Interactive Tour

Welcome to Tewkesbury Abbey interactive tour.
Please click on any of the blue or red letter and number squares for more information.

A. Consecration Cross

The Abbey was consecrated in 1121 as the church to the Benedictine Abbey of Tewkesbury, commemorated by this cross in the North Porch.

 

1. The Doors

The doors, which are open from dawn to dusk all the year round, are a symbol of a God who welcomes each one of us into his presence.

 

2. The Nave

Imagine the thousands of people who have walked here before and the significant moments in their life stories that have played across this space moments that humanity and God shared together.

3. The Pulpit

There may not be anyone speaking from there now, but God's voice can still be heard in the stillness and the beauty of this place.

 

4. The Centre (Choir)

Often the floor plan of a church is in the shape of a cross. Maybe God is central to who you are and the choices you make, or maybe he rarely crosses your mind.

 

5. The Altar

It is here that the bread and the wine are shared, the defining symbols of church life. These symbols speak to us of the sacrifice Jesus made at the cross, where his blood was shed and his body was broken.

 

6. The Windows

The windows fill the Abbey with light. Light that reveals beauty and colour, and allows us to see. It shows us the pitfalls and helps us to move forward.

 

Shop

The Abbey shop sells an interesting range of interesting crafts, gifts, cards, jewllery and music. We sell Fairtrade products when possible.

 

B. The Holy Cross Chapel

This small chapel was for the private worship of the Abbot. It is thought that he could enter it via a covered walkway from his lodgings in what is now Abbey House.

 

C. Roof Bosses

Our roof bosses are unique. The fifteen in the centre of the roof represent the life of Jesus, he is surrounded on both sides by angels playing medieval instruments. You can find a book that will tell you much more about our bosses in the Abbey Shop.

 

D. Monastic Life

The abbey was divided just before the pulpit, reserving one half for the monastery and the other for community life.

E. The Milton Organ

The Milton Organ, built in 1631 for Magdalen College, Oxford and sold to the abbey in 1736. It is reputed to have been played by the poet John Milton. Restored in 1997 it has 68 speaking stops and 4,611 pipes.

F. Suns in Splendour

The beautiful vaulted roof, with its gilded Suns of York. Set in the roof by Edward IV after the Yorkist victory in 1471.

 

G. Icon of St Benedict

O gracious and Holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive thee,
intelligence to understand thee,
diligence to see thee,
eyes to behold thee,
a heart to meditate upon thee and a like to proclaim thee through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord

A prayer of St Benedict, under whose leadership monks worked, lived and worshipped in Tewkesbury Abbey for more than 400 years

H. Alec Miller sculpture of Virgin and Child

Alec Miller Carver and sculptor (1879-1961)

Alec Miller trained as a woodcarver in Glasgow. He joined the Guild of Handicraft in 1902, just as it was moving to Chipping Campden. He stayed in Campden after the failure of the Guild, broadening his work to become both carver and sculptor, craftsman and artist. He specialised in portrait sculpture and made telling studies of children. In 1939 he emigrated to California, where he had a successful career.

I. Trinity Chapel

J. Tom Denny Windows - To Work is to Pray

Two modern windows, designed and made by Tom Denny in 2002, mark the 900th anniversary of the Benedictines coming to Tewkesbury.

K. Kneeling Knight

A colourful life-size kneeling effigy of Lord Edward Le Despenser in full armour adorning the top of the Despenser Chantry Chapel. It is the only surviving example of a type of memorial which would probably have looked far less curious to the medieval eye.

 

L. Cope Chest

This beautiful Elizabethan cope is worn by the vicar and is kept in a specially designed (and award winning) cope chest. The drawers swing out to allow the cope to lie flat, without folding.

 

 

M. Our Lady, Queen of Peace

Our Lady, Queen of Peace Statue by Anthony Robinson Our Lady, Queen of Peace faces the site of the pre-Reformation Lady Chapel which was destroyed in 1540.

N. The Wakeman Cenotaph

A grisly memento mori to the last Abbot, look for the worm, a frog, a mouse and a snail devouring his corpse.

 

O. Grove Organ

P. Misericords

The resting ledges in the choir stalls are usually carved with secular themes, some surprisingly crude.

Look out for the man pointing to his bottom!