A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1913.
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And althoughe our country (sic) is graced with so many pleasaunt prospectes as scarce any shyre the lyke, in so muche as allmost eaverey littell hyll largely affourdethe the same, yet aspyringe Hambury obtaygninge the Principality overlookethe them all, A stately seate meete for a Kinges pallace; and had it but the commodity of our Severne, might compare with that of Wyndesore. Neyther wanted theare for recreation of our Kynges a fayre Parcke, which though in thys paryshe is styled Feckenham Parcke, (fn. 1) sootinge in name with the Kynges vast forest, reachinge in former ages far and wyde. A large walk for savage beastes, but nowe more commodyously chaunged to the civill habitations of many gentell-men, the freehoulds of wealthy yeomen, and dwellinges of industryous husbandmen. (fn. 2)
The area of the parish is 7,790 acres, (fn. 3) of which 1,661 acres are arable, 5,526 permanent grass and 251 woods. (fn. 4) Huntingdrop Common, a detached part of the parish of Dodderhill, was annexed to Hanbury in 1880, under the Divided Parishes Act. (fn. 5) The soil is clay with a subsoil of Keuper Marl, and the land slopes downward from the north towards the south, the highest point, about 385 ft. above the ordnance datum, being on the Stoke Prior Road north of the village. The chief crops are wheat, beans and barley.
The main road from Droitwich to Alcester runs through the parish from west to east and meets that from Bromsgrove to Alcester near Carter's Hill. From it a branch road leads past Hanbury Park to the village. This is scattered about three roads, forming a rough triangle, the base of which is the Droitwich to Alcester Road on the south. Hanbury Park occupies the whole of the western side of the triangle, and the church of St. Mary the Virgin stands at its apex near the north-east corner of the park. Habington, (fn. 6) writing in the 17th century, says that the church 'invironed with highe and mighty trees and able to terrifye a far of ignorant enimy with a deceytful showe of an invincible Castell may rightly be called the Lanthorne of our county.' Near the main entrance to the park upon the opposite side of the road is 'The Moorlands,' a good half-timber house, two stories in height, with a triple-gabled attic and tiled roof. In the central attic gable is the date 1619. The house has been converted into an almshouse for old women. The date of the alteration (1879) and the initials H. F. V. are placed on one of the gables. At the Pump-house Farm, on the south side of the lane to which it gives its name, is a brick-nogged, half-timber dovecot. At the foot of the hill on the road leading to the church are the base and shaft of an ancient cross.
Hanbury Hall, (fn. 7) built about 1700, is a fine Queen Anne house of brick with stone dressings, two stories in height, with an attic floor in the roof. William Rudhall, of Henley-in-Arden, was the architect, and the original drawings are still preserved in the house. The entrance front faces south-east, and the plan consists of a central block with two wings projecting at the front and back. The central portion of the entrance front is crowned by a pediment, rising from the wooden cornice, which is continued round the whole building. The lower members of the entablature are of stone. A stone stringcourse divides the elevations externally into two stages, and the large sash windows have architraves and moulded sills of the same material. At the angles are plain stone quoins. The dormer windows have small pediments, and the slopes of the roof are tiled, the flat at the top being lead-covered, and surmounted by a clock-turret. The chief feature of the interior is the hall, which occupies the whole of the ground floor of the centre of the entrance front. At the west end are the stairs, which have carved console spandrel brackets and finely-turned balusters. The walls of the staircase are painted with scenes from the life of Achilles, set in architectural borders, the work of Sir James Thornhill. The ceilings of the hall and dining room are also decorated in the same manner. Over the fireplace of a small study on the west side of the house is an early Jacobean chimney-piece, elaborately carved and divided into three compartments, separated by caryatid figures and crowned by a carved frieze, enriched with fruit, flowers and strapwork, carved consoles supporting the cornice. In the centre panel are the Prince of Wales's feathers, and below each caryatid figure are the thistle, rose, fleur de lis and pear of Worcestershire with Stuart crowns. This is said to have been brought here from Ticknell House, Bewdley, (fn. 8) which was appointed by King James I as a residence for his eldest son Prince Henry. The fact that he was the first Prince of Wales who would be entitled to use the thistle as a badge gives strong support to the tradition. It may also be stated that Ticknell was being dismantled at the time that Hanbury Hall was in building and that a near kinsman of the Vernon who built it was living near Ticknell at the time. A view made in 1732 shows an oblong forecourt, about the width of the frontage of the house, with a bowling-green and formal garden on the west and a stable court on the east. This arrangement was abolished about 1850. In the smaller of two rooms in a detached building to the north-west is some plain Jacobean panelling, probably from the original house which formerly stood upon the site, a portion of the moat of which still remains. In the grounds is a handsome orangery, 72 ft. by 21 ft., with a central pediment carved with fruit and flowers in the style of Grinling Gibbons.
