Deborah Overton – ‘2 Abbots, 4 Manors & 2 Parishes’
A fascinating talk was given by Deborah Overton who for 28 years was a landscape archaeologist with Worcestershire Archaeology Service. She looked at the development of Pershore as a settlement from the Iron Age onwards with a focus on the mediaeval and post mediaeval town saying “I look at lumps and bumps on the ground rather than digging holes for the research of settlements and rural agricultural landscapes.”
The Avon Valley was roamed by mammoths in early prehistory and bones have been found 7m deep and close to Strensham service station. When the ice sheet retreated from Europe about 2,000 years ago the landscape changed and large animals disappeared, being replaced by smaller mammals, birds and fish providing a good source of food. Bredon Hill dominated the area during the Iron Age when farming started using smaller, manageable fields with any excess corn sold.
Eventually Romano/British farmsteads throughout the valley became parishes. Anglo Saxon Pershore was established after the Romans 681-89 starting with a timber church.
Deborah moved through the centuries and the evolution of Pershore until today when it has become a busy and popular market town with many historic buildings still intact including of course, Pershore Abbey.