A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14, Lichfield. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1990.
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FISHERWICK WITH TAMHORN
Fisherwick, 2,130 a. (861 ha.) in area, is a civil parish without a village, there being no church, school, shop, or public house. (fn. 1) It was formed in 1934 from most of the existing parish of Fisherwick (all but 6 a. of its 1,313 a.), the parish of Tamhorn (793 a.), and a small portion of the parishes of Elford and Wigginton. (fn. 2) Fisherwick and Tamhorn were formerly townships in the ancient parish of St. Michael, Lichfield, though detached from the main part of the parish; Tamhorn had become extra-parochial by the 1830s. (fn. 3) Fisherwick township occupied the northern part of the present civil parish and Tamhorn the southern part. In addition there were once two other settlements, Timmor on the east and Horton in the Hademore area on the west.
On the north and east the river Tame forms the boundary with Elford. Fisherwick brook, a tributary named in 1571 as Throxsall brook, forms part of the boundary with Whittington on the north-west. (fn. 4) Much of the boundary between Fisherwick and Tamhorn followed Brook Leasow, another tributary of the Tame formerly known as Tamhorn brook. (fn. 5) The Keuper Marl underlies the north part of the parish, the Keuper Sandstone the centre, and the Bunter Sandstone the south. There are gravel terraces and alluvium along the Tame; the gravel also extends into the central area, and there has been extensive sand and gravel working in recent years. A band of Boulder Clay runs through the north and west parts of the parish and through Tamhorn. (fn. 6) The ground slopes up from 191 ft. (58 m.) by the Tame at Elford bridge to 250 ft. (76 m.) on the boundary south-west of Hademore; in the north-west corner of the parish it rises steeply above the river to 200 ft. (61 m.) and on the southern boundary it rises to 300 ft. (91 m.).
A site on the gravel terrace by the Tame in the north may have been occupied some time after c. 1900 B.C. during the Neolithic period. (fn. 7) There may have been Iron Age settlement west of Fisherwick Park Farm in the centre of the parish c. 1000 B.C. (fn. 8) An Iron Age site on a terrace by the Tame north of Brook Leasow seems to have been occupied in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.; it is possible that its occupation began in the 4th century B.C. and continued into the 1st century A.D. There was another Iron Age settlement to the south on the opposite side of Brook Leasow. (fn. 9) There may have been two other prehistoric settlements near the river in the southeast. (fn. 10) The possibly Neolithic site in the north was occupied by a Romano-British farmstead in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. There is no trace of a large house; instead the farm seems to have been worked by labourers living in huts. (fn. 11)
Fisherwick and Timmor together formed a township by the late 13th century. (fn. 12) Fisherwick, an Old English name meaning the dwelling (wic) of the fisherman, (fn. 13) does not appear in Domesday Book, but it was the name of a manor by 1167. The medieval hamlet was evidently in the north-west of the township, and the manor house built in the later 16th century stood there. (fn. 14) In 1282 the manor included 10 messuages and 9 cottages, and in 1556 it contained 9 messuages and 3 cottages. (fn. 15) The settlement, still in existence in the late 17th century, had disappeared by 1760, (fn. 16) perhaps as a result of the extension of the park in the late 1750s. In the 1760s and 1770s the hall was rebuilt, the park was greatly improved, and a smaller park was created north-west of the hall; the home farm was rebuilt in the valley south-west of the hall. After the sale of the estate in 1808 the hall was demolished and the parkland was turned into farmland. The outbuildings of the hall became Fisherwick Hall Farm, while Jenny's Lodge farm, later Fisherwick Park farm, was formed on the south side of the main park. Two other farms, Grove and Woodhouse, were created on the north-western part of the estate. (fn. 17)