To the south of the parish is the hamlet of Broughton Green, on a branch road from the Droitwich and Alcester road. On this branch road, approached by an avenue of fine old elms, is Mere Hall, (fn. 9) the seat of Col. Edward Hugh Bearcroft, C.B., J.P., a fine half-timber house, facing north, two stories in height, with an attic floor in the roof. The plan is of the central hall type with projecting wings on the east and west and a central newel stair on the south-west. The central part of the house may date in part from the 14th century, but the original arrangement seems to have been largely altered in the early 17th century, to which date belong the row of gabled attic windows on the entrance front and the structure of the wings. On the sill of the attic floor, which projects beyond the wall below and is supported by carved console brackets, is carved in Arabic numerals the date 1337. It is unfortunate that a piece of timber so manifestly renaissance in character should have been selected for this attribution. About 1700 a general repair appears to have been undertaken, when the present entrance porch and the small timber lantern surmounting the roof of the central block were added and the forecourt formed with its inclosing walls, gates and summer-houses. It is probable that the majority of the present sash windows were then substituted for the original openings, though the quasi-Gothic arrangement of their bars belongs to the early 19th century. About this latter period additions were made to the west wing and to the rear of the central block, by which passages were formed on the ground and first floors to secure communication between the two wings without the necessity of passing through the hall, and to give readier access to the bedrooms above it. The interior of the hall retains no features of interest. On either side of the present entrance doorway in the north wall, which dates from the Queen Anne repair, is a range of leaded lights with ovolo-moulded mullions, dating from the early 17th century. In the west wing is the present dining room, which has a fine carved chimney-piece and good wainscoting of the same date. Both appear to have been refixed and to have been brought here from the east wing, as it seems probable that the kitchen was originally on this side of the house and that the lobby which divides the dining room from the hall was made with the intention of 'trapping' the offices from the living rooms at some period in the first half of the 17th century. A sideboard recess in the east wall of the dining room has been taken out of this lobby, which terminates on the north in a small closet contained in the porch-like bay which fills the internal angle made by the wing with the central block and extends to the first floor, being crowned by a gable. That this is of slightly later date than the rebuilding of the front is evident from the fact that the closet on the first floor incloses portions of the moulded attic sill with its supporting console bracket. In the bedroom over the east end of the hall is some good panelling of the late 16th or early 17th century. The east wing has been completely modernized on the ground floor. The front elevation, crowned by its central row of gabled attics and flanked by the large end gables of the wings, presents an appearance of great picturesqueness, from which the Queen Anne entrance porch, with its twisted Corinthian columns and pediment filled by the Bearcroft shield, in nowise detracts. A recess is formed in the east side of the closet projection adjoining the west wing to allow room for an additional light to the range of windows lighting the hall. The remaining elevations present no features of particular interest.
The forecourt is inclosed on the east, north and west by brick walls with garden-houses of the same material at the northern angles, and fine wrought-iron gates and railings in the centre of the northern or entrance side. The garden-houses correspond with each other in design. A cupola of fanciful outline, covered with ornamental tiles, rises from a wood cantilever cornice. The sides which face on the forecourt are open to the cornice, the upper part being filled by a wooden arch with a central turned pendant. Inside are refixed Jacobean benches which have been cut to fit their present position. The whole lay-out is an interesting example of the Queen Anne period. The fine avenue of trees which leads up to the entrance gate is no longer used for the drive.
A little to the south-east of Mere Hall is Broughton Court, a half-timber house of the normal central entrance-hall type, probably of the early 16th century, which has been much altered and pulled about at various subsequent periods. The original stairs have disappeared; the present stairs are of the early 18th century.
The Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Bristol and Birmingham branch of the Midland railway run through the western portion of the parish. (fn. 10)
An Inclosure Act for Hanbury was passed in 1781, (fn. 11) and the award is dated 27 July 1783. There is a parish club at Carter's Hill, which was opened in 1891, and a recreation ground of about 6 acres opened in 1895. The cricket and football clubs occupy part of it and the remainder is for the general use of the parishioners.
Roman coins have been found in the parish near the church, and also modern coins, one a half-crown of Charles I with the Worcester mint mark. (fn. 12)
The following place-names occur: Eston Ricardi, (fn. 13) in the 12th century; Stocking, (fn. 14) Goshull, (fn. 15) in the 13th century; Nether Wallynge, (fn. 16) Britmore, Russhe, Syley, Clarydole, Barthhurste, (fn. 17) Morewisend, Reven Innyng, Swancombe, Menske, (fn. 18) Elvyns, (fn. 19) Beart, (fn. 20) and Wawemore, (fn. 21) in the 16th century.
