Pershore Abbey

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Pershore Abbey, at Pershore in Worcestershire, was an Anglo-Saxon abbey and is now an Anglican parish church.




The foundation of the minster at Pershore is alluded to in a spurious charter of King Æthelred of Mercia (r. 675-704). It purports to be the charter by which Æthelred granted 300 hides at Gloucester to Osric, king of the Hwicce, and another 300 at Pershore to Osric's brother Oswald.[1][2] It is preserved only as a copy in a 14th-century register of Gloucester, where it is followed by two charters listing the endowments made to the abbey until the reign of Burgred, king of Mercia (852-874).[3][4] The 300 hides mentioned here are unlikely to be a contemporary detail, as they were intended to represent the triple hundred which later made up the area of Worcestershire.[1] Historian H. P. R. Finberg suggests that the foundation charter may have been drafted in the 9th century, based on some authentic material.[5] Oswald's foundation of a monastery at Pershore is not stated explicitly in the charter, but the Worcester chronicle Cronica de Anglia, written c. 1150, reports it under the annal for 683, and John Leland, consulting the now lost Annals of Pershore, places the event around 689.[1][6] Patrick Sims-Williams suggests that the foundation by Oswald may also represent an oral tradition at Pershore, as its archives were probably destroyed in the fires of 1002 and again, 1223.[1]

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