/Tewkesbury Abbey rises from the muddy waters once more as town is submerged after brutal deluge

Tewkesbury Abbey rises from the muddy waters once more as town is submerged after brutal deluge

A Norman abbey built more than 900 years ago has become a beacon for rural communities struck by some of the worst floods in living memory.

The idyllic Tewkesbury Abbey has survived countless flooding disasters in the Gloucestershire market town – from where it takes its name – over the years.

As well as its close proximity to both the River Avon and River Severn, picturesque Tewkesbury also has watercourses such as the River Swilgate and the Tirle Brook running through it, making it a major flood risk.

Aerial photographs of the former Benedictine monastery marooned on what is now known locally as the Isle of Tewkesbury have become iconic reminders of some of the most significant floods of the past 20 years.

While the town has suffered repeatedly at the hands of burst riverbanks and heavy rainfall, Tewkesbury Abbey has stood strong throughout notorious storms such as the ones that blighted the county in 2007, 2012 and 2019.

In that time it has suffered very minor flood damage, and has once again avoided irreparable ruin this week following Storm Dennis, which has left hundreds of homes surrounding it submerged in water.

2020: The idyllic Tewkesbury Abbey has remained unscathed this week despite the floods brought on by Storm Dennis over the weekend

2020: The idyllic Tewkesbury Abbey has remained unscathed this week despite the floods brought on by Storm Dennis over the weekend

2020: The idyllic Tewkesbury Abbey has remained unscathed this week despite the floods brought on by Storm Dennis over the weekend

2019: The previous big flood in Tewkesbury came in October last year, when heavy rain saw the ‘quickest flooding in years’. While the water flooded dozens of homes for the first time in nearly a decade, the church remained untouched

2012: It survived yet another big scare in 2012, when the wettest April on record saw the River Severn burst its banks and cause widespread flooding throughout the town. But once again, the abbey stood tall

2007: Thanks to its slightly-elevated land, the church avoided mostly any damage in the floods of July 2007, when a drone first photographed the abbey rising up above the floods in a photo that captured the whole country’s attention

2020: An aerial view of Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire today shows floods approaching devastating levels after Storm Dennis

2020: An aerial view of Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire today shows floods approaching devastating levels after Storm Dennis

2020: An aerial view of Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire today shows floods approaching devastating levels after Storm Dennis 

Flooding this week has been among the worst in a decade, with with the Environmental Agency issuing two official alerts in the Tewkesbury warning inhabitants to take 'immediate action'

Flooding this week has been among the worst in a decade, with with the Environmental Agency issuing two official alerts in the Tewkesbury warning inhabitants to take 'immediate action'

Flooding this week has been among the worst in a decade, with with the Environmental Agency issuing two official alerts in the Tewkesbury warning inhabitants to take ‘immediate action’

Thanks to its slightly-elevated land, the church avoided mostly any damage in the floods of July 2007, when a drone first photographed the abbey rising up above the floods in a photo that captured the whole country’s attention.

During the Great Flood that year, in the region of 1,800 homes were submerged and the whole town was briefly cut off from the rest of the country.

It survived yet another big scare in 2012, when the wettest April on record saw the River Severn burst its banks and cause widespread flooding throughout the town. But once again, the abbey stood tall.

The next big flood in Tewkesbury would come in October last year, when heavy rain saw the ‘quickest flooding in years’. While the water flooded dozens of homes for the first time in years, the church remained untouched.

Communities nationwide are still counting the cost of the weekend's storm, which has so far left five people dead and hundreds of properties flooded

Communities nationwide are still counting the cost of the weekend's storm, which has so far left five people dead and hundreds of properties flooded

Communities nationwide are still counting the cost of the weekend’s storm, which has so far left five people dead and hundreds of properties flooded

Emergency services are battling to keep the water out of peoples homes in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire this week (shown)

Emergency services are battling to keep the water out of peoples homes in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire this week (shown)

Emergency services are battling to keep the water out of peoples homes in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire this week (shown)

A house in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, is pictured inundated by floodwater as rescue workers try to help the family inside

A house in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, is pictured inundated by floodwater as rescue workers try to help the family inside

A house in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, is pictured inundated by floodwater as rescue workers try to help the family inside

Flooding this week has been among the worst in a decade, with with the Environmental Agency issuing two official alerts in the Tewkesbury warning inhabitants to take ‘immediate action’. 

Among the other worst affected areas were South Wales, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, where major incidents were declared.

Communities nationwide are still counting the cost of the weekend’s storm, which has so far left five people dead and hundreds of properties flooded.

There are still more than 400 flood alerts still in place across the country – including ten ‘danger to life’ warnings – with the Environment Agency saying many parts of Britain were in ‘uncharted territory’ in terms of flooding.

An aerial view of Worcester today where vast areas of the city, sit submerged in water in the aftermath of Storm Dennis

An aerial view of Worcester today where vast areas of the city, sit submerged in water in the aftermath of Storm Dennis

An aerial view of Worcester today where vast areas of the city, sit submerged in water in the aftermath of Storm Dennis

A DPD delivery van is marooned in flood water caused by Storm Dennis in Fordingbridge, Hampshire today, as rain water continues to fall across the UK

A DPD delivery van is marooned in flood water caused by Storm Dennis in Fordingbridge, Hampshire today, as rain water continues to fall across the UK

A DPD delivery van is marooned in flood water caused by Storm Dennis in Fordingbridge, Hampshire today, as rain water continues to fall across the UK

A canoeist makes their way towards Lidl in Monmouth, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis that has wrecked havoc on parts of the UK

A canoeist makes their way towards Lidl in Monmouth, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis that has wrecked havoc on parts of the UK

A canoeist makes their way towards Lidl in Monmouth, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis that has wrecked havoc on parts of the UK

Britain is facing another day of widespread flooding and travel chaos in the wake of Storm Dennis as forecasters warned of a three-day deluge of rain and ice

Britain is facing another day of widespread flooding and travel chaos in the wake of Storm Dennis as forecasters warned of a three-day deluge of rain and ice

Britain is facing another day of widespread flooding and travel chaos in the wake of Storm Dennis as forecasters warned of a three-day deluge of rain and ice

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