One of the many lovely surprises of our holiday in the Cotswolds this summer was to discover Tewkesbury, an old market town in Gloucestershire which lies close by where the river Avon joins the mighty Severn. Tewkesbury has one of the few surviving abbeys in England and most impressive it is too. You can visit their website here, for a lovely overview of the abbey. Inside the abbey is just as impressive with its stunning and brightly coloured carved ceilings. Below are a couple of photos of the ceiling. Much of the old town has survived pretty much intact and the streets are full of beautiful half timbered houses. Here are two examples followed by a lovely scene by the banks of the canal which runs from the Avon to the Severn. Tewkesbury is probably most famous, at least in England, as the site of the 1471 battle of Tewkesbury, a key battle in the English Wars of the Roses. What was most unexpected though was to see the old town bedecked with large and colourful banners. These banners are made from cotton “duck” and each one is hand painted in acrylic. The banners represent the emblems of the families that fought on both sides of the battle – Yorkists and Lancastrians. This wonderful collection of banners is the responsibility of the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society and you can visit their website here. Below are some of these colourful and vivid banners.Tewkesbury is a delightful town, full of surprises and well worth a visit. We had not intended to include Tewkesbury in our itinerary, but we are all very glad we did. For further information about the town you can visit their website here.