The Almonry

The Almonry Heritage Centre is housed in the Almoner’s House of the eighth century Abbey of St. Ecgwin, immediately adjacent to the site of the Great Gatehouse of the Abbey. The present building is an attractive and intriguing patchwork quilt of building and rebuilding carried out over a period of at least 700 years. The earliest parts of the building that can confidently be dated are no later than 1400. Some parts of the building are believed to be earlier, possibly dating back to Norman times especially ‘The Undercroft’.

Abbot Ballard lived in the Almonry following his reluctant evacuation of Evesham Abbey, when Henry VIII’s enforcers took possession during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Quakers were kept under the Almonry before being sent off to the Americas, and Simon de Montfort (who was killed at the Battle of Evesham) has a room named after him, officially opened by Archbishop Ramsey in 1965.

The Almonry has had many uses over the centuries and came into the hands of Evesham Corporation in 1929 when it was sold by the Rudge family who wished it to be used as a museum. The Vale of Evesham Historical Society opened the Almonry Museum in 1957

The building also has its own ghosts, which frequently sets off the security alarms, much to the dismay of the unfortunate curator and the local constabulary – nothing is ever disturbed and no one is ever found. Locals believe it is the unquiet spirit of a monk who has not found release since the Dissolution. Another spirit is alleged to be unfriendly and haunts the undercroft area. He has been known to place a cold hand on staff member’s shoulders and even make sighing noises in their ears. He doesn’t seem to enjoy the company of women and often makes female visitor feel particularly tense.

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Address: The Almonry Heritage Centre Abbey Gate Evesham Worcestershire. WR11 4BG

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