Timmor in the east of the township existed by 1086. (fn. 18) In the 16th century the name became confused with Tamhorn, with such spellings as Tympehorn and Tymhorne. (fn. 19) The settlement may have been in decay by 1585 when its bridge and highways were in disrepair. (fn. 20) There were at least two houses there in 1635, (fn. 21) but by the later 18th century the name was used only for a notional manor, and the sole surviving farm was Stubby Leas. (fn. 22) The farm took its name from a close of pasture mentioned in the earlier and mid 16th century. (fn. 23) A house there was described in 1584 as lately built. (fn. 24) The present house is a double-pile building of the early 18th century, with extensions of the 19th and 20th centuries. It ceased to be a farmhouse after sand and gravel working began in the area in 1967, and since 1980 it has been occupied as a rest home for the elderly. (fn. 25)
The township of Fisherwick and Timmor had 6 people assessed for the subsidy of 1327, 7 for that of 13323, and 27 for the poll tax of 13801. (fn. 26) For the subsidy of 15245 Fisherwick had 11 people assessed. (fn. 27) The muster roll of 1539 contains 15 names for Fisherwick and 5 for Timmor. (fn. 28) Nine persons in the township were assessed for hearth tax in 1666. (fn. 29) A population of 83 in 1801 had dropped to 73 by 1811, but it had increased, after some fluctuation, to 101 by 1861 and, again with fluctuation, to 129 by 1901. (fn. 30) The population was still 129 in 1911 but had risen to 149 by 1921, dropping to 129 again by 1931. The enlarged parish had a population of 153 in 1951, 138 in 1961, and 119 in 1971 and 1981. (fn. 31) The estimated population in 1987 was 140. (fn. 32)
Tamhorn and Horton formed a township by the late 13th century, with Horton apparently the more important. (fn. 33) Both existed by 1086. (fn. 34) Tamhorn is an Old English name meaning a bend of the Tame or a horn of land by the Tame. (fn. 35) By the later 17th century the settlement consisted only of the manor house, the predecessor of the present Tamhorn Park Farm. (fn. 36) Tamhorn Cottages to the north were built as five dwellings for agricultural labourers between 1851 and 1861. (fn. 37)
Horton is also an Old English name, meaning a settlement on muddy ground. (fn. 38) It was situated on the higher ground in the present Hademore area. (fn. 39) There were evidently five houses in Horton in 1635. (fn. 40) There was still a house there in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 41) It was probably Hademore Farm, now Holly Cottage, a small brick house of that period with an extension of c. 1800. (fn. 42) In the later 19th century the present Hademore Farm was built on the opposite side of the road next to the existing outbuildings of the farm. Bents farm to the west existed by 1841, but the farmhouse was unoccupied in 1881. (fn. 43) In the later 1980s the Bents was a private dwelling.
The township had 12 people assessed for the subsidy of 1327 and 10 for that of 13323. (fn. 44) Only two names appear on the muster roll of 1539, (fn. 45) and only the tenant of Tamhorn manor house was assessed for hearth tax in 1666. (fn. 46) Tamhorn had a population of 10 in 1801 and 5 in 1841. The population was 10 in 1851 and rose to 23 in 1861 after the building of Tamhorn Cottages. Having reached 33 in 1881, it had dropped to 21 by 1891 and 20 by 1901. It was 51 in 1911 and 19 in 1921 and 1931. (fn. 47)
Three roads ran north and east from the settlement at Fisherwick to Elford, crossing the Tame by fords which were described in 1766 as often impassable. (fn. 48) The most northerly ford lay north-east of Fisherwick Hall and was known as Fisherwick ford in the early 16th century. (fn. 49) The second road followed part of an Iron Age track leading to the river. (fn. 50) Its ford was known as Elford Hall ford in the 16th century. In 1600 there was a ferry there, and the crossing was known in 1766 as Elford ford or Elford ferry. (fn. 51) The third and most southerly road ran through Timmor and crossed the Tame by a ford at Elford mill, known as Broad ford in the 13th century. (fn. 52) The road was then known as 'Sropstreteweye', probably meaning the Shrewsbury or Shropshire road. (fn. 53) It continued west from Fisherwick to Lichfield via Huddlesford Lane in Whittington, and in the early 16th century it was part