A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3, Barlichway Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1945.
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The parish of Haselor lies between Alcester and Stratford, bounded on the north-east by the River Alne. The main village consists of a long street running downhill in a southerly direction, the upper part being known as Upton and that below the manor-house as Lower Haselor, a division which is of manorial origin. (fn. 1) The hamlet of Walcot lies about half a mile to the northeast, beyond the knoll on which the church stands.
There are about sixteen buildings in the main village—roughly half the total number—with visible traces of 17th-century or earlier construction. Of these the most important are the manor-house, the manor farm, and Upton House.
The manor-house, now a farm, standing about halfway down the street on the east side, is a late-16thcentury building of T-shaped plan. The manor-place of Upton Haselor was leased by Thomas Whittington, lord of the manor, to Robert Mylls in 1542 for 51 years, apparently a renewal of a lease held by William his father. (fn. 2) In 1590, the house being then occupied by Robert's widow, Thomas Throckmorton granted a 21 years' lease of it (beginning from 24 Oct. 1593) to his younger brother George, of Moor Hall, who in the same year made over his rights to George Kempson of Alcester, butcher, (fn. 3) whose brother, Thomas Kempson of Oversley Park, (fn. 4) eventually obtained possession in 1629, (fn. 5) but by a deed of the previous year a portion of the house, including the kitchen, the well yard, and half the great court was assigned to George's widow as part of an annuity. (fn. 6) In the same year (1629) Thomas Kempson sold it, with an estate in Upton, Haselor, and Exhall, for £1,265 to Sir John Coke and others who were probably acting as agents for Lord Brooke. (fn. 7) In 1633 Robert, Lord Brooke, leased it to Richard Gibbs, (fn. 8) whose son Richard was probably occupying it at the time of the Hearth Tax Return (1662–74) (fn. 9) and in 1703 John Gibbs received a 21 years' lease of it from Fulke, Lord Brooke. (fn. 10)
The main block of the house facing west shows timber-framing in both stories, some of the lower having close-set studding. The gabled north and south ends are rebuilt with brick, but retain their angle story-posts, and the south end has framing in the gable-head. The back wing, the stem of the T, also shows framing, a little of it close-set, on stone foundations. In the angle of the north side with the main block is a staircase wing with close-set studding to the upper story and a north gable-head of diagonal lattice framing. The lower story as well as much of the back wing has been replaced with brick. On the side of the wing at the junction with the main block is a fine stone chimney-stack carrying a large cross-shaped shaft set diagonally, of thin bricks. It has a fire-place 9 ft. wide towards the wing. The wing has a stone-flagged floor to the ground floor (kitchen), old wide oak floor-boards to the first floor, rough ceiling beams, and the roof has queen-post trusses with side purlins supported by curved wind-braces. The front block has been more renovated but has stop-chamfered beams. The stairs, partly winding, are of old oak boards.
The Manor Farm at the foot of the street belonged to the manor of Haselor and Walcot, and was granted by Lord Brooke to Sir Fulke Greville of Ealing for 30 years in 1623. (fn. 11) The initials I.S.H. which appear with the date 1810 on the south gable of the east wing, are probably those of a member of the Hemming family who were settled in Haselor at least from the 16th until the 19th century. (fn. 12)
The house faces north and has a rather narrow central block, gabled at front and back, and east and west gabled cross-wings; only the east wing and the central chimney-stack are ancient, dating from c. 1600. The remainder has been rebuilt with brick, probably all in 1810. The north front of the east wing, about 15 ft. wide, has a slightly projecting upper story. The angle posts of the ground story have square pilasters cut on their fronts, with sloping bases and plain capitals that carry shaped brackets under the moulded bressummer. The wall between the posts is rebuilt with brick. The upper story has original blackened timber-framing on square panels containing curved pieces which meet to form circles and half-circles; a modern central bow window replaces a square oriel with a bracket below it. The gable-head has similar panels and projects slightly on a heavy bressummer with faint traces of a running pattern of scrolls and monsters in low relief. The roof projects about 3ft. and has a modern barge-board, but original moulded pendants. Against the east side of the wing is a modern brick addition, inside which some of the close-set studding of the lower story is visible. The ground-floor room runs from front to back, with chamfered cross-beams: one of these has mortices of a former partition. It has a wide fire-place on the west side at the south end, but the chimney-stack above is modern. The great chimney-stack over the middle of the house has six detached shafts of thin bricks, each with a Vshaped pilaster on the exposed faces. The fire-places below it are modern. The byre is in front of the house, and west of it is a 17th-century timber-framed barn.
