Tewkesbury Abbey

Tewkesbury Abbey was founded in 1087, but the building of the present Abbey did not start until 1102. Two styles of architecture dominate the Abbey; the Norman piers and arches of the Nave and the Decorated-style 14th century chancel, imposed on the previous work. The Early English and Perpendicular architectural styles are also represented in the fabric of the Abbey. After the Dissolution in 1540 most of the claustral buildings and the Lady Chapel were quarried for their materials but the Abbey Church was sold to the parishioners for £453.

The building experienced cycles of decay and revival over the following centuries: the collapse of the tower spire (1559), the insertion of the current west window - but not the current stained glass (1686), and its restoration by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1875-9). Scott’s alterations included replacing the screen, moving the Milton Organ, stripping the interior distemper, removing the 18th century pews and transferring the monastic pews to the chancel, partial restoration of the vaults, and the relaying of the floor throughout the church.

Lying at the southern edge of the old town, the Abbey quietly dominates the land and skyline with its long nave “probably the largest and finest Romanesque tower in England” (Pevsner). The modern era has seen conservation replace restoration, helping to maintain Tewkesbury Abbey as a beautiful and spiritual haven for many people from around the world.

Venue Type:

Heritage site, Sacred space

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Tours of Tewkesbury Abbey


From Easter to October our team of Abbey Guides provide regular tours during weekdays, but tours for groups can be booked through the Abbey Office all year round.
Group tours of the Abbey are available on specialist subjects: Tower Tours; Stories in Stained Glass; In a Monastery Garden; The Monastic Community of Tewkesbury;
Chivalry; and a new evening tour with candlelight has been developed, which can be combined with a meal or a buffet in the Refectory to complete a fascinating evening out.

How to obtain

Tours cost £4 per head. To arrange a tour contact the Abbey Office on 01684 850959 or email office@tewkesburyabbey.org.uk.
When enquiring about a tour please include:
Name of organisation (if applicable)
Date and time of your visit
Number in your group

School Tours of Tewkesbury Abbey


Tours include:
History KS2, about Tudor monks' lives and the Dissolution of the Monasteries;
The history of the Abbey and the 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury;
A Monastic Trail: Discover Benedictine Tewkesbury, visit a Tudor merchant's house, then sing plainsong;
RE KS1 Learn the church’s key features, then sing in the choir accompanied by the organ;
RE KS2 Compare the Abbey with your local church, and learn about Holy Communion;
Tower tours Local study from Europe’s largest Norman church tower: 15 people maximum;
Safari tours finding animals and birds around the Abbey.
Half hour tours for playgroups can be arranged.

How to obtain

Tours cost between 50p and £1.50 for each pupil, and usually last from half an hour to one and a half hours, as you wish.
When you have decided which tour is suitable for your needs, please phone the Abbey Office on 01684 850959, or email office@tewkesburyabbey.org.uk and check for availability. When enquiring about a tour please include:
Name of organisation (if applicable)
Date and time of your visit
Number in your group
Please do not make final arrangements until you have received written confirmation from the office. When your booking has been confirmed a schools guide will contact you.
Please meet inside the north porch, the main entrance. Teachers are responsible for the discipline and behaviour of their children in and around the Abbey. Suitable photocopiable sheets are available on request.
Picnic lunches can be eaten on grassy areas around the Abbey. Toilets are available in the Abbey Centre. The Parish Hall can be booked, subject to availability, at a cost of £10.

Tewkesbury Abbey Green Man Trail and Challenge


Tewkesbury Abbey has produced a leaflet to guide people round the church's many Green Men and offer a challenge to young visitors. Make sure you bring your binoculars!
The idea is to give visitors an introduction into the world of Green Men by outlining some thoughts on their origins, guiding people to the areas of the church where Green Men can be found, and explaining a competition that is being held for young people to take further their own ideas on the subject of Green Men.
The proceeds from the leaflets will go to the Abbey and cancer research.

How to obtain

Individual leaflets – 75p
Pack of 15 leaflets - £10.00
Pack of 25 leaflets - £15.00
We offer a 10% discount for local schools on their first visit to the trail. To order leaflets, please contact
The Abbey Shop
Tewkesbury Abbey
Church Street
GL20 5RZ
call 01684 276655 or 01684 856148, or email shop@tewkesburyabbey.org.uk

Tewkesbury Abbey
Church Street
GL20 5RZ






01684 850959


01684 273113

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.