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18th Sep, 2021

Long-awaited footbridge joins two halves of Alcester Abbey site

A NEWLY-built footbridge has connected two halves of the ancient Abbey site in Alcester after 450 years.

It’s all part of the vision of Alcester Town Council which is continuing to work to improve their newly acquired Abbey Fields at the rear of Alcester Grammar School.

During the winter months Councillor Mike Gittus set to work with hammer and saw, to re-connect the two halves of this nationally important scheduled monument.

The abbey was founded 1138 by the Botellers of Oversley, Warwickshire.

The Abbey’s many endowments included the Chapel of St James and St Peter, near Shaftesbury, Dorset, and the manor of Blynfield in the parish of St James, North Dorset, which is known as the ‘Manor of Alcester and Bec’.

It also helped a number of other churches and estates throughout the country.

In 1536 the ownership of the abbey was transferred to Thomas Cromwell but then dissolved under Henry VIII.

Since this time the two halves of the Abbey Site have been disconnected, until now.

The Mayor of Alcester, Yvette Morrison said: “These green open spaces are very important to the community of Alcester.

“Improved access to these areas are a top priority for Alcester Town Council.”

Coun Gittus said: “I have always enjoyed hands on community projects, though if I were to build another, I wouldn’t start in the middle of winter!

“The snow was quite a challenge.”

All the areas are now registered with ‘Fields in Trust’ and public access is welcomed throughout the Abbey site which sits on the banks of the River Arrow.

The site can be accessed via the Nature Reserve, over the new footbridge, School Road through the allotments and from the new cemetery on Birmingham Road.

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