Upton House, opposite Haselor House, is a tall late-18th-century brick building of three stories behind which, attached to it in parallel, is a low timber-framed 17th-century wing. It is gabled at the south end and has a tiled roof. The north part of the wing is a little higher and has a steeply-pitched gabled roof, evidently formerly thatched. At right angles to it is an old timber-framed barn of the same period.
On the south-west side of the road near the second turning is Walcot Manor, a 17th-century house refaced with late-18th-century brickwork. Some framing appears on the gable ends and internally, and there are timber-framed farm-buildings.
Next north on the same side is an early 17th-century framed cottage and another, rather more altered, opposite. Another on the east side near the north bend is a small farm-house of 17th-century framing and with a chimney-stack of two diagonal shafts in thin bricks. The outbuilding has a cider-mill and press, one of the few in this district, and a low farm-building next south retains much of its original mud walling, another rare survival.
The church, on top of the hill between Haselor and Walcot, commands a view of a semicircle of low wooded hills, rising in places to about 360 ft., which form approximately the western and southern limits of the parish. Withycombe and Rough Hill Woods, on the west, stretch southwards to Red Hill, where the main Stratford-Alcester road comes down into the valley. The woods of Widecombe, Middelgrove, and Rouheia formed part of the endowment of the church in the 12th century. (fn. 13) Withycombe afterwards belonged to the college of St. Mary at Warwick and the timber there was sold in 1449 for £50 6s. 8d. (fn. 14) In 1544 Withycombe, Westgrove, and Le Hermitage were granted to William and Francis Sheldon. (fn. 15) The tithes from Withycombe, Westgrove, Rollswood, and Masters Wood were sold in 1626 by William Skynner of Shelfield Park to George Smith of Woodhouse. (fn. 16) Middelgrove, mentioned above, was probably the present Red Hill Wood (which continues Withycombe south of the main road) and was later called Masters Wood because it had belonged to the master of the preceptory at Temple Grafton. The master held land under Middelgrove and extending from Barlechweye (in Grafton) to Holoweye (probably Red Hill), paying tithes for as much of it as was in cultivation to the church of Haselor. (fn. 17)
West Grove, west of Red Hill Wood, may be the 'westgraf' mentioned in the early 8th century among the boundaries of land in Shottery. (fn. 18) It was alternatively known in the 18th century as Hemings Wood. (fn. 19) There are two other small woods on the south side of the main road. The first crowns a low hill north of Rollswood Farm; it has been known for at least a century as the Devil's Night Cap, (fn. 20) but may be probably identified with the Rollswood of 1626. About half a mile farther west is a wooded, conical-shaped hill of unusual regularity known as Alcock's Arbour, (fn. 21) about which Dugdale quotes an 'Old Wives Story':
'Towards the foot', he says, 'is a hole, now almost filled up, having been the entrance into a Cave, as the Inhabitants report:' and 'one Alcock, a great Robber, used to lodge therein, and having got much money by that course of life, hid it in an iron bound chest, whereunto were three Keys: which Chest, they say, is still there, but guarded by a Cock that continually sits upon it: and that on a time, an Oxford Schollar came thither, with a Key that opened two of the Locks; but as he was attempting to open the third, the Cock seized on him. To all whiche they adde that if one Bone of the partie, who set the Cock there, could be brought, he would yield up the Chest.' (fn. 22)
This story is still remembered in the neighbourhood and there is another to the effect that horses were chained to the chest in a vain attempt to drag it away. There seems to be no sign of a 'cave', but the fact that Roman coins have often been discovered here offers a clue to the origin of the legend. (fn. 23)
West of Alcock's Arbour is the large expanse of Oversley Wood, of which the eastern portion, known as Shroud Hill Coppice, is in Haselor parish. Until about sixty years ago it was even more extensive, including the Arbour and stretching down to the main road on either side of it, and covering some of the fields between Shroud Hill and Rollswood Farm. (fn. 24) The southern boundary of the parish at this point is the long ridge called Grove Hill, which continues south-west above Exhall and divides the valleys of the Alne and the Avon. Near a spring called Caldwell in Grove Hill was the Hermitage (see above) which Ralph Boteler gave some time before 1158 to Alcester Abbey, confirmed to them as the hermitage of Caldwell by Henry II, Edward III, and Henry VI. (fn. 25)
The Stratford-Alcester main road, which is of Roman origin, crosses the south of the parish from east to west. At Alcock's Arbour the original road continues as a field-path in a straight line towards Oversley Green and the modern road bears north-west to a point formerly known as Trench Lane Gate, whence it takes a right-angled turn south-west into Alcester, thus forming with the ancient road a complete triangle. (fn. 26) The section from the Arbour to the Gate, known as Trench Lane, is certainly of great antiquity. It may be identified with Le Trenche (1280) (fn. 27) and Staunchar's Lane (1545), (fn. 28) and it is probably significant that it forms the boundary of the parish. Beyond Trench Lane Gate (the site of a toll-house) it continues as a bridle road to the ford over the Arrow at Hoo Mill.
