Hereford & Worcester

Evesham land 'where Virgin Mary was seen' in housing row

Evesham Cathedral bell tower
Image caption A vision of the Virgin Mary is said to have led St Egwin to found Evesham Abbey in about 700 AD

Campaigners are fighting plans to build houses on land in Evesham - because it is where the Virgin Mary is claimed to have appeared.

A group of residents, named Keep Evesham Green (KEG), are against plans to build 200 houses along Abbey Road.

They said history shows the Virgin Mary was seen by a swineherd named Eof and then by St Egwin, leading him to found Evesham Abbey in about 700AD.

Colin Merriman from KEG said: "This land is sacred and special to Evesham."

He said: "This site is where the name Evesham comes from.

"Eof (Eve) is the name of the swineherd who saw the apparition and ham is a Germanic word meaning the meadows or a floodplain."

The proposals are part of the South Worcestershire Development Plan which will go out to a public consultation between 6 August and 14 September.

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