Who are we ...?

This web site is a portal to information about and resources for the history of the Vale from the earliest times to the present day. It has been set up and is maintained by the Vale of Evesham Historical Society (V.E.H.S.) who have their headquarters at the Almonry Heritage Centre, one of the few surviving buildings of Evesham Abbey.

The V.E.H.S. maintains its own web pages as part of this portal and are always pleased to welcome new members.

We hope that you will find something to interest you on our website. If you have a suggestion for information to include on this website please contact our webmaster at:

Welcome to the Vale of Evesham History Portal ...

The historic town of Evesham, on the banks of Shakespeare's River Avon, is the "capital" of the Vale of Evesham, lying between the Malverns and Bredon Hill on one side and the Cotswolds on the other, in the Heart of England.

The "Vale" is roughly contiguous with the estates surrounding Evesham's medieval abbey, founded in AD 701 by the future Saint Ecgwin. The Vale has a long and full - at times almost hectic - history ranging from Neolithic farming, through settlement by the Celts, Romans and English, remodelling by the Normans, a stormy and turbulent middle ages with battle and massacre, and the ebb and flow of trade, as the town and its surrounding communities grew and matured in their fertile Vale. The dissolution of its monastery seemed likely to ruin the town but it grew more, took over its own government and went on growing those crops and orchard fruits that it became famous for.

Civil war wracked the Vale, technical development and new farming methods changed its face again and the Vale matured further. The coming of the railway, the arrival and departure of the French Royal Family (succeeded at their country house by the British Broadcasting Corporation), world war and the changing face of the Vale since that war, all add to the fascinating story of Evesham and the Golden Vale.

New exhibit at the Almonry Heritage Centre: the Influence of the Industrial Revolution on the Vale of Evesham,1740 to 1950.


The Almonry sets the standard!

Staff at the almonry Heritage Centre are celebrating after the museum received official accreditation by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

“The MLA Council Accreditation scheme sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK …” (quote from MLA website) and the grant of accreditation is a measure of how the museum is run, looks after its collections and the services it provides to its visitors. The Almonry was recognized for its unique collection of artifacts and records detailing the history of Evesham and The Vale and is currently completing a new exhibition about the development of the town during the Industrial Revolution.

The Almonry achieved full accreditation status in December, after many months of hard work putting together a portfolio of evidence for the Museums Libraries and Archives Council. Tonia Byrd, manager of the Almonry, said that the awards recognized the efforts and dedication of her team of staff as well as the support of the volunteers of the Vale of Evesham Historical Society.

This award means that not only is the Almonry meeting the expected requirements of MLA, but it is operating to the same basic standards as much bigger institutions (the Almonry now has the same level of accreditation as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London) with a fraction of the staff.

“This opens up a new, exciting era for the Heritage Centre and proves to everyone involved that their work is invaluable in keeping the Almonry a vital part of Evesham’s landscape. Whilst ultimately recognition of our hard work is always rewarding, it is not the end of the story: the process will be repeated in 2011 to ensure that we keep up to those same standards and continue to take the Almonry forward.” Tonia Byrd, manager of The Almonry Museum & Heritage Centre

Click here to visit the Almonry’s own website

Click here to visit the MLA website