The Anglican Parish Church of Pershore Abbey was originally part of an Anglo Saxon abbey, the ruins of which were thought to be haunted in the early 20th century.
J.W. Willis-Bund and William Page in their A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 2 (1971) give the following explanation of the abbey’s founding and the miracles surrounding the first abbott. ‘The abbey of Pershore is stated by William of Malmesbury to have been founded by Egelward, duke of Dorset, in the reign of King Edgar, but this is generally accepted as the date of the re-constitution of a house already in existence and the introduction of Benedictine monks. Leland describes the monastery as originally founded about the year 689 by Oswald, a nephew of Ethelred, king of the Mercians, who instituted secular canons in the new foundation, monks being subsequently introduced, then the canons reinstated and finally replaced by monks through the instrumentality of King Edgar. The monastic Annals say that St. Oswald after introducing monks at Worcester and Westbury constituted the same at Pershore in 983, the name of the first abbot being Foldbriht or Fulbert. According to the chronicle this holy man, famous for the austerities he practised, was raised from death by the prayers of St. Oswald and declared the glorious visions he had seen under the guidance of St. Benedict and that for the merits of St. Oswald he had received forgiveness of sins and assurance of salvation, after which he again expired.’
On 15 September 1937 the Gloucester Echo published the following story entitled ‘Ghost-Hunting In Pershore’ describing how strange noises heard by neighbours to the Abbey sparked a series of nightly vigils by ghost hunters.
Watchers’ Vain Early Morning Vigil
The latest pastime in Pershore is ghost-hunting.
This pursuit has arisen quite recently as a result of blood-curdling yells said to have been heard in the ruins of the monastery adjoining the Abbey. Householders in Church Row – a short distance away – maintain that they have heard these cries.
For the last few days local ghost-hunters have kept watch in the early hours of the morning, but all they have heard have heard have been the cries of a stray cat or dog.
The “ghost” appears to have gone into temporary retirement and refuses to oblige even the most patient of spook-hunters. Enthusiasm is waning and the fears of residents in Church Row subsiding.
last night – a perfect night for any spectre to take a constitutional – people in Church Row were all sleeping peacefully when another reception committee adjourned to the ruins, hoping to make the acquaintance of the “ghost”.
They were not rewarded. After sitting about on cold stones and listening to the mournful note of the wind rustling through the nearby tall trees, they gave it up as a bad job and returned home.