A History of the County of Worcester: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1913.
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Cruch (xiii cent.); la Crouche (xiv cent.); Croyche, Crouch next le Wich (xvi cent.); Crutch alias St. James (xvii cent.).
Crutch probably became extra-parochial in 1178, when the tithes were assigned to the nuns of Westwood in exchange for their claim on the church of Dodderhill, (fn. 1) and remained so until 1857, when it was formed into a civil parish. (fn. 2) It is a small parish, having an area of only 327 acres, with population of 4 in 1901. The soil and subsoil are strong clay marl, and agriculture is the only industry. A road from Droitwich passes through Crutch on its way to Grafton Manor, Upton Warren and Elmbridge. Crutch Hill is over 200 ft. above the ordnance datum, and is said to have been a camp, but the traces, if any, of intrenchment are now very faint. The parish is watered by the Capel or Chapel Ditch and another small tributary of the Salwarpe.
There is no church and only one farm-house, known as Crutch Farm, which stands near the site of the ancient manor-house. All trace of this manor-house has now disappeared; it is said to have stood on the top of some rising ground immediately to the southwest of the present building and adjoining the road known as Crutch Lane. A considerable indentation of the ground by the roadside may indicate a moat, though no return line can now be distinguished, and it may be the remains of a marl-pit. The farm-house is apparently a building of the late 17th century, though much modernized. The materials are red brick, with a tiled roof.
CRUTCH was no doubt included in the manor of Dodderhill in 1086, and so remained until the time of Henry II, when Osbern Fitz Hugh and Eustacia de Say, his mother, granted it to the nunnery at Westwood, (fn. 3) their gift being confirmed by Edward I and other later kings. (fn. 4) In 1535 the manor and chapel were valued at £7 6s. 8d. (fn. 5) The manor having passed at the Dissolution to the king, he sold it in 1538 (fn. 6) to Robert Acton and his son Charles. It passed with Elmley Lovett to the four daughters and co-heirs of Sir John Acton, Elizabeth wife of Henry Townsend, Anne wife of Walter Colles, Helen wife of Thomas Thornburgh, and Penelope wife of John Lench. (fn. 7) As in the case of Elmley Lovett the descent after this date becomes obscure. There is no further record of its ownership until 1765, when it belonged to Robert Cliffe. (fn. 8) About three years later he sold it to Mr. Vaughan Jefferies, a surgeon of Worcester. (fn. 9) By the beginning of the 19th century it seems to have been divided into five parts, one of which was conveyed by Thomas Philpott and Mary his wife to Humphrey Philpott in 1803. (fn. 10)
In 1850 the Rev. H. Douglas settled part of the manor (fn. 11) on the Rev. W. W. Douglas on his marriage. The latter purchased another portion (fn. 12) from the Rev. H. T. Philpott in 1879. (fn. 13) The rest of the manor was held in 1872 by R. A. Douglas Gresley, who still held it at his death in 1885. (fn. 14) The whole was purchased of these owners in February and April 1885 by John Corbett, (fn. 15) on whose death in 1901 it passed to his brother Thomas Corbett. He died in 1906, (fn. 16) and the manor was sold by his trustees in March 1909 to Mr. Edward Partington of Westwood, (fn. 17) who now owns it.
The date at which the chapel of Crutch was built is not known, but it was certainly before 1335, when Richard de Aston bequeathed 2d. to each of the altars of the Blessed Virgin and St. Katherine in 'la Crouche.' (fn. 18) The chapel was dedicated in honour of St. James, and was numbered among the possessions of Westwood Priory at the Dissolution. (fn. 19) It was granted with the manor to Robert and Charles Acton in 1538. (fn. 20) It descended with the manor until 1621, (fn. 21) but is not mentioned, and was probably disused, after that date.
There are no endowed charities.