There was perhaps a monastery at Hanbury in the 7th century, when Wulfhere, King of Mercia, who died in 675, (fn. 22) granted 50 'manses' at Hanbury to Abbot Colmannus, who was possibly Abbot of Hanbury. (fn. 23) The only record specifically mentioning this monastery seems to be a grant, preserved in a contemporary text, in the time of Wiglaf, King of Mercia, dated 836, by which the monastery of Hanbury was freed from 'pastu regis, et principium, et ab omni constructione regalis villae, et a difficultate illa, quam nos saxonicè fæstingmen dicimus.' (fn. 24) The monastery was soon after merged in the church of Worcester. (fn. 25) A grant made in the pontificate of Milred and in the reign of Offa of Mercia, i.e. between 757 and 775, by which Abbot Ceolfrith (fn. 26) gave to the church of Worcester 20 manentes at HANBURY which had descended to him from his father Cyneberht (fn. 27) is an earlier reference to this Hanbury. Cyneberht, Ceolfrith's father, had received an estate at Ismere from King Ethelbald of Mercia. (fn. 28) At the date of the Domesday Survey the church of Worcester held Hanbury, where there were 14 hides that paid geld, 2 of which were waste. (fn. 29) Attached to the manor were salt-pits in Droitwich, which rendered 105 'mits' of salt yearly. (fn. 30) In the 12th-century survey of the hundred of Oswaldslow the church still held these 14 hides. (fn. 31) In 1189–90 Richard I freed 34½ acres there from forest exactions. (fn. 32) In 1237–8 the bishop increased his holding by a purchase from Henry son of Geoffrey de Hanbury, (fn. 33) and in 1291 the manor was worth £24 a year. (fn. 34) In 1287 Geoffrey the son of Guy de Hanbury leased to Bishop Giffard a meadow called 'Dole' for five years, and in 1292 the lease was renewed for a further term of five years. (fn. 35) The manor remained with the successive Bishops of Worcester (fn. 36) until the deprivation of Bishop Pates on the accession of Queen Elizabeth. Under an Act of Parliament passed in 1558–9 Queen Elizabeth retained this manor, compensating the see with certain impropriate rectories. (fn. 37)
On 25 April 1590, at the request of Sir Francis Knollys and Sir Thomas Leighton and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir Francis Knollys, the queen granted the manor in fee farm to Robert Cecil, Sir Francis Knollys, jun., and Henry Killigrewe to the use of Sir Francis Knollys, the Treasurer of the Household, with the condition that if Sir Thomas Leighton and Elizabeth paid Sir Francis Knollys £941 within seven years the manor should be theirs. (fn. 38) Sir Thomas had become possessed of the manor before 1594, when he received a grant of timber in the woods of Hanbury for building and repairing the houses there. (fn. 39) He settled the manor on his son Thomas on the occasion of his marriage in 1608–9, (fn. 40) and died on 1 February 1610. (fn. 41) His son Thomas Leighton held the manor (fn. 42) until his death in 1617–18, when he was succeeded by his son Edward. (fn. 43) The latter had livery of the manor of Hanbury in 1631, (fn. 44) and sold it in the same year to Edward Vernon, the eldest son of Richard Vernon, rector of Hanbury. (fn. 45) Edward Vernon suffered at the hands of both parties during the Civil War, (fn. 46) and died in 1666, (fn. 47) being followed by his son Richard Vernon. (fn. 48) On the death of the latter in 1678 (fn. 49) the manor of Hanbury passed to his son Thomas Vernon, (fn. 50) who was a celebrated lawyer, (fn. 51) and 'by his profession added much to the estates of the family.' (fn. 52) He died without issue in February 1721, and left the manor of Hanbury to Bowater Vernon, (fn. 53) eldest son of his first cousin William Vernon of Caldwell, near Kidderminster, who died in 1735, (fn. 54) being succeeded by his son Thomas Vernon. (fn. 55) The latter dying in 1771 (fn. 56) left an only daughter Emma, who married Henry Cecil, first Marquess of Exeter, and died in 1818, when her estates passed to her cousin Thomas Shrawley Vernon, who died in 1825. (fn. 57) Thomas Tayler Vernon, his eldest son, succeeded him, and on his death in 1835 Hanbury passed to his elder son Thomas Bowater Vernon, who died unmarried in 1859. (fn. 58) He was succeeded by his brother Harry Foley Vernon, who represented the county in Parliament for some years, and was created a baronet in 1885. He is now lord of the manor of Hanbury. (fn. 59)
The fee-farm rent of £35 17s. 6d. reserved from the grant of the manor in 1590 was held in 1655 by John Johns and Mary his wife and John Houghton and Sarah his wife, to whom it had perhaps been sold by the Parliamentary trustees. They sold it in that year to Edward Hall, (fn. 60) of whom it was purchased in 1658 by Nicholas Heaton. (fn. 61) It returned to the Crown at the Restoration, and was sold in 1672 by the trustees for the sale of fee-farm rents to Peter Lely, (fn. 62) probably the famous portrait painter.