of the route from Leicester to Lichfield. (fn. 54) In 1599 the road was described as difficult, especially in winter. (fn. 55) It still ran through Fisherwick park in 1766, but by then the Leicester-Lichfield route was along the road running east and south of the park to Whittington village. (fn. 56) A bridge at Timmor, described as on the highway between Timmor and Whittington, was mentioned in 1585 and 1616. (fn. 57) A way through Timmor from 'Penecford' to 'Fenneford' was mentioned in the 13th century. The latter ford was evidently in Tamhorn where there was a ford called the Fenny ford in 1399; it was presumably approached along Fennyford Lane in Tamhorn, mentioned in 1456. (fn. 58)
The roads radiating from the former hamlet of Fisherwick ran through Fisherwick park until the later 18th century when they were stopped up under an Act of 1766 as part of Lord Donegall's improvement of the park. In return he built a bridge over the Tame north of Elford mill and assumed responsibility for its maintenance and for the repair of the Whittington road from the bridge as far as Hademore. (fn. 59) Built of pink sandstone, the bridge consists of three arches over the main part of the river and an eight-arch flood section to the west. Also in 1766 Lord Donegall granted the lord of Elford and his servants a right of way through the park in a straight line from the gate where the road from Elford ford entered the park, across to Hademore gate. The right covered pedestrians, horses, and carriages but not carts. (fn. 60) In 1911 H. F. Paget, as lord of Fisherwick, and his eldest son F. E. H. Paget made an agreement with Lichfield rural district council for the maintenance of the Whittington road. The council took over the work of maintenance during the lifetime of the Pagets, who agreed to pay for it; the liability of the owner of the Fisherwick estate to maintain the road was to remain. (fn. 61)
The Coventry Canal, built from the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley in Alrewas under an Act of 1785 and completed in 1788, (fn. 62) enters the parish at Hademore and runs through Tamhorn. Its line is closely followed by the Trent Valley Railway, opened in 1847 to link London and the north-west via Rugby and Stafford. (fn. 63) The railway passes over the ElfordWhittington road at Hademore where there is a level crossing.
A new form of transport caused local excitement in 1910. Claude Grahame-White was twice forced to land his aeroplane in a field by Hademore level crossing during his unsuccessful attempts to win the 10,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail for a flight from London to Manchester in under 24 hours. Like his successful rival Louis Paulhan he also landed in Streethay near Trent Valley station. (fn. 64)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
FISHERWICK was a manor by 1167, presumably held of the bishop of Coventry whose successors were overlords in the 13th century. Assessed with Horton as 1 hide c. 1255, (fn. 65) it remained a member of the bishop's (later the Paget family's) manor of Longdon, being still regarded as such in the early 20th century. (fn. 66) A chief rent of 1 9s. 4d. was due from the Fisherwick estate to the lord of Longdon c. 1760; in 1804 a chief rent of 1 18s. 1d. was due from the freehold part of the estate and 10s. 3d. from the small copyhold portion, which was also subject to a payment of double the rent on death or alienation. (fn. 67)
In 1167 Fisherwick was held by a member of the Durdent family, which had probably been granted it by Bishop Walter Durdent (114959). (fn. 68) Roger Durdent held it by 1176. (fn. 69) In 1203 William Durdent held half a hide in Fisherwick, but it was claimed by his sister Margery, wife of Hugh de Loges, as her inheritance. William acknowledged the right of Hugh and Margery and thereafter held the land as their tenant. He later held of Margery and her son, another Hugh de Loges, for a rent of 15s. William was succeeded by his brother Nicholas, who did homage to the younger Hugh in 1224. In 1236 Hugh de Loges granted to the bishop the custody and homage of Nicholas's heir, a minor, in return for 50s. (fn. 70)