The main road was used in the Middle Ages as a salt way. There was a salt pan worth 4s. and 2 loads of salt attached to the manor in 1086, (fn. 29) and in 1396 William Wodeward held his tenement by the service of buying salt at the Wiche for the guesthouse of Warwick College, then lords of the manor. (fn. 30) At the toll-house near Rollswood Farm is a cross road leading north to the village and south to Grafton. The names of the two fields in the eastern angle of the main road and the Grafton road—Great and Little Salters Piece—suggest that the latter was a branch of the salt way leading over into the Avon Valley and probably to Hillborough (q.v.). (fn. 31) It seems to be the Salters Lane mentioned in the Inclosure Award (1767).
From the toll-house near Rollswood Farm a road runs north through the village to Great Alne, where it crosses the river. Just beyond the village another road crosses it at right angles, leading left to the Alcester road at Trench Lane Gate and right to Walcot and Aston Cantlow. Haselor and Walcot are also connected by a path through the churchyard. A hollow way below the east churchyard wall marks the ancient course of this road and at the highest point, standing above it and within the churchyard, is the base of a medieval standing cross. This is octagonal, with moulded base steps, and has the socket with a fragment of a 14-in. square shaft. A certain unevenness in the ground near by suggests that there were formerly buildings nearer the church than at present. South of the main road a road goes off from the foot of Red Hill to Binton, past Barley Leys (i.e. Barlichway) Farm. The Inclosure Award mentions various minor roads in this district, some of which were used within living memory for the carriage of timber from the woods. Most of these have degenerated into field-paths or disappeared.
The soil is rich marl and the subsoil sandy. There is a coal seam, which, however, is too deep to work, running across the parish and under the church. (fn. 32)
The parish was inclosed by an Act of 1766, (fn. 33) but there is evidence of inclosure here as early as the 13th century. About 1230 a controversy over tithes and common rights between Stephen de Upton and Nicholas parson of Haselor, was settled by Stephen's allowing the parson to pasture his animals in Mukehill, Barnce, and Wichebec and in all other pastures of Upton outside the covert of the wood and such common inside as belonged to his land of Upton: in return Stephen and his sons might make what assarts they pleased so long as they paid the tithes to the church. (fn. 34) In an exchange of land between Robert lord of Haselor and the same Nicholas in 1241 the latter was allowed to inclose his portion with heaps and ditches and to better it in any way. (fn. 35) The award of 1767 mentions certain 'old enclosures' including 'the Court Lands'; there were five open fields in the manor of Haselor and Walcot—then known as Between Towns, Throughters, (fn. 36) Watergall, Micknell, and Oathill Fields—and four in Upper Haselor—known as Broadway, Purnhill, Rowland, and Rodnell Fields. According to a rental of 1545 the usual size of the virgate in the chief manor was 18 acres or a little over. (fn. 37) The tenants were allowed to common 12 beasts and cattle for every virgate and a half they held, and to bring in 8 loads of hay. (fn. 38)
Before the Conquest HASELOR was held by Ulviet and Alvric. In 1086 Nicholas the Crossbowman held it as 5 hides and a virgate. (fn. 39) The greater part of the estates of Nicholas lay in Devonshire, and several of his holdings there were in 1286 held by Robert son of Pain. (fn. 40) The overlordship of Haselor perhaps passed with these estates, for about 1330 Robert son of Pain seized the heiress of Haselor, who was a minor. (fn. 41) This is, however, the only reference which has been found to such an overlordship, and in 1235 and 1242 the manor was held as half a fee of William de Hastings. (fn. 42) Again, in 1315, it was said to be held of William Hastings of Thormarton for service of a pair of white spurs, worth 2d., (fn. 43) but there is no later reference to the Hastings overlordship.
