A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1913.
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Pendock is a parish containing 1,145 acres, with a detached part to the south-west. It is bounded on the south and east by an unnamed stream, a tributary of the Severn. This stream is crossed at Horse Bridge by the high road from Ledbury to Tewkesbury, which passes north-west through the parish past Prior's Court to Sledge Green, a district on the north-west border of the parish. (fn. 1) The church and rectory lie back from this road. A branch road from the Ledbury high road runs past the rectory westward to the detached part of Pendock where the village of Pendock is situated. The church is approached by a footpath and stands in an isolated position, the only building near being a farm a short distance to the north-east. The rectory is about a quarter of a mile to the north-west. On the south side of the church is a steep descent, and on the west connecting with the declivity thus formed is an artificial fosse of some size.
In the village of Pendock at Cromer Green are the schools and a Wesleyan Methodist chapel. A road leads north-west from the village to Portway. To the east is Cleeve House, where there is a moat. Frogmore is a district in the south of the detached part of Pendock.
Pendock Moor is a small piece of rough grassland in the north of the main part of Pendock; to the west of it is a moat, but no building remains. In 1905 the parish contained 223 acres of arable land, 526 of permanent grass, and 18 of woodland. (fn. 2) The soil is mixed and the subsoil Keuper Marl, producing crops of wheat, barley and beans. The inclosure award for the parish is dated 1843. (fn. 3) In 1882 part of Pendock was transferred to Berrow. (fn. 4)
Roman coins and some indications of buildings have been found near the church. (fn. 5)
Ninth-century place-names are Elfstansbridge, Osric's Pool, Duca's Pit, Rushole, Wenbrook, Hinmere, Ashapalderley, Dinggarston, Wanding Hole. (fn. 6)
Ceolwulf II, King of the Mercians, gave to the monks of Worcester land at Overbury with Conderton and Pendock in 875. (fn. 7) Among the Anglo-Saxon charters in the archives of Worcester Cathedral is one dated 888 whereby King Alfred granted to the priory of Worcester land at Pendock, (fn. 8) and King Edgar in 964 granted the monks freedom from all royal exactions in their manor of PENDOCK. (fn. 9) In 967 Bishop Oswald leased two mansae at Pendock to his servant Hœhstan for three lives. (fn. 10) At the time of the Domesday Survey 2 hides in the manor of Pendock were held by Urse D'Abitot the sheriff, and had formerly been held by Godwine, (fn. 11) apparently of the Bishop of Worcester's manor of Bredon. Another manor of Pendock seems to have been included in the manor of Overbury and was held by the monks of Worcester. (fn. 12) This estate was still annexed to Overbury in 1148. (fn. 13)
The following account given by the monks of the loss of Pendock probably refers to the part held by Urse in 1086. Pendock had been taken by violence from the church of Worcester by the ancestors of a certain Northman, but he restored it to the monastery when his son became a monk there, at the time when Wulfstan (afterwards bishop) was dean. The manor was, however, again taken from them by Rawulf the Sheriff, with the help of William Earl of Hereford. (fn. 14)
Urse's manor of Pendock passed with his other estates to Walter de Beauchamp, (fn. 15) and from him to the Earls of Warwick, (fn. 16) who held this manor as overlords. The overlordship of the Earls of Warwick is last mentioned in 1436. (fn. 17) The connexion of this manor with that of Bredon seems to have been lost at an early date. It was still held of the manor of Bredon in the time of Henry I, (fn. 18) and early in the 13th century William de Beauchamp held it under the Bishop of Worcester, (fn. 19) but after that time the interest of the Bishops of Worcester in the manor seems to have ceased.
Under the Beauchamps the manor of Pendock was held by a family (fn. 20) taking their name from the manor. The brothers Robert and Walter de Pendock appear in 1175–6, (fn. 21) and a certain Robert held the estate about 1182. (fn. 22) Robert de Pendock was holding the manor early in the 13th century, (fn. 23) and the Abbot of Pershore sued him in 1248–9 for arrears of rent. (fn. 24) William de Pendock appeared as a juror in 1264. (fn. 25) In 1290 Robert de Pendock son of John de Hanley presented to the church of Pendock, (fn. 26) but he had previously (before 1275) sold half the manor to the Prior of Little Malvern, who was to hold it of Robert at a rent, (fn. 27) and this grant was confirmed by William de Beauchamp. (fn. 28) The monks of Little Malvern continued to hold this moiety of the manor under the Pendocks until the Dissolution, (fn. 29) and their interest, then represented by a rent of 6s. 3d., was granted in 1554–5 to Henry Russell and Charles Broughton. (fn. 30)
Robert de Pendock retained the other moiety of the manor. He presented to the-church in 1290, (fn. 31) and was perhaps succeeded about that time by Sir Henry de Pendock, who was witness to a charter in 1291. (fn. 32) William son of Henry de Pendock was holding Pendock in 1316, (fn. 33) but the manor afterwards passed to the heirs of Robert de Pendock by his son John. John son of John son of Robert de Pendock died in 1322, leaving a son John, a minor. (fn. 34) John son of William de Pendock held the manor in 1342 and 1346, (fn. 35) and had been succeeded before 1357 by William de Pendock, who presented to the church at that date and in 1369. (fn. 36)
A long gap then occurs in the history of the manor. The heir of John de Pendock was said to be holding it in 1428. (fn. 37) Guy Spencer held the manor in 1431 (fn. 38) and presented to the church in 1452. (fn. 39) John Clapam presented to the church of Pendock in 1461 and Guy Spencer again in 1465, (fn. 40) and in 1493 John Spencer and Elizabeth his wife conveyed land and rent in Pendock and the advowson of the church to Christopher Throckmorton. (fn. 41) This part of the manor then became united to the part held by the D'Abitot family, the descent of which is given below.