The heir was probably the Roger of Fisherwick who held the manor of the bishop as knight's fee in 12423. (fn. 71) Roger was presumably the Roger Durdent who was alive in 1276 and whose widow Lucy sued his son Richard Durdent for dower in Fisherwick in 1282. (fn. 72) Richard granted the manor for life to his brother Nicholas, (fn. 73) who in 1298 held Fisherwick of the bishop as knight's fee for a rent of 15s. and service at the Longdon court every three weeks. (fn. 74) Nicholas died between 1321 and 1323. (fn. 75)
In 1326 Roger, son of Richard Durdent, and in 1327 John, son of Nicholas Durdent, granted their right in Fisherwick to Roger Hillary. (fn. 76) Roger died in 1356 as Sir Roger Hillary, C.J., and the manor passed to his son, also Sir Roger, whose right was challenged by a John Durdent in or before 1377. (fn. 77) The younger Sir Roger died in 1400, and his widow Margaret held Fisherwick until her death in 1411. (fn. 78) Sir Roger's heirs were the heirs of his sisters Joan and Elizabeth, and Fisherwick passed to Elizabeth's daughter Elizabeth, widow of John, Lord Clinton. (fn. 79) In 1419, however, Robert Cook of Marchington Woodlands, in Hanbury, and his wife Alice, sister and heir of John Durdent, laid claim to Fisherwick. They entered the manor and were accepted by the tenants. The next day they granted it to John Mynors of Uttoxeter, William Mynors, and others, who took possession. Elizabeth challenged the right of John Mynors and the Cooks, and Fisherwick was taken into the king's hands. (fn. 80) In 1421 John and William Mynors quitclaimed the manor to Elizabeth and her trustees, but it was not until 1424 that the Crown ordered the escheator to hand it back to the trustees. (fn. 81) Meanwhile in 1423 Elizabeth died childless. Fisherwick passed to Margaret, the widow of Frederick Tilney of Boston (Lincs.), as one of the granddaughters and coheirs of Sir Roger Hillary's sister Joan. (fn. 82)
Margaret apparently still held the manor in 1440, (fn. 83) but by 1441 it had passed to her son Sir Philip Tilney of Boston, who died in 1453. (fn. 84) On the division of his property in 1455 Fisherwick was assigned to his second son Robert. (fn. 85) Later it passed to Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Philip's son Sir Frederick Tilney of Ashwellthorpe (Norf.). Her first husband was Humphrey Bourchier, killed at the battle of Barnet in 1471, and her second Thomas Howard, created earl of Surrey in 1483 and duke of Norfolk in 1514. She died in 1497. The heir to Fisherwick was her son John Bourchier, Lord Berners, but Howard continued to hold it by the courtesy. A lease of the manor in 1503 was made by both of them. (fn. 86) In 1520 Lord Berners sold the reversion after the death of the duke of Norfolk to John (later Sir John) Skeffington of London, a merchant of the Staple. (fn. 87) In 1521 the duke and Lord Berners granted the manor outright to Skeffington, who gave the duke an annuity of 26. (fn. 88)
Sir John Skeffington died in 1525 with a son William, a minor, as his heir. Fisherwick passed for life to his widow Elizabeth, and in 1527 she and her new husband Sir John Dauncey made a lease of the manor for so long as Dauncey should hold it in right of his wife. He still held it in 1537, but by 1539 he and Elizabeth were divorced and she was taking the profits. (fn. 89) She died in 1549, followed by William Skeffington in 1551; his heir was his son John, who came of age in 1556. (fn. 90) John gave possession of his estates to his son and heir William in 1587 and died at Fisherwick in 1604. (fn. 91) William, who was created a baronet in 1627, died at Fisherwick in 1635 with a son John as his heir. (fn. 92) John, who had been knighted in 1624, had his estates sequestrated in 1643 for raising money for Charles I; he compounded in 1650. (fn. 93) On his death in 1651 he was succeeded by his son William, who died in 1652. (fn. 94) The heir was William's cousin John Skeffington. In 1654 he married Mary, daughter and heir of Sir John Clotworthy, created Viscount Massereene in 1660. Sir John Skeffington succeeded to the viscountcy and a large Irish estate by special remainder on the death of his father-in-law in 1665. He was elected M.P. for Antrim in 1661 and remained active in the affairs of Ulster. He died in 1695. (fn. 95)
