The Tewkesbury Historical Society

Welcome to our local History Society website

Cross House
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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

33rd Season - Programme of Talks

The schedule of talks for our thirty-third season is set out below.
At the Methodist Church at The Cross, all are welcome - entrance fee for THS Members is £2.50 and for visitors is £4 (includes tea/coffee/biscuits after the talks). 

  1 Sep 2023    Ally McConnell - Dowty in the Tewkesbury area: Expansion and Decline
19 Oct 2023    Nana Pierre - A Boy Called Silence (Medieval West Africa)
16 Nov 2023   Andrew Mellor - The Dymock Poets
25 Jan 2024     Social - For Members, Friends & Guests
15 Feb 2024    Kirstie Bingham, John Moore Museum - Making the Invisible, Visible: (The Story of the Old 17th Century Baptist Chapel)
21 Mar 2024   David Elder - Secret Tewkesbury (a book to be published in 2024)
18 Apr 2024    Michael Trott - Ann Greening, Mother of Edward Elgar
23 May 2024   AGM followed by John Dixon - John Moore's Rogues

May 2023 Meeting & Woodard Award

Sam, David & Steven Blake
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Our meeting on 18 May 2023 was the society's Annual General Meeting
Sam Eedle was the recipient of the Woodard Award for his article The School Mistress and the Cross
Following AGM business, David Aldred gave a well received talk on Hailes Abbey.

Armed Forces Day

Saturday 24 June this year is Armed Forces Day. Rod Gurney is seeking interest in attending a Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, 25 June at Tewkesbury Methodist Church commencing at 3pm. If you are interested in attending, please reply to Rod directly: Rod will then be able to gauge whether there is sufficient support to organise the event.

FOGA Mystery Tour

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Friends of Gloucestershire Archives Mystery Tour by John Chandler happening on 25 June.

GLHA Summer Afternoon 2023

Blockley Heritage Society are the hosts for this year's summer afternoon to be held on Sunday July 2nd. 
Bookings are going well and there are only a few places left, so, if you would like to attend, please book as soon as possible.
Click on 'Read More' for full details which includes instructions on how to book and pay.

War Graves Week

Cholera memorial
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The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) will be bringing War Graves Week to Tewkesbury and offering a free tour at Tewkesbury Borough Cemetery on 20 May 2023 at 11.00.
It will give people in Tewkesbury the chance to discover the remarkable stories of the men and women of the Commonwealth forces that died in the First and Second World Wars who are buried in their community. 
More than twenty casualties from the two World Wars and beyond are buried there.
The tours will be led by local resident and THS President, John Dixon, who is a volunteer for the CWGC. 
You can book via 
You can park at the Leisure Centre but only available toilets are on Gloucester Road Car Park. 
The tour leaves at 11.00 from the Cholera Memorial.

20 April 2023 Meeting

John & Peter
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At our 20 April 2023 meeting, Peter Covey-Crump gave an interesting talk on The Biography of an English Merchant in Bengal, the story of Anselm Beaumont who made his fortune working for the East India Company. [A video of the talk is available on our YouTube Channel ]

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

Andy & Sam
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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

Sam & Liz
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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

Click to view the new dates
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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.
Next Events:
3  Jun2023Saturday10:00am
Want to get Involved in Heritage?
3  Jun2023Saturday10:00am
Heritage Focus Day

News from previous years

Heritage Focus Day

Careers advice, workshops and demonstrations.

Gloucesterhire Heritage Hub

April 2023 Newsletter.

BALH Newsletter

Remarkable Incidents Relative to Tewkesbury

In 1777, a subscription was set on foot by the inhabitants of this town, towards the reparation of the Stanway road, which subscription amounted to 317l. and 6d. In addition to this sum, John Martin, esq. of Ham Court, subscribed 100l. and James Martin, esq. 500l.

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.

Friends of Gloucester Archives

Winter 2022-2023 Newsletter.

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.

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

Gloucestershire Dendrochronology Project: Tewkesbury

1921 Census

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

'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