Noake's Worcestershire Page 298

298 PERSHORE.

Pershore.

PEARESHORE (saith Habingdon), on whose northern shore beginneth ye countrye of peare trees, so naturally and abundantly growing as they yield plentye of the drink called perrie, which sometimes pleaseth the delitious relish of the ritch, but satisfieth more oftener the thirst of ye common people. Peareshore showeth the ruins of an abbey builded in King Edgar's reign by Egelward, Duke of Dorset, and hath a market. And for the abbey, although it be now (as the rest) nothing, yet I thinke long before the suppression it was very much diminished. Westminster Monastery hath not only a great share in this hundred, but alsoe a part of Peareshore town, for the Kings of England advanced Westminster, the church of their coronation and sepulchres." What with the rapacity of Westminster, the pillage of Danes and Normans, and the frequent fires of the Middle Ages, Pershore Abbey met with its full share of misfortune. There was a noble Norman church attached to it, but its eastern limb was destroyed by fire, and rebuilt in the Early English style in 1223-39, the Norman nave standing till the Dissolution, when it was pulled down and sold, as also was the Lady Chapel, with other chapels and the monastic buildings; and about two centuries ago the great north transept fell, and was substituted by buttresses for the support of the tower. So that the only remains of the Abbey Church are the choir, south transept, and tower; but these were restored in 1862-4 by Mr. Scott, in a style which leads us to be thankful for so glorious a fragment. About 6,000 was spent in the restoration. Among the finer features of the building are the beautiful Early English work of the choir, the Norman masonry of the transept, and the noble lantern