The Bishops of Worcester had a PARK at Hanbury. The bishop obtained a grant of free warren there in 1255, (fn. 63) and in 1315 Bishop Maidstone ordered that 'certain presumptuous sons, who had impeded and molested the bishop's peaceful possession of his wood in Hanbury, should be denounced as excommunicate within the diocese of Worcester.' (fn. 64) During the early part of the 14th century several commissions were appointed to inquire regarding trespassers in the park or forest of Hanbury, (fn. 65) the park being mentioned for the first time in 1339. (fn. 66)
In 1377 the bishop granted John Webb the custody of the bishop's wood of Hanbury for life at a weekly rent of a bushel of wheat and 1d. (fn. 67) In 1379 and again in 1406 the bishop received a licence to sell his wood to the value of 200 marks. (fn. 68) The park passed to the Crown with the manor in the reign of Elizabeth, and has since belonged to the owners of the manor of Hanbury. (fn. 69)
In 1086 the manor of HOLLOWAY (Haloede, xi cent.; Holewya, xii cent.; Holeweye, xiii and xiv cent.; Hollway, xvi cent.) belonged to the king, who had succeeded the Saxon lord Siward, 'a thegn and kinsman of king Edward' (teinus et cognatus regis E.). (fn. 70) Domesday Book gives a full account of the manor among the king's other property in Herefordshire. With the manor of Feckenham, of which it was originally a member, it rendered at the town of Hereford '18 pounds of pennies at 20 to the ounce.' There were 3 hides, four villeins, one bordar, a reeve, a beadle, with three ploughs, six serfs and bondwomen, a park for wild animals, four salt-pans and one 'hoch' in Droitwich, and one house in Worcester rendering two plough-shares. (fn. 71) Holloway was granted to the abbey of Bordesley by the Empress Maud at its foundation (fn. 72) (1136). Although there is no mention in the charter of a rent reserved on the manor, the abbot rendered £6 3s. for it every year between 1159 and 1221. (fn. 73) In 1233 the abbot and convent obtained a charter from Henry III exempting them from 'giving or carrying litter to Fecham on the coming of the king there,' a service which had been exacted from them 'contrary to their charter' by the king's bailiffs of Feckenham. (fn. 74) By a further charter of Henry III the abbot obtained the custody of the wood of Holloway in the forest of Feckenham. (fn. 75) In 1291 the abbot and convent held at Holloway 3 carucates of land each worth a mark. (fn. 76) In 1323 the abbey leased the manor for eighty years to Henry de Hanbury, (fn. 77) and in 1467–8 granted a rent of 100s. from the manor to Thomas Webb, the grant to be void if the monks celebrated masses for Thomas's soul according to a form prescribed. (fn. 78)
The manor remained with the abbey of Bordesley until the Dissolution, when it was valued at the large sum of £50 1s. 8d. (fn. 79) Being surrendered to the king in 1538, (fn. 80) the manor and grange were in 1545 granted to Thomas Badger, Thomas Fowler and Robert Dyson. (fn. 81) These grantees sold away the manor to various purchasers, (fn. 82) and it became so subdivided that Habington says of it 'I have scarce scene an entyre thynge severed in so many partes.' (fn. 83) The site of the manor seems, however, to have remained with the Dysons. (fn. 84) Robert son of Henry Dyson, by his will dated 25 June 1558, left Great and Little Holloway to his wife Fortune. (fn. 85) He was succeeded by a son Henry, who died in 1561 seised of the reversion, after the death of his mother Fortune, of land in Holloway, and was succeeded by his five sisters. (fn. 86) Another Henry Dyson died in 1597 holding land at Holloway which passed to his son Henry. (fn. 87) The Henry Dyson who was dealing with land in Holloway in 1651 (fn. 88) was probably he who is said by Habington to have been the owner of the site of the manor in his time. (fn. 89) Edward Dyson held land in Holloway in 1654, (fn. 90) and in 1660–1 Henry Dyson made a conveyance of land there. (fn. 91) Other members of this family held land at Holloway until 1692–3. (fn. 92)
