Winchcombe is a Cotswold town in Gloucestershire and home to some four and a half thousand souls. Today Winchcombe is a modest town, pretty and well appointed, on a hill and visited more for Sudeley Castle than for itself. In the tenth century though it was the county town of Winchcombeshire, a shire wiped from the map by Earl Eadric in the eleventh century.
In Winchcombe and the immediate vicinity can be found Sudeley Castle and the remains of Hailes Abbey, which was one of the main centres of pilgrimages in Britain due to a phial possessed by the monks claimed contained the Blood of Christ. Nothing is left of Winchcombe Abbey today. (Read more)