Tewkesbury : Your community and its flood history

Interesting facts

  • Larger floods have occurred at Tewkesbury in the 18th century than in the 20th century.
  • Not only does the Avon join the Severn at Tewkesbury, but the Swilgate Burn and Carrant Brook and other tributaries can add to flooding.
  • In 1947, the flood waters reached Church Street in Tewkesbury.
  • During the 1947 floods, the people of Tewkesbury received aid from the Australian Red Cross.
  • During the year 1754 there were 19 floods in Tewkesbury.
  • 1770 was one of the largest floods on record – ‘prodigious fall of snow, succeeded by three days and nights of heavy rainfall’. The water entered the church and chancel at Tewkesbury Abbey.  Floods also entered the chancel in 1672.

Some examples of historical sources

November 1770 flood "But in the year 1770 there seems to have been the highest flood on record. It reached its height on November 17th. Town clerk sailed around the town (in an excise boat) near the turnpike in the High Street by the Bear Inn, and made a voyage round the town (from the rivers Carrant to Swilgate to Mill Avon and back over King’s John Bridge), which took him three hours to accomplish. The south side of the chancel of the Abbey was then under water..." ”(Bennett's [Tewkesbury Annual] Register and Magazine)

December 1672 flood "On December 23rd, 1672, so great was the flood that the water came into the chancel of the Abbey Church, and was the highest the oldest inhabitants could then recollect."

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