The descendants of Thomas Fowler also seem to have retained some interest in Holloway until 1670, when Thomas Fowler was paying a fee-farm rent from the manor. (fn. 93) The Badgers may also have retained some land in the manor, for in 1789 Richard Badger sold the manor of Holloway to Edward Bearcroft. (fn. 94) Nash, writing at the end of the 18th century, states that Holloway then belonged to Henry Cecil in right of his wife Emma Vernon, (fn. 95) but early in the 19th century it was claimed by the Bettesworth family. (fn. 96)
Holloway Grange, formerly part of the manor of Holloway, was sold by Thomas Badger and his co-grantees in 1545 to John Hunt and his wife Agnes. (fn. 97) John was succeeded by his son Henry Hunt, who died in 1581, leaving a son Raphael Hunt, then aged fifteen. (fn. 98) He had livery of the manor in 1588, (fn. 99) and settled it in 1628 on his son Henry, on the occasion of his marriage with Joan daughter of Thomas Cooke the elder of Redmarley Oliver. Raphael died 30 March 1638, (fn. 100) and was succeeded by a son Henry, who died in 1646. (fn. 101) His son and successor Jonathan was also seated at Holloway and died in 1676. (fn. 102) John Hunt was dealing with land in Holloway in 1683–4, (fn. 103) and in 1690 William Hunt of London sold to Thomas Shuckforth all his lands in Hanbury and Bradley, including a house called the Stone House. (fn. 104) This estate was purchased in 1705 of Thomas Shuckforth by Thomas Vernon of Spernall Hall, (fn. 105) and probably became merged in the manor of Hanbury.
The estate afterwards known as the manor of PARKHALL was perhaps 'the land of the parker' excepted from the foundation grant by the Empress Maud to the abbey of Bordesley. (fn. 106) Parkhall belonged to the hereditary keepers of the park of Feckenham until the park was granted by Edward I to his consort Eleanor. Henry atte Park, the hereditary parker, was then removed, and the office was from that time granted at the queen's will. (fn. 107) It is not known when Parkhall became severed from the office of parker of Feckenham, but the separation probably took place about 1376–7, when John Wawe of Bradden (Northants) granted to trustees all his lands and tenements called Parkhall, (fn. 108) and in the same year these trustees gave the estate, which was then said to have been granted to them by King Edward III for that purpose, to the Abbot and convent of Bordesley. (fn. 109) The convent retained this manor until 1538, when it was surrendered by the last abbot to Henry VIII. (fn. 110)
The messuage or tenement called Parkhall was included in the grant of the manor of Holloway to Thomas Badger and his co-feoffees. (fn. 111) They immediately sold it to Henry Gardener. (fn. 112) He was succeeded in 1559 by his son Richard Gardener, (fn. 113) who died in 1595, having settled the manor on his wife Joyce with remainder to his son John. (fn. 114) John Gardener died in 1599, leaving three daughters, Ann, Alice, and Ursula. (fn. 115) Ursula died in 1599–1600, (fn. 116) and John Gardener's lands were divided between his surviving daughters, (fn. 117) Ann wife of James Harley, and Alice, who afterwards married Peter Warburton. (fn. 118)
Before the middle of the 17th century Parkhall had passed to the Hunts of Holloway Grange, having probably been acquired with the manor of Hill Court in Grafton Flyford of the co-heirs of John Gardener in 1616–17. In Habington's time it belonged to Raphael Hunt, (fn. 119) and it seems to have passed to John, a younger son of Raphael, as he is called in the Visitation of 1682 John Hunt of Parkhall, (fn. 120) and was dealing with land in Holloway and Parkhall in 1654 and 1657, (fn. 121) and his son John was also seated at Parkhall. (fn. 122) The latter was perhaps the John Hunt of Parkhall who died in 1721. (fn. 123) Parkhall still belonged to the Hunts at the end of the 18th century, (fn. 124) but all manorial rights, if such ever existed, have long since fallen into abeyance.