Nicholas de Pole, justiciar in the time of Henry I, appears to have been lord of the manor, for he and his wife Maud and his two sons Robert and Ralph augmented that king's endowment of the church of Haselor, their gift being confirmed by Simon, bishop of Worcester (1125–50). (fn. 44) Robert de Haselor was lord of the manor in 1235 and 1241-2 (fn. 45) and on his death-bed, sometime before 1246, gave a mill and 2 virgates of land here to the Prioress of Cookhill (Worcs.). (fn. 46) Possibly Lavyna de Haselor, who married William de Mutton about 1228, was his heir. Some question arose as to the legitimacy of a later Robert de Haselor and in 1288 the Bishop of Worcester certified that William and Lavyna had 60 years before publicly contracted matrimony at the door of the church of Haselor, and that Robert was born in matrimony. (fn. 47) Possibly Robert died about this time, (fn. 48) and the succession gave rise to this question of his legitimacy. Robert Lynet (or Lyvet), who was pardoned in 1290 for trespass of venison, (fn. 49) died in 1315 holding the manor, leaving a son John aged 27. (fn. 50) John settled the manor on himself and his wife Eleanor and died about 1327, leaving as his heir a daughter Katherine, a minor. A third of the manor was assigned to Eleanor as dower, and she subsequently married John de Cheltenham. The rest of the manor passed to Katherine and her husband John son of Robert de Trillowe, (fn. 51) and in 1329 John de Cheltenham and Eleanor released their third to Katherine. (fn. 52) She was dead before 1332 and left no issue. (fn. 53) Her heir was her uncle Henry Lyvet, who was the chief tax-payer in Haselor in 1332. (fn. 54) He sold the manor in the following year to Master Robert de Stratford, (fn. 55) and three years later John de Cheltenham and Eleanor conveyed their interest to Master Robert, who was then Archdeacon of Canterbury. (fn. 56) He sold the manor to William de Meldon and Agnes his wife. (fn. 57) Henry Lyvet had granted a pension of £40 in Haselor to John Peyto, who released his right to Meldon. William Meldon presented to the church in April, and Sir William, probably the same, in October 1349. (fn. 58) An indenture of sale was made by William Meldon 'de le boys' of Haselor to Thomas Wodeward, and a release by Joan wife of Thomas Hamond to Aumary de St. Amand of the manor of Haselor, but both are undated. (fn. 59) Sir Aumary was tenant of the manor in 1365, when John Peyto released to him all his claim in it. (fn. 60) Sir Aumary sold it about 1384 to Thomas, Earl of Warwick, and in 1387 his son and heir Aumary released all his right to the earl, as did Sir Nicholas Lilling in 1395. (fn. 61)
The earl had obtained licence in 1384 to grant it to the College of St. Mary at Warwick (fn. 62) and the grant was made in 1395. (fn. 63) On the forfeiture of Thomas, Earl of Warwick, Haselor Manor was seized by the king, who granted it in September 1397 to his nephew Thomas, Earl of Kent, (fn. 64) but in October following another grant of it was made to Robert Gowssell, the king's esquire. (fn. 65) These grants were probably made in ignorance of the earl's gift to the college, for in November 1397 this was ratified by the king. (fn. 66) The manor remained in the possession of the college until the Dissolution, when a rent of £19 17s. 6d was being received from it. (fn. 67)
The manor was granted in 1550 to Sir Ralph Sadler, (fn. 68) who sold it in 1553 for £900 (fn. 69) to Sir Fulke Greville, and the manor remained in the Greville family at least until 1804, when George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick, conveyed it to William Froggatt. (fn. 70)
Sir Robert Throckmorton was lord of the manor in 1850, (fn. 71) and was followed in 1862 by his son Sir Nicholas William George Throckmorton, who sold the estate during the latter part of the century, though he is believed to have retained the manorial rights. But by the time of his death in 1919 these had fallen into abeyance. (fn. 72)
