Tour Group

Tour Group

This morning, we commenced our tour with a visit to Oxford Castle. This structure has a history tracing back to Saxon times. After the Norman conquest a stone castle was built in the 11th century which reached considerable proportions. Featured in the conflict of the Anarchy. From the 14th century onwards the castle’s function progressively changed from county administration and prison, destruction during the Civil War and conversion of remaining buildings to a prison which eventually closed in 1996. Most of the prison was subsequently converted to a hotel.

Oxford Castle

Oxford Castle

Crypt at Oxford Castle

Crypt at Oxford Castle

We were provided with a quality tour of the buildings with a 18th C reenactment tour guide. This entailed a viist to the top of the tower affording panoramic views of Oxford and down to the crypt of a former medieval church. At conclusion of the tour we had a fun experience having mock mugshots taken.

Motte at Oxford Castle

Motte at Oxford Castle

Mug Shot at Oxford Castle

Mug Shot at Oxford Castle

Next, we drove for about 90 mins to Evesham where once stood one of the largest and wealthiest abbeys in England until its enforced closure in January 1540¬†by Henry VIII during the Reformation. During the Abbey’s prime, a ferocious battle took place nearby at which Simon de Montfort and forces loyal to him were destroyed by Prince Edward (later Edward I) on Aug 4th 1265. In order to connect with this period in Evesham’s history we visited the memorial to Simon de Montfort, site of the former Abbey, Bell Tower, St. Lawrence Church (with commemorative stained glass window) and then the actual battle site, about 2km from the Abbey site. At the battle site we were able to see the Battle Well, where it is believed that Simon de Montfort¬† fell and lost his life. Finally, we visited the Almonry Heritage Centre, a local museum which includes displays covering the de Montfort and medieval eras.

Tour Group at Simon de Montfort Memorial

Tour Group at Simon de Montfort Memorial

Bell Tower, Evesham

Bell Tower, Evesham

Abbey Archway, Evesham

Abbey Archway, Evesham

Simon de Montfort Window at St Lawrence Church

Simon de Montfort Window at St Lawrence Church, Evesham

Site of Battle of Evesham 1265

Site of Battle of Evesham 1265

Battle Well at Battle of Evesham site

Battle Well at Battle of Evesham site

About 5.00pm we concluded our touring activities and retired to our hotel for the night. Tomorrow, we visit Worcester and Ludlow.

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