The manor of TEMPLE BROUGHTON (Broghton, Temple Brocton, xiv cent.) was probably part of the manor of Hanbury in 1086. It is said to have been granted by Bishop Theulf (1115–23) to Peverell de Beauchamp, (fn. 125) and it was held in the time of Henry II by Peter de Beauchamp. (fn. 126) It seems to have been forfeited about 1170–1 by Walter de Beauchamp, (fn. 127) and remained in the king's hands until 1189 or later. (fn. 128) It was apparently given by Richard I to Peter de Beauchamp, Walter's uncle, (fn. 129) but it was taken from him by King John and given to Hugh Pantulf and Hamo Cocus. (fn. 130) They were apparently in possession in 1220–1, (fn. 131) and according to the Red Book of the Bishopric of Worcester the estate, then consisting of 5 hides, was held in 1299 by the Knights Templars by the gift of Sir Hugh Pantulf. (fn. 132) Sir Hugh's gift had perhaps been made before 1237, when Henry III granted to the Templars 2½ acres of clearing in his forest of Feckenham which William Fitz Robert had held at a rent of 6d. per annum. (fn. 133) This manor was probably granted with the rest of the Templars' possessions in 1312 to the Knights Hospitallers, (fn. 134) for it belonged to them at the time of the Dissolution. It was not valued separately in 1536, but was then included in the Preceptory of Balsall in Warwickshire, of which it was parcel. (fn. 135) The manor was granted in 1554 to John Butler, (fn. 136) and he and his son William sold it in 1571 to Sir John Throckmorton and his wife Margery. (fn. 137) Sir John died in 1580, and was succeeded by his son Francis Throckmorton, (fn. 138) who conspired against Queen Elizabeth, and was executed at Tyburn 10 July 1584. (fn. 139) The manor of Temple Broughton thus forfeited to the Crown was granted in 1586–7 to Edward Heron and John Nicholas. (fn. 140) No further mention of the manor has been found until 1616, when Edmund Bell sold it to George Lench. (fn. 141) The latter was succeeded by William Lench, who sold the manor of Temple Broughton to Mary Stanhope in 1654. (fn. 142) A Thomas Gwynne is mentioned as the owner in 1705, (fn. 143) and also in 1737, when he and William Gwynne conveyed the manor to Lucy Rodd, widow, and Thomas Williams. (fn. 144) By 1754 the manor had passed to Edward Bearcroft, (fn. 145) who died without issue in 1793, and the estates came into the family of his cousin Elizabeth wife of Robert Longcroft. (fn. 146) Her grandson Edward Henry assumed the name Bearcroft in 1822, and died in 1832, when his son Edward succeeded. (fn. 147) On the death of the latter in 1886 the estate passed to his son Colonel Edward Hugh Bearcroft, who is the present owner. (fn. 148)
In 1317 the custody of 'the manor of Broghton' which Thomas de Clinton held for life by grant of Guy de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick was granted by the king, in whose hands the manor was on account of the minority of the earl's heir, to Giles de Beauchamp, to enable him to remain in the king's service. (fn. 149) In the following year commissioners were ordered to make inquiry touching the persons who expelled the escheator's servants from an estate in Temple Broughton and Hanbury (evidently the manor mentioned above, as Thomas de Clinton held it for life). (fn. 150) In 1319–20 the custody of the manor of Temple Broughton was committed to John Spark during the minority of the heir of Guy Earl of Warwick. (fn. 151) It was probably this estate which under the designation of a messuage and a carucate of land in Hanbury was the subject of a suit in 1352 between Sir Baldwin de Frevile and Sir Giles de Beauchamp. (fn. 152) Baldwin asserted that William de Ablinton gave the estate to Maud Devreux and Alexander de Frevile and the heirs of Alexander's body, and claimed it as grandson and heir of Alexander. Giles pleaded that he held the estate of the king's gift for a yearly payment at the Exchequer, and produced his Letters Patent. (fn. 153) The further descent of this estate at Temple Broughton has not been traced.
