The Tewkesbury Historical Society

Welcome to our local History Society website

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THS formed in 1991 to research and add to our knowledge of the history of the town of Tewkesbury. The Society meets monthly, on the third Thursday, at 7.45pm in the Methodist Church at The Cross. Society Meetings are open to non-members and speakers talk on aspects of history. In addition, THS publish books and an annual Bulletin of Research, to which contributions are invited. Members have the option of accessing online the Society's extensive Woodard Database of Local History data.
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                                         Please consider JOINING THE SOCIETY

Bulletin 32

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Bulletin 32 is now published!

Prices in the UK for THS Members is £10 (£8 + £2 p&p). 
Non-UK Members is £12 (including p&p).
UK Non-Members is £15.
Non-UK Non-Members is £19.
(Note that p&p will rise after 3 April when Royal Mail are increasing their prices.) 

You can purchase online via our 'Shop' or you can order by emailing John Dixon on paying via BACS (John will supply details). 

Click to view the back cover,  the Contentsthe Foreword.

Do you have a Water Story to tell?

Researchers in water security and performance arts from University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) are collaborating in a pilot research project with actaTheatre (a community theatre group) and the Roses Theatre. The project aims to capture different people’s stories about their relationships with any aspect of water in Tewkesbury.  They are interested in how we share local water knowledge and the role of the arts in these processes.

They are keen to involve a variety of voices in the workshops. Everyone is welcome. They are hoping for people that can join them for four workshops, with the final workshop as a script reading, where they will invite a wider audience. No expertise in drama/theatre is needed – just a willingness to come and find out more.

March 2023 Meeting

Richard Chatham
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At our meeting on 23 March, Richard Chatham gave a very informative and wide-ranging talk on Stoke Orchard; from Cider to Glider. (Unfortunately, due to technical problems, no recording of the talk will be on our YouTube channel.)

February Meeting

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At our February meeting, Dr. Andy Moir gave an excellent talk on the Dendrochronology Project in Gloucestershire (dating buildings from timbers).

A video of the talk is now available on our YouTube Channel. 

THS Social Evening 2023

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A very enjoyable and successful THS social was held at the Hop Pole on 26th January.
After our meals, Liz Poole of Cotswold Auction Centre gave a talk about her work and gave her opinion and value estimates on a number of interesting item that members brought along.

Local History Workshops

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The Local History workshops are now online and bookable via the heritage Hub website  

Full details from the attached poster and the website page, link above.

Results of recent Tree-Ring Dating for Tewkesbury Buildings

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The results are in!  During 2020 prominent Tewkesbury buildings were surveyed and tested for tree ring dates by Dr Andy Moir and his team at the Gloucestershire Dendrochronology Project. A fascinating talk was given on the 13th of March which can viewed on the Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey website. This extremely accurate process can give dates down to the season and since green wood was preferred by medieval builders, we can be fairly sure that the year they were cut down was the year (perhaps the next) when the wood was used to construct the timber frames and roofs. 

1832 Cholera Epidemic in Tewkesbury

One of our members, Dr Peter Raggatt, who is a retired NHS Clinical Biochemist at Addenbrookes Hospital and Lecturer in Cambridge University School, was moved to research and write an article about this epidemic with its comparisons with the present pandemic. [see attached PDF above]

It links in with previous research on Cholera in Tewkesbury.

Such was the impact of these two epidemics on the town that a monument was commissioned which now resides in the Cemetery, adjacent to the ‘Cholera Pit’ where many victims received a mass night burial [see attached]

Although John Snow, clean water for the Mythe Waterworks and improved housing conditions have ensured that 1849 was the last appearance of cholera, the brutality which occurred in World War II Japanese POW camps caused the death of several Tewkesbury soldiers of cholera in 1943-44. Here is a biography of one of them, Frederick Key.

Smallpox was another medical curse of the18-19th centuries but by the late 19thC vaccinations were made compulsory and a significant number of people in Tewkesbury became anti-vaccination. For more on this familiar tale, see Martin Holt's award winning article.

History is always so topical!

Cemetery and Burials database for Tewkesbury

Over the years we have collated information from the various burial grounds in the town and now is the time to release a one-stop location for all of them on this site. The new Burials Database in our Research section tries to do this. There is also an accompanying history and guide to finding the resting place of persons buried in the town. There are currently an impressive 18,564 records. For the decades 1841 to 1881 we can also link to the Census Database (not guaranteed they are same people)

Two large scale maps of Tewkesbury from 1811 and 1880

We are proud to present two maps on our site using new zoom and pan technology.
We have the 1811 Enclosure Map of Tewkesbury and the huge 1:500 scale map of Tewkesbury created in the 1880s, both full of amazing detail. Use your mouse wheel to zoom and left mouse to drag.
Click to view Click to view

Even more Census Data

We are pleased to announce that the Tewkesbury Census Data for 1841 to 1891 has doubled in size. We now have 37,608 people spread over 9,575 property records. Take a look here.

News from previous years

Remarkable Incidents Relative to Tewkesbury

1895. On 10th August: Regatta most successful ever in three and a half decades; 8256 people paid to see the regatta, athletics, water polo, show jumping, walking the greasy pole, parachute descent - and illegal gaming (dice)!

BALH Newsletter

Click here to access.

BALH Historic Towns Trust Spring Lecture Series

Victoria County History January 2023 Newsletter

Tewkesbury Weather

It is our great talking point but do our impressions agree with statistics?
Each month I will update the Rainfall and Temperature Statistics and offer my
Monthly Reflection on how the statistics underline or undermine our impressions.

Bulletin 31

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Bulletin 31 (2022) is available for purchase.
Click here for a preview.  
Details of How To Buy or go straight to our 'Shop' .

Friends of Gloucester Archives

Winter 2022-2023 Newsletter.

Lionel Walrond

Lionel Walrond, curator of Stroud Museum 1955 to 1990, took many photographs of Gloucestershire. A searchable collection is available on the GlosDocs website

Meetings Videos

At the February meeting, a talk on 'Restoration of Abbey Cottages' was given. A video of the talk is now available on our YouTube Channel as is an introduction to the talk and videos of earlier talks.

Gloucestershire Dendrochronology Project: Tewkesbury

1921 Census

The 1921 census will be published on FindMyPast on 6 January 2022.

Friends of Glos. Archives

FOGA Spring 2017 Newsletter

Archives & Friends
Digital Magazine (PDF)

'True Blue Farm'

Article on 'True Blue Farm' in Kinsham Worcs. by Joyce Tole-Moir.

The Winter of 1962-63

Article from THS Bulletin 3 (1994).

William Thomas Clarke

WWI death of soldier born in Tewkesbury but whose family left the town permanently. 

Print Version