The manor of UPTON or UPTON HASELOR (fn. 73) was held freely before the Conquest by three men of Earl Leofric. In 1086 Roger held it of William Buenvasleth as 4½ hides. (fn. 74) Later the manor was held of the Botilers of Wem and Oversley, who held under the Earls of Warwick; (fn. 75) and in 1525 and 1547 it was held of Sir William Gascoigne as of his manor of Oversley. (fn. 76)
About 1230 Sir Stephen de Upton, with the consent of Amice his wife, granted land to the church of Haselor. (fn. 77) From this time nothing is known of the ownership of the manor until 1284, when Hugh Aguillon died holding the manor of Upton. His widow Ellen claimed dower in the manor. He left no children, and his heirs were his sister Joan, then aged 80, and his nephews Hugh Trenchevent and William de Whitenton or Whittington, and a certain John, son of his sister Maud. The greater part of the manor passed to William Whittington, who settled it upon himself and Joan his wife in 1314 (fn. 78) and was still in possession two years later. (fn. 79) A similar settlement was made in 1347 upon another William and Joan Whittington. (fn. 80) About 1535 Thomas Whittington of Pauntley, co. Glos. (sixth in descent from this William) (fn. 81) in a suit against Elizabeth Walsingham, widow, stated that his ancestors for 200 years and more had held a messuage and a yardland and a wood called Upton Woods, and a dovecote in Upton, which Elizabeth now claimed, and as she was assisted by the Sheriff of Warwick and John Greville, in whose household her son John Walsingham lived, Thomas was unable to get justice. Elizabeth stated that her father, John Ippwell, and his ancestors for 200 years and more had held the premises, and that when he died she was only 2 years old, and John Whittington had taken advantage of this to take possession of the land. (fn. 82) Possibly Elizabeth's claim was derived from one of the co-heirs of Hugh Aguillon, but nothing has been found to connect John Ippwell or any others of that family with Haselor. Thomas evidently made good his claim to the manor, and on his death, in 1547, (fn. 83) it was divided between his six daughters: Anne wife of Bevis or Brice Berkeley, Jane wife of Roger Bodenham, Margaret wife of Thomas Throckmorton of Crowsland, Alice wife of John Nanfan, Elizabeth wife of Sir Giles Poole, and Blanche wife of John St. Aubin. (fn. 84) Alice Nanfan died without issue about 1579, when Henry Poole son of Sir Giles and Elizabeth, and Edward Berkeley and his wife Elizabeth, who was a daughter of Anne Berkeley, conveyed two-fifths of the manor to Thomas Throckmorton. (fn. 85) Thomas acquired another fifth of the manor about the same time, and sold four-fifths in 1579 to Thomas Throckmorton of Coughton. (fn. 86)
The share of the manor which belonged to Jane Bodenham was, after her death in 1558, held by Roger her husband until his death in 1579. (fn. 87) It passed to their son Thomas Bodenham, who died without issue in 1583, (fn. 88) and then to his brother Roger Bodenham of Rotherwas, Herefordshire, who sold it in 1589 to Thomas Throckmorton and Margaret his wife. (fn. 89) Thomas was succeeded by his grandson Sir Robert Throckmorton, who held Upton Manor in 1629, (fn. 90) after which it descended with the manor of Haselor.
Another estate in Haselor called a manor seems to have originated in 2 messuages and 2 virgates of land in Upton which William Clopton leased to Thomas Crewe and Juliana his wife for life about 1418. (fn. 91) Isabel, a granddaughter of William Clopton, married Sir John Lingen, (fn. 92) and this estate, then called the manor of Haselor, was in the king's hands on account of the minority of John Lingen's daughter Joan or Jane. (fn. 93) She married William Shelley and died in 1610, when her cousin Edward Lingen succeeded. (fn. 94) He was declared a lunatic in 1623, (fn. 95) and died in 1636 when the manor, called Upton in 1623 and Haselor in 1636, passed to Henry, (fn. 96) his son by Blanche daughter of Sir Roger Bodenham. (fn. 97) Sir Henry was a prominent Royalist and was impoverished by his loyalty; (fn. 98) it is probable that he sold this property to the Throckmortons.