A tenement called HILL HOUSE, held of the manor of Temple Broughton, belonged from the 16th to the 18th century to a family named Watkins. Thomas Watkins died seised of it in 1587, leaving a son John, (fn. 154) on whose death in 1601 it passed to his son, another John. (fn. 155) Francis Watkins compounded for his estate in Hanbury in 1649. (fn. 156) There are monumental inscriptions to various members of the family in the church of Hanbury; among them one to John Watkins of Hill House, who died in 1708, and another to John Watkins of Hill House, who died in 1721. (fn. 157)
In 1431 Humphrey Stafford held certain land in Hanbury for the service of a quarter of a knight's fee. (fn. 158) This estate, afterwards known as the manor of Hanbury, was forfeited by Humphrey Stafford and granted with the rest of his Worcestershire estates in 1486–7 to John Darrell and John Pimpe. (fn. 159) It then followed the same descent as the manor of Hawkesley in King's Norton (fn. 160) (q.v) until the death of Sir Humphrey Stafford in 1545. (fn. 161) He was then succeeded by a son Humphrey, who with his wife Elizabeth and John Cooper and Margaret his wife conveyed the manor of Hanbury to Sir William Stafford and others. (fn. 162) At the same date Humphrey Stafford conveyed land in Wawemore in Hanbury to Thomas Carwe. (fn. 163)
The Staffords also seem to have held an estate in Hanbury known as the manor of WEBHOWE or WEBBHOUSE. Early in the 16th century Maud Stafford, widow, brought a suit against Thomas Stafford for detaining deeds relating to this manor. (fn. 164) Habington gives the following descent of this estate. It passed from the Webbs or Wybbes (fn. 165) by the marriage of Alice daughter and heir of Thomas Webb with Thomas Jennettes. Thomas and Alice had an only daughter Maud, who married John Stafford, and is evidently Maud the plaintiff in the above-mentioned suit. Her daughter Agnes married Richard Andrews. (fn. 166) The manor of 'Wybbes' was conveyed by Gilbert Andrews in 1580 to William Andrews and John Kemett. (fn. 167) According to Nash it was sold by a member of the Andrews family to Richard Vernon, (fn. 168) and there is an inscription in Hanbury Church to Richard Vernon of Webbhouse, who died in 1660. (fn. 169)
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel 36½ ft. by 17 ft., nave of equal width and 45½ ft. long, north vestry and organ chamber 24½ ft. by 16½ ft., south chapel 21 ft. by 20½ ft., north and south nave aisles, the former 17¾ ft. wide, the latter 20 ft. wide, and a western tower 16 ft. square; all the dimensions being internal.
The earliest part of the fabric is the south arcade, which dates from about 1210, and was probably an insertion in the south wall of an earlier structure. The aisle itself has evidently been rebuilt and widened at a much later period (probably in the 18th century), but portions of the windows date from the 13th and 14th centuries. The north aisle was evidently added in the 14th century, but later rebuilding has probably much increased the original width.
The tower was rebuilt in 1793 (fn. 170) against the west wall of the nave on old foundations, and other work was done at the same time, Thomas Johnson of Worcester being the architect. Since then several restorations have been carried out, and the chancel was rebuilt by Street in 1860, with the addition of the organ chamber and south chapel.
The modern chancel is in the style of the 13th century with the most elaborate details. The east wall is pierced by three lancets with marble shafting and carved foliage capitals. In the south wall are a credence, piscina and three sedilia and an arcade of two bays dividing the chancel from the south or Vernon chapel, which is itself divided by an arcade running north and south.
The chancel arch is modern. The nave is clearstoried and has an arcade of four bays on either side dividing it from the aisles; that on the north has octagonal columns on which are 14th-century capitals designed to fit much larger piers and cut back before the necking.; the arches are pointed and of two chamfered orders. The south arcade has round columns with modern bases. The capitals are moulded 13th-century work except the middle one, which has large fluted scallops; the arches are pointed and chamfered.
The north aisle has four side windows, the easternmost of which has been filled in. Both it and the third window have pointed heads without tracery and some remains of 14th-century stonework. The two remaining windows are square-headed, and at the west end is a blocked pointed doorway. The wall leans outwards and has been strengthened by four large raking buttresses.
In the south wall is a blocked doorway with 14th-century mouldings to the external jambs, and two windows, the eastern of which is probably of the same date and has a pointed head, devoid of tracery, The west window of the aisle has been reconstructed of 13th-century materials, and the internal jambs have shafts with moulded capitals. In the west wall is a doorway below the gallery, and on either side of it a recess. Above is the blocked arch of the former tower with a pointed head of three chamfered orders.
The present tower of three stages is built of red sandstone. The ground floor serves as a porch to the church. The second stage is pierced by a west window of two lights under a pointed head, and the bell-chamber has also pointed windows of two lights. The stair rises in the north-west angle, and the parapet is embattled with corner pinnacles.
The Vernon chapel contains numerous monuments to members of that family. They include memorials of Edward Vernon, 1666, and his wife Eleanor, 1673, Richard Vernon, 1678, John Vernon, 1681, and a large monument to Thomas Vernon, 1721, with a recumbent effigy between two females, all in white marble, and a lofty pediment supported on columns above. It bears a shield of Vernon impaling Keck, Sable a bend ermine between two cotises counterflowered or. On the west wall is a monument to Bowater Vernon, 1735, with a lifesize figure in classic dress by Roubilliac, and a medallion of his second wife Jane Cornwallis. There is also a monument by Chantry to Thomas Tayler Vernon, died 1835. In the chancel on the north wall a tablet commemorates Richard Vernon, for forty-six years parson of Hanbury, died 1627, and his wife Frances (Wylde). At the east of the south aisle is a tablet to Thomas Vernon, 1771.