The estate at Pendock held in 1086 by the monks of Worcester was confirmed to them by Bishop Simon in 1148. (fn. 42) Subsequently this manor seems to have been held by the Beauchamps as mesne lords between the Bishops of Worcester and the D'Abitots, but this mesne lordship of the Beauchamps is mentioned only twice in the 13th century, (fn. 43) and may have been due to confusion between this part of the manor and that held by the Pendocks, which was certainly held under the Beauchamps. The whole manor of Pendock comprising the two estates was held of the bishopric of Worcester in 1513 and in 1637. (fn. 44)
Geoffrey D'Abitot held half a knight's fee in Pendock early in the 13th century, (fn. 45) and the estate passed with Redmarley D'Abitôt (q.v.) to the Sapy family. (fn. 46) It would seem that the manor passed from the last John Sapy to Sir Richard Dudley, for Habington states that Geoffrey D'Abitot's land at Pendock afterwards passed to R. Dudley, (fn. 47) and in 1373–4 Sir John Sapy settled certain of his possessions on himself for life with remainder to Sir Richard Dudley. (fn. 48) It seems to have been this manor which was sold in 1405 by Walter Toky and Joan his wife as five parts of a messuage and land in Pendock to Thomas Brydges. (fn. 49) The estate was held by Walter and Joan in right of Joan, who may have been the heiress of Sir Richard Dudley. Thomas Brydges evidently settled Pendock upon his issue by his second wife Alice, for in 1431 Giles Brydges, son and heir of Thomas and Alice, was holding the manor. (fn. 50) Giles must have conveyed it before his death, which did not occur until 1466–7, (fn. 51) to his step-brother Edward, for the latter died in 1436–7 holding half the manor of Pendock, a messuage called Morecourt, (fn. 52) and two-fifths of a messuage called Wavepolles in Pendock. (fn. 53) Edward left a daughter Isabel, (fn. 54) who afterwards married John Throckmorton. (fn. 55) He died in 1472 holding an estate in Pendock which passed to his son Christopher, (fn. 56) on whose death in 1513 his son William succeeded. (fn. 57) Thomas son and successor of William (fn. 58) sold the manor in 1571 to Thomas Bartlett. (fn. 59) Thomas died in 1582–3, (fn. 60) leaving the manor and advowson of Pendock to Thomas Bartlett, younger son of his brother Richard, (fn. 61) who sold it in 1590 to Giles Nanfan. (fn. 62) Giles purchased the site of the manor in 1598 from John Beale and Margery his wife and Edward Halliday, (fn. 63) and sold it in 1601 to Giles Parker. (fn. 64) Giles Nanfan died seised of the manor in 1614, (fn. 65) and from that time until 1769 it followed the same descent as Birtsmorton (fn. 66) (q.v.). Pendock was sold in 1769 by Judith daughter and heir of Richard third Earl of Bellamont to Robert Bromley. (fn. 67) Judith Bromley, daughter of William Bromley of Ham Court, married John Martin of Overbury Park, and brought Pendock Manor into the family. (fn. 68) It seems to have passed from John Martin to his nephew Thomas, (fn. 69) and James Thomas Martin, who sold it in 1827 to Samuel Beale, (fn. 70) may have been the son of Thomas. (fn. 71) Samuel Beale had presented to the church in 1810. (fn. 72) He was apparently succeeded by Mary Anne Beale, who married William Symonds of Elsdon. On her death about the middle of the 19th century the estate passed to her son the Rev. William Samuel Symonds, the eminent geologist and author. (fn. 73) He died in 1887, and his daughter Hyacinth wife of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker is now lady of the manor of Pendock.
Richard de Berking, Abbot of Westminster (1222–46), bought a quit-rent of 24s. at Pendock, with two tenants who held their land of the sacrist. This rent remained with the abbey until the Dissolution, when it amounted to 13s. 3½d. It was granted in 1542 to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and is entered among their possessions in 1690 as 'certain concealed lands in Pendock which cannot be discovered, for which the farmer pays out of purse yearly to the church 10s.' (fn. 74)
The chancel and nave appear to date from the middle of the 12th century. New windows were inserted in the 14th and 15th centuries, and at one or other of these periods the chancel arch seems to have been rebuilt, the original jambs being left, and some of the earlier arch stones built into the new work. The west tower is of the 15th century.
