The Abbey Lawn Cottages are a unique row of late-Medieval buildings located on Church Street in Tewkesbury. They were built by the Abbey some time between 1450 and 1500. For most of their long history they were rented out to merchants and their families. At the front of the cottages there were wooden shutters which opened onto the street and through which the merchants sold their goods.
To prevent unsuitable development, many of the cottages were bought in the 1930s by what became the Abbey Lawn Trust, a building preservation charity. Between 1967 and 1972, the entire row of cottages were restored by the Trust.
Today the majority of the cottages are rented out as businesses and also as homes. Two of the buildings became the John Moore Museum with an extensive natural history collection, and also the Merchant’s House which was restored to look as it would have done in 1580.
The photographs below show the process of the restoration between 1967 and 1972. We hope you enjoy them!
If you would like to know more about these amazing buildings, please explore the rest of our website where you will find additional information including interactive building tours and more about the work of the Abbey Lawn Trust. You can also visit the museum, including the Merchant’s House (please see visiting times on our Home page).
Panoramic view of the back of the Abbey Row cottages shortly before the restoration.
Abbey Row cottages during the restoration as seen from the Abbey Tower.
The Abbey Row cottages shortly after having been restored.
Photos taken before the restoration
Abbey Lawn House, located on the end of the Abbey Lawn Cottages and demolished in 1964 due to dry rot.
Rear of Abbey Lawn House, now the Abbey Lawn.
The Abbey Lawn Cottages circa 1967, just before their restoration and showing the remains of the demolished Abbey Lawn House.
Number 41 shortly before the restoration. Today, this property houses the main John Moore Museum collection.
Outhouses behind the Row.
The cottages shortly before the restoration.
Photos taken during the restoration
Jeremy Benson, the architect, showing the model of the Merchant’s House.
Inside of the buildings.
During the restoration.
Undertaking roof restoration.
Inside the buildings.
Following the restoration process.
The Queen’s visit in 1971 shortly before the restoration finished
Ready to greet the Queen.
The back of the Merchant’s House.
The official visit took place in 1971.
Photos taken after the restoration
The row after restoration.
Back of the cottages showing the gardens.
The row of Tudor cottages today.