There are eight bells: the treble and second by Mears, 1819; the third and fourth by Richard Sanders of Bromsgrove, 1720; the fifth by Matthew Bagley, 1678; the sixth, seventh and tenor by J. Rudhall, 1792.
The plate is most massive, of Georgian pattern and gilt. It comprises two very large cups and paten covers, two large almsplates, and four very large flagons, all hall-marked 1721 and inscribed 'E dono Bowater Vernon Arm.'
There is a chapel of ease to the parish church at Woolmere Green, and in 1872 the school at Broughton Green was made suitable for public worship by the addition of a partitioned chancel and wooden bell-turret.
The parish of Hanbury was a peculiar exempt from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon but not of the bishop. (fn. 173) In 1301 the rector received a licence to be absent for study, (fn. 174) and in 1326 Bishop Cobham wrote to the Dean of Wych (Droitwich) 'concerning the public scandal occasioned by W. de Bever, rector of the church of Hanbury, that he makes no residence at his church, but wanders about in London and elsewhere leading a most dissolute life.' (fn. 175) In 1375 another rector of Hanbury was in trouble owing to his way of living. (fn. 176)
One Richard Yate gave two cows, valued in 1549–50 at 12s. each, for the maintenance of certain lamps and lights in the parish church of Hanbury. (fn. 177)
In 1287 Bishop Giffard confirmed the appropriation of certain land in the demesne of Hanbury which Nicholas de Aylesbury, parson of Hanbury, had assigned to build a house for a priest to celebrate the office of the Glorious Virgin. (fn. 178)
The Hanbury parochial charities are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners 7 February 1896, whereby the church lands are continued as a separate charity under the administration of the rector and churchwardens. The remaining charities are divided into the educational branch and the poor branch under the administration of a body of ten trustees, constituted as therein mentioned.
The Charity school founded in or about 1627 by the Rev. Richard Vernon, a former rector, and further endowed by will of Thomas Vernon, and by will of Madam Mary Bearcroft, dated respectively in 1711 and 1714, is endowed with 10 a. or thereabouts in Hanbury let at £12 a year, an annuity of £2 4s. issuing out of a tenement in the chapelry of Stock and Bradley in Fladbury, and an annuity of £1 out of Astwood Farm. The income is applicable under the scheme towards the maintenance of the National schools.
Charity of the said Thomas Vernon for apprenticing, by will 1711, consisting of 19 a. in Dodderhill let at £25 a year and £439 10s. 10d. consols, producing £10 9s. 8d. yearly. The income if not required for apprenticing is applicable towards the outfit of any poor child, technical instruction, or exhibitions for higher education.
Charity of Mrs. Ann Dyson—also mentioned on the church table—consisting of 3 a. known as The Fling, let at £5 5s. a year and £40 consols, producing £1 a year, and the charity known as the Forest Money, or the charity of Sir Miles Fleetwood, founded in or about the year 1672, being an annuity of £6 13s. 4d. issuing out of the Forest Farm, and £60 consols, producing £1 10s. yearly.
The income of the three last-mentioned charities is by the scheme made applicable in the advancement of children attending public elementary schools by means of prizes, payments to encourage continuance at school, and by conditional payments to public elementary schools.
Charity of the said Thomas Vernon, founded by codicil dated in 1720, for clothing and for fuel for the poor, consisting of 84 a. known as Astwood Bank Farm in Feckenham, and a farm at Foster's Green, containing 13 a., of the gross rental of £110 a year.
Charity of Sir John Hanbury—mentioned on the church table—founded by will in or about the year 1639, consisting of an annual payment of £6 10s. by the Merchant Taylors' Company, and a sum of £25 consols, producing 12s. 6d. yearly.
Charity of John Staverton, founded by will dated in 1672, being an annual payment of £4 10s., part of the rent-charge of £20 mentioned below under the church lands, and £25 consols, producing 12s. 6d. yearly.
The income of the poor branch is by the scheme directed to be applied for the benefit of the poor in such way as the trustees should consider most conducive to the formation of provident habits, by donations to hospitals, &c., to coal and clothing clubs, or by contributions towards the provision of nurses and medical aid in sickness.
The church lands.
—In consideration of certain parcels of land being given up to the proprietors of Hanbury Manor, an annuity of £20 was by deed 7 July 1812 secured upon an estate called Beck's Farm, of which £4 10s. and 16s. is applied for the benefit of the poor in respect of the charities of John Staverton and Berrifield mentioned above, the balance of £14 14s. being carried to the churchwardens' accounts.