The east window of the chancel is of two trefoiled lights, with a quatrefoil in the head. The jambs and arch are of original 14th-century date, but the tracery is modern. In the north wall is a single light, probably of the same period, with a wood lintel for rear arch. The modern vestry is entered by a doorway with a four-centred head. In the south wall is a square-headed window of two lights, also with a wood lintel, the tracery of which is modern. At the south-east is a piscina recess with a head apparently made up of old stones at a comparatively recent period. The bowl, which has a square drain, appears to be part of a late 12th-century pillar piscina. Part of the carved face with interlacing arches is exposed. The jambs of the chancel arch date from the middle of the 12th century and have angle-shafts on the nave side. The arch itself, which is two-centred, appears to have assumed its present form at some period subsequent to the date of the jambs, perhaps in the 14th century, when the majority of the later windows were inserted. At the south-east of the nave is a square projecting turret containing the rood-stair. In the north wall to the west of the north doorway is a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head, rough work, probably of the 15th century. The north doorway is of the original 12th-century date. The opening is square, with a plain tympanum contained within a cheveron-moulded external round-arched order having a pelleted label. The jambs of this order have angle shafts with scalloped capitals and moulded bases. Their abaci are cut back flush. The nail-studded door with its plain band straps is old. The under edge of the tympanum and the jamb of the doorway are cut back for fitting a square wood frame. There are two windows in the south wall, one on either side of the south doorway. The easternmost is of two trefoiled lights and dates from the 14th century. The south-west window is a modern copy of a similar number of lights. The south doorway is quite plain and has a semicircular head. Generally the exterior has quoins and dressings of sandstone. On the south side of the nave are two buttresses probably of the 16th century; the wall here leans over a little.
The tower is of three stages with diagonal buttresses at the western angles. The tower arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, with a moulded string at the springing. The west window of the ground stage has a traceried two-centred head, and is of two cinquefoiled lights. The bell-chamber is lighted by windows of two trefoiled lights, and internally the squinches for a spire may be seen. The intermediate stage is lighted by single square-headed lights. The facing is of large sandstone, and the weathering of an earlier and more steeply pitched nave roof is visible on the east wall. The porch is of timber, probably of the 15th century, with a modern roof.
The nave and chancel roofs are plastered. Both have moulded plates, probably of the 15th century, and at the south-east of the nave roof, which has three moulded tie-beams, the plate is moulded with extra elaboration, as if on account of its contiguity to the demolished rood. Externally the roofs are tiled.
The font is circular, and stands on a base of the same form. The workmanship is rude, and no more can be said of its date than that it belongs to the middle ages. The communion rails, with their balusters and deep-carved top rail, may perhaps be Laudian. There are some pieces of old woodwork in the reading-desk, with linen pattern panels and tracery, and the lower panels of the 15th-century chancel screen are still preserved.
There are four bells: the first and third by Abel Rudhall, 1753 and 1745; the second, a roughlycast bell by an unknown founder dated 1686, some of the letters being black letter smalls; the fourth, originally of 1745, was recast by H. Bond of Burford, 1908. (fn. 75)
The plate includes a cup of porringer shape with the hall mark of 1766. There are also a plate for paten and a large tankard flagon hall-marked 1748, both given by Lord Bellamont, as well as a silver-handled bread knife of 1750.
There was possibly a church at Pendock at the time of the Domesday Survey, for a priest held half a hide of land in the manor of Pendock belonging to the monks of Worcester Priory. (fn. 76) The advowson was annexed to the part of the manor held by the Pendock family. (fn. 77) In 1211 there was an assize to discover whether Geoffrey D'Abitot presented the last parson to the church of Pendock in his own right or on account of the custody of Maud wife of Hugh Bonvalet. Judgement was given in favour of Hugh and Maud and they recovered the presentation. (fn. 78) From this it would seem that Maud must have been a member of the Pendock family.
William de Pendock, who presented to the church in 1357 and 1369, had recovered by law the advowson of the church against the Prior of Little Malvern. (fn. 79) The advowson was sold by John Spencer and Elizabeth his wife to Christopher Throckmorton in 1493, (fn. 80) and from that time has followed the descent of the united manor of Pendock, (fn. 81) the present patron being Lady Hooker.
In 1576–7 a cottage and land at Pendock given for obits in the church were granted to Edward Grimston. (fn. 82)
The church table stated that a pious benefactor gave lands to repair the church and towards the support and maintenance of the poor, comprised in an ancient feoffment, temp. James I. The property now consists of 4 a. in Longdon, 2 r. in Little Wilkin, three cottages and 1 a. in Pendock, and an old schoolroom, producing in the aggregate £14 17s., of which about £2 yearly is distributed among the sick and needy, and the net residue is carried to the churchwardens' account.