WALCOT was apparently included with the chief manor of Haselor, (fn. 99) but was separately sold in 1807 as the 'Manor or reputed Manor' of Walcot, with a capital messuage known as Walcot Hall by the 2nd Earl of Warwick to Thomas Salt of Cheadle, Staffs., for £8,500. (fn. 100) It was advertised for sale by Salt's executors in 1835. (fn. 101)
Five rentals survive for the chief manor of Haselor, dated 1396, (fn. 102) c. 1461, (fn. 103) 1545, (fn. 104) 1612, (fn. 105) and (?) 1659 (fn. 106) In 1396 there were 22 messuages and 2 cottages, and in 1545 10 messuages and 4 cottages; an apparent fall in population that suggests inclosure. (fn. 107) The rentals 1396–1545 contain a rent of 12d., 2 capons, and 6 discs of wood paid by the Abbot of Evesham for a burgage in Evesham attached to the manor. This tenement may be traced back to the Conquest, since a burgess who, with two Frenchmen, paid 7½d. is mentioned in Domesday. (fn. 108) By 1396 commutation of villein services into money rents was complete for there is no mention of sale of works or of any customary payments. Some of the meadow was held individually at a rent paid in money or in kind. (fn. 109) A reference to villeinage on the manor occurs in 1445, when the manumission of Richard Colet and his son was cancelled because they had shown themselves quarrelsome towards their neighbours and ungrateful to the lords. (fn. 110)
By the 17th century Haselor was predominantly a village of substantial yeomen and freeholders, a characteristic which is perhaps reflected in the number of large, timber-framed farm-houses that still remain. Some of these families show a remarkable continuity; in the Hearth Tax Returns of 1663, for instance, where only one person has as many as four hearths, 21 of the 56 inhabitants belong to the three families of Gibbs, Heming, and Field; and these and several other families (e.g. Mills and Parsons) can be traced over a period of two or more centuries. In the manor of Upton Haselor the establishment of this yeoman class can be traced during the reigns of the first two Stuarts: of eleven leases granted by the Throckmortons 1601–34 six were for 2,000 years or for ever, several tenements having previously been held only for lives. (fn. 111)
Hoo Mill stands by the Alne, a little above the ford leading to Kinwarton. There was a mill worth 6s. 8d. in the chief manor of Haselor in 1086 (fn. 112) and early in the 12th century Nicholas de la Pole granted 'lawegrist' and the tithes of the mill to the church. (fn. 113) A water-mill is also included in the manor in 1315. (fn. 114) The present name of the mill first occurs in 1609 (fn. 115) and in 1626 the tithes of Hoo Mill were included in the sale of tithe by William Skynner to George Smith, already referred to. (fn. 116) Certain old inclosures belonging to the mill, and apparently consisting of the neighbouring meadows, are referred to in the Award of 1767. (fn. 117) Hoo Mill was taken in 1844 as a needle mill by the firm of Holyoake of Redditch, who removed here from Oversley Mill.
A water-mill in the manor of Upton is mentioned in 1284 (fn. 118) and 1394, (fn. 119) and a mill is included in the lease of the Manor Place in 1542. (fn. 120) The four-fifths of the manor bought by Thomas Throckmorton in 1579 and the remaining fifth which he purchased ten years later were both said to include a mill. (fn. 121)
The grant of 'lawegrist' to the church by Nicholas de la Pole included also the right to fish on fast-days in ripa nostra, except with draw-nets. In 1545 John Palmer was holding 'le Were' with a fishery at Staunchars Lane End at the yearly rent of 12d. (fn. 122) The right of fishing in 'the river belonging to the parish of Haselor' is included in a conveyance of land from Fulke, Lord Brooke, to Bernard Whalley of Billesley in 1689. (fn. 123) A fishery in the Arrow, worth 9s. a year, was held with the site of the chief manor of Haselor in 1545 (fn. 124) and there was also a fishery in the fifth part of the manor of Upton conveyed in 1589. (fn. 125)
The parish church of ST. MARY AND CHURCH ALL SAINTS is apparently of 12thcentury origin and had a west tower: a south aisle with the arcade of three bays was added later in the century. Early in the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt, with a north chapel and an arcade of two bays. There also seems to have been a north vestry east of the chapel. Before the middle of the 14th century, a south transeptal chapel of one bay was added to the chancel and the south aisle was widened to range with it. The north chapel-aisle was subsequently destroyed and the arcade was walled up, perhaps in the 18th century. Whether or not the nave had a north aisle is not evident from the fabric, as the north wall appears to have been entirely rebuilt when a small chamber was added specially to receive the vault-grave of a vicar who died in 1869. The bell-chamber of the tower was added in 1622. The church was restored in 1883 and again in 1892.
