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Alcester

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Warwickshire  /  Alcester
(3.3/5 based on 1,200 reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, sightseeing, spas
Alcester is a market town and civil parish of Roman origin at the junction of the River Alne and River Arrow in Warwickshire, England. It is situated approximately 8mi west of Stratford-upon-Avon, and 8 miles south of Redditch, close to the Worcestershire border. The 2011 census recorded a population of 6,273 in the town, up slightly from 6,214 in 2001.EtymologyThe poet and antiquary John Leland wrote in his Itinerary (ca. 1538-43) that the name Alcester was derived from that of the River Alne. The suffix 'cester' is derived from the Saxon word ceaster, which meant a Roman fort or town.Historical significanceDuring the Roman period, Alauna was a walled town and Roman fort of some importance, located on the Roman road of Ryknild Street just north of its juncture with the Fosse Way at Bourton-on-the-Water.An important market town, Alcester was also the site of Alcester Abbey a Benedictine monastery founded in 1138 by Ralph le Boteler. Richard de Tutbury, the last abbot, resigned his office in 1467 and Alcester Abbey was absorbed into the neighbouring Evesham Abbey. By 1515 Alcester Abbey was in ruins brought about by the neglect of diverse abbots, and later during the Dissolution of the Monasteries Henry VIII it was largely demolished. The ruins having been granted to the local Greville family who used much of the stone to rebuild their family seat of Beauchamp Court.
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