, which is here navigable, and is crossed by a bridge on the S. In the Saxon times its name was spelt Perscora, and subsequently Pearshore and Persore, in allusion to the numerous pear trees which grew in the vicinity.

The town appears to have grown up under shelter of a monastery for secular priests founded by Oswald, nephew of Ethelred, King of Mercia, about 689, and remodelled in 984 by King Edgar as a monastery for Benedictine monks. The village and monastery were burnt in 1287, but it was rebuilt, and continued to flourish till the Reformation, when its revenues were estimated at £666 13s. The town returned two members to parliament in the 23rd year of Edward I., but the privilege has since been discontinued. It is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county, and is under the government of the county magistrates.

The town contained in 1861 a population of 2,905, and consists of one long street about three-quarters of a mile in length. It is well paved and lighted. The surrounding country is fertile and well cultivated. The Poor-law Union of Pershore comprises 40 parishes or townships, and the union poorhouse is situated in the town. It is also the head of a superintendent registry, and of a new County Court district. Land was assigned in lieu of certain tithes in 1762 and 1802, and the impropriation belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.

The living is a vicarage* [the asterisk denotes that there is a parsonage and glebe belonging to the living] in the diocese of Worcester, value with the curacies of Holy Cross, Pinvin, Broughton, and Bricklehampton annexed, £600, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. The church consists of a choir and S. transept, the remains of a noble cruciform church. The church of the Holy Cross was formerly the conventual church of the abbey, and measured 250 feet by 120, but has long since been dilapidated, with the exception of the tower, which was restored in 1774. The Baptists have a chapel. There are National and other schools. The principal seats are Pershore Abbey and Avon Bank. Until recently there were remains of the abbey, and of an ancient gate, near which was St. Edburga's; chapel. Market day is Tuesday."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]