The plan is irregular, the chancel and nave each being a foot wider at their west ends than their east ends. The south aisle wall is parallel with the arcade wall in the west half, but is deflected outwards in the east half till it is nearly a foot wider at its east end (the 14th-century chapel).
The chancel (about 30½ ft. by 14 to 15 ft.) has a modern east window of three lights and tracery. In the north wall is a blocked doorway and a blocked arcade of two bays, with square responds and an 18-in. circular middle pillar. The east respond has a capital carved with a series of conjoined leaves, and with a grooved abacus and round neck mould. The capital of the pillar is of somewhat similar design, but as it overhangs the pillar the neck mould is more elaborately moulded with two rounds and a soffit hollow. The carving suggests a very early 13th-century date for the arcade. The arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders with small voussoirs. The closing wall is of rubble, flush with the main wall outside, and about half its thickness; in the west bay is a window of two trefoiled lights (18th century?).
In the south wall are two windows; the eastern is of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with an external hood-mould: it is of the 14th century, in Campden stone. The second window is a trefoiled lancet, probably of the 13th century but restored externally; it has a triangular reararch. Next west is a 14th-century arch into the east end of the south aisle: it has half-round shafts to the square responds, with moulded capitals; the east respond, except the shaft, and the two-centred arch of two chamfered orders are modern restorations. There is no chancel arch. The chancel walls are irregular lias rubble, roughly coursed, and squared in the east wall: the east window appears once to have had a lower sill: the gable-head and buttresses are modern.
The roof is high-pitched and probably of the 15th century: it has collars to the coupled rafters, supported by curved braces, and there are curved firring-pieces at the junction of the rafters and ashlar posts above the wall plates, making the whole a pointed arch. Above the collar beams is a central longitudinal beam. At the west end is an old tie-beam, on which is a moulding, probably not original: it is supported by modern curved braces and above it modern posts and arches form a kind of screen between chancel and nave.
The south arcade, apparently late-12th-century, continues the line of the south wall and arch of the chancel and is of three bays. It has square piers of random-tooled ashlar, with chamfered angles, plain square bases, and chamfered imposts; the arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders and are covered with cement.
The south aisle (about 13 ft. wide at the east end and 11½ ft. at the west) has an unpierced gabled east wall. In the south wall are three 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights: the easternmost, opposite the 14th-century arch, has a quatrefoil in the two-centred head, in the second the piercing has only the bottom part foiled. The westernmost has old jambs, but the head is modern. All have external hoodmoulds, plastered internal splays, and pointed reararches. The south doorway, between the second and third, is plain, with chamfered jambs and pointed head: the hood-mould differs in section from those of the windows and is probably of the 13th century. A sundial is scratched on one of the stones of the east jamb. In the west wall is a modern lancet window. The walls are of rubble partly squared. The two diagonal buttresses are old; that between the two eastern windows has been restored.
The gabled roof of the nave has braced collar-beams and a central purlin, but has curved firring at the bottom like that in the chancel roof. In the middle is a 16th-century moulded tie-beam. The aisle roof is also arched and has four tie-beams, three rough and the easternmost moulded. All the roofs are tiled.
The west tower (about 9½ ft. square) is of one unbroken stage up to the bell-chamber, where there is a
deep set-back or weather-course. The plinth is restored.
