Alcester is a market town in the Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwickshire, England. It is 8 mi (13 km) west of Stratford-upon-Avon, and 7 miles south of Redditch. The town dates back to the times of Roman Britain and is located at the junction of the River Alne and River Arrow. In the 2021 census, the population of the parish was 6,035, with 6,421 in the built-up area.

Alcester was founded by the Romans in around AD 47 as a walled fort. The walled town, possibly named Alauna developed from the military camp. It was sited on Icknield Street, a Roman road that ran the length of Roman Britain from south-west England to south Yorkshire. The town was also just north of the Fosse Way, another important thoroughfare in Roman Britain.[6] By the end of the 2nd century, Roman Alcester had developed into a bustling trading and market town: A small walled area in the centre of the town was surrounded by an extensive grid of roads serving a complex of workshops and their associated housing, which specialised in trades such as tanning, metal working and pottery manufacture. Some of the houses of Roman Alcester appear to have been well endowed, with features such as heating, painted plaster and mosaic floors. Along with most Romano-British towns, it appears to have gone into decline in the 4th century when the Romans began to leave Britain. Detailed archaeological work began in the 1920s.

In the Early Middle Ages, Alencestre had become an Anglo-Saxon market town in the Kingdom of Mercia. Alcester was also the site of Alcester Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1138 by Ralph le Boteler. Richard de Tutbury, the last abbot, resigned his office in 1467 and Alcester Abbey was absorbed into the neighbouring Evesham Abbey. By 1515 Alcester Abbey was in ruins as a result of the neglect of various abbots, and later during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII it was largely demolished. The ruins were granted to the local Greville family, who used much of the stone to rebuild their family seat of Beauchamp Court.


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