8th Dec, 2016

Evesham Abbey attraction set to bring in the tourists

Joshua Godfrey 18th Mar, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A MAJOR tourist attraction in the heart of Evesham could soon become a reality with plans for public gardens to recreate the footprint of the town’s historic Abbey.

Initial proposals for the project were put before members of Evesham Town Council on Monday (March 14).

If successful, two acres of land in Abbey Gardens could be transformed into the shape of the town’s former abbey to show visitors the size and scale of the demolished monastery.

For more than a year the Abbey Gardens Trust have been working behind the scenes to develop the idea and are currently in the first stages of applying for funding for the scheme from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The first stage of the four-part major recreation will see the grade two listed Abbot Chryrton’s Wall stripped back to re-line and restore the at risk structure.

Work would then begin to carry out an archaeological survey of the entire site- the first of its kind to be carried on the site.

It’s believed discoveries dating back from the Romano British, Anglo Saxon and Norman periods could be unearthed when excavation works are carried out.

Further phases to create the public gardens would see the cloisters of the abbey recreated using metal structures covered in foliage to really show what it would have been like to have been inside the abbey if it was still standing.

And finally, the nave of the abbey would be set out using trees and then designers would be brought in to design the rest of the gardens which members could have a say over.

Should the project get the green light, work would not begin until March 2017 at the earliest, as current contracts for allotment tenants in Abbey Gardens do not come to an end for another 12 months.

Barrie Baldelli from the Abbey Gardens Trust said: “It’s a project which we’ve been engaged in for well over a year now and we’re beginning to reach the point where we can talk about it a lot more.

“We are now a registered charity known as the Abbey Gardens Trust.

“The trust was formed as a result of Rudge Estates being prepared to gift us the two acres of land at Abbey Gardens.

“It’s going to be a project that will take several years. It will be a tremendous site re-creating parts of Evesham Abbey within the framework of a public open access garden.

“We see this as a great opportunity to develop a major tourist attraction and to display the historic ecclesiastical heritage of Evesham,” he added.

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