New footbridge links up with Alcester’s historic past

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Alcester Town Councillor Mike Gittus with the footbridge he built in Abbey Fields, Alcester.

NEWLY constructed footbridge in Alcester will help re-connect an historic abbey site where a bridge once stood 450 years ago.

The work on the newly acquired Abbey Fields, at the rear of Alcester Grammar School, continues to improve the access and nature walks available to the community of Alcester.

The latest addition is the provision of a newly constructed footbridge connecting the two halves of the ancient Abbey Site.

During the winter months Alcester Town Councillor Mike Gittus set to work with hammer and saw to re-connect the two halves of this nationally important scheduled monument.

The abbey was founded 1138 by the Botellers of Oversley, Warwickshire. The Abbey’s many endowments included the Chapel of St. James and St. Peter, near ShaftesburyDorset, and the manor of Blynfield in the parish of St. James, North Dorset, which is known as the ‘Manor of Alcester and Bec’, together with a number of other churches and estates.

In 1536 the ownership of the abbey was transferred to Thomas Cromwell and dissolved.

Since this time the two halves of the Abbey Site have been disconnected, until now.

The Mayor of Alcester, Yvette Morrison said: “Green open spaces are very important to the community of Alcester and improved access to these areas are a top priority for Alcester Town Council.”

Town councillor Mike Gittus said: “I have always enjoyed hands on community projects, though if I were to build another bridge, I wouldn’t start in the middle of winter. The snow was quite a challenge!”