The walling, up to a height of from 12 to 16 ft., is of
squared rubble in courses and probably of the 12th
century; above that is a mixture of material and, again
higher, grey lias rubble with oolite dressings, probably
of the 17th century. The bell chamber is of a squared
cream stone in courses. On the south side of it are two
inscribed stones, below the parapet string-course:
The diagonal buttresses to the west angles are of two stages and largely of oolite stone. The parapet has a heavy plain string-course and modern battlements of ashlar.
The archway from the nave has plastered jambs, flush with the tower walls, and what seem to be the plastered springers of a 12th-century arch; above these springers is a two-centred stone arch, of a widely chamfered inner order (grey-washed) and small, plastered, outer order, probably, like the window, of the 14th century.
The west window is of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, all of oolite stone and probably of the 14th century. The second story has no lights, but on the west face is a skeleton clock-dial.
In the churchyard, south of the aisle, is a tapering coffin lid of the 13th century, 5ft. 10 in. long, carved with a raised cross with a long stem and fleur-de-lis arms to the head. A stone slab 7 ft. by 3 ft., now at the entrance to the south porch, is possibly an altar stone, but has no distinctive marks on it.
The church was founded by Henry I who endowed it with a rectory house, 2 virgates of land in the fields of Haselor and Walcot, and a plot and croft adjoining. (fn. 126) Nicholas de Pole and his wife and sons gave pasture for 8 oxen in Spertes and 4 cows in Wethe, and 11 acres of wood; also 'churchschet' of oats and poultry, rights of fishing and multure, and tithes of the mill. These last, with tithes of the lord's meadow, were exchanged later for 11 acres of assart in Widecombe, 3 acres at Rouhaie, and the meadow of Wrangesham. (fn. 127) Simon, Bishop of Worcester, confirmed this to the rector. (fn. 128)
The advowson belonged to the lords of the manor and in 1297 Robert Lynet presented Nicholas Lynet, but as he was not in Holy Orders, he was not instituted until 1298. (fn. 129) The church passed with the manor to the Dean and Chapter of Warwick, and was appropriated to the canons, the vicarage being ordained in 1394, when the vicar was assigned a tenement and croft and 10 marks. (fn. 130) After the Dissolution the advowson remained in the Crown, and the Lord Chancellor is the present patron. The church was valued at £10 in 1291, (fn. 131) and at £6 13s. 4d. in 1535. (fn. 132) In 1939 the living was united with that of Alcester.
The rectory of Haselor was farmed at the Dissolution by the canons of Warwick for £21. (fn. 133) It was granted by Edward VI in 1551 to Sir George Throckmorton, but the woods of Wethecombe, Westgrove with the Hermitage and their tithe were reserved. In 1574 his son Sir Robert obtained a fresh grant; (fn. 134) but eventually Thomas Throckmorton granted away his rights, which came, after a complicated series of fines, to Anthony Skynner of Shelfield Park in 1610. (fn. 135) By 1767 the rectorial tithe was held by 11 persons and was mostly chargeable on land in the chief manor. (fn. 136)
Mention is made of a chapel at Upton when Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury (1139–61), requested Simon, Bishop of Worcester (1125–50), to inquire into a complaint by William rector of Haselor that a layman had attempted to alienate the chapel from the mother church of Haselor. (fn. 137) The chapel is also mentioned in the agreement already cited between Stephen de Upton and his sons and Nicholas parson of Haselor. (fn. 138)
The Widow's Plat. By an Order of the Charity Commissioners dated 26 Jan. 1917 a charge of 10s., formerly paid out of land at Haselor called the Widow's Plat, was redeemed in consideration of a sum of £20 Consols producing a yearly income of 10s. which is distributed to poor widows. The charity is administered by two trustees appointed by the parish meeting.
Ann Heming by will proved 29 Aug. 1925 bequeathed one-third of the net proceeds of her estate to the vicar and churchwardens upon trust to distribute the interest among poor persons residing in the parish. The legacy produces an income of £16 15s. 2d.
Charity for Church Purposes. This charity formerly consisted of two yearly sums of 15s. and 6s. 8d. issuing out of Manor Farm, Haselor, and paid to the churchwardens. By an Order of the Charity Commissioners dated 4 July 1916 the charges were redeemed in consideration of a sum of £43 6s. 8d. Consols, producing £1 1s. 8d. annually, which is applied towards church expenses.