Fisherwick then descended with the viscountcy until 1755 when the 5th viscount sold the mortgaged estate to Samuel Swinfen of Swinfen, in Weeford, as trustee of Samuel Hill of Shenstone Park. (fn. 96) On Hill's death in 1758 Fisherwick passed to his nephew, Samuel Egerton of Tatton Park (Ches.), who sold it to Samuel Swinfen in 1759. (fn. 97) Swinfen sold it in 1761 to Arthur Chichester, earl of Donegall. (fn. 98) The earl, created Baron Fisherwick in 1790 and earl of Belfast and marquess of Donegall in 1791, rebuilt the hall and remodelled the park. He died in 1799, and under his will Fisherwick, again heavily mortgaged, passed to a younger son, Lord Spencer Chichester. (fn. 99) He sold it in 1804 to George Stedman, a potato merchant of Spitalfields (Mdx.). Stedman failed to pay the deposit and was declared bankrupt in 1805; his assignees released their interest in 1807. (fn. 100) In 1808 Chichester sold the manorial rights, the hall, and much of the land to R. B. Howard of Ashtead Park (Surr.), lord of Elford. Most of the remainder was bought by Sir Robert Peel of Drayton Bassett. (fn. 101)
Howard died in 1818, having demolished Fisherwick Hall. He was succeeded by his daughter Mary, the wife of F. G. Howard (formerly Upton, d. 1846). (fn. 102) She died in 1877 and left the Elford and Fisherwick estate to H. F. Paget, son of her cousin F. E. Paget, the rector of Elford. In 1919 Paget put the outlying parts of the estate up for sale, including Fisherwick Hall farm and Stubby Leas farm. He was succeeded in 1935 by his son F. E. H. Paget, who in 1936 gave the manor of Fisherwick and other property in the area to Birmingham corporation; the land was mainly in Elford but included a small amount in Fisherwick. The gift was made to promote 'the healthful recreation of the citizens of Birmingham' and to preserve the rural character of the property. (fn. 103) In the later 1980s part of the Fisherwick land was let as a small holding and part was unused woodland. (fn. 104)
In the later 16th century John Skeffington built 'a very proper brick house' at Fisherwick. (fn. 105) He made it over to his son and heir William in 1587, reserving to himself the little parlour and the chamber and little gallery at the lower end of the house, with access to the kitchen and the cellar. (fn. 106) The chamber at the end of the dining room and the 'compas' chamber and square chamber over the hall were mentioned in 1641. (fn. 107) The house was assessed for tax on 30 hearths in 1666; there was also 'an old house in Fisherwick park not inhabited' which was assessed on seven hearths and probably stood in the south of the park. (fn. 108) A view of the main house in the 1680s shows a three-gabled south range with a central lantern tower and a large bow window at the east end; there was evidently a back wing on the west. (fn. 109) Samuel Hill and Samuel Egerton carried out work on the house in 1757 and 1758; Benjamin Wyatt of Weeford and his son William were employed there in 1758. (fn. 110)
The house was rebuilt on the same site for Lord Donegall by Lancelot Brown between c. 1766 and c. 1779. (fn. 111) The original design evidently provided for four ranges forming a court, with fronts of 180 ft. and 150 ft. The north range was not built, and the west range was finished in a reduced form. (fn. 112) The irregular plan of the service corridor behind the main front and the occurrence of two unequal canted bay windows looking into the court suggest that, as in Brown's contemporary rebuilding at Broadlands (Hants), something of the earlier house was retained. (fn. 113) The ashlar-faced south front was 11 bays long and three storeys high, and the composition bore a strong resemblance to Brown's first country house at Croome (Worcs.) of the early 1750s. At its centre there was an irregular Corinthian hexastyle portico, bearing the date 1774. The end bays, which projected like towers on the plan but were roofed in line with the adjacent range, had venetian windows on the ground floor. (fn. 114)
Behind the portico lay the hall, the largest of the nine principal rooms. It had a floor inlaid with black marble, a scagliola chimney piece, marble pilasters around the walls, scagliola statues in niches, and a richly moulded ceiling. To the west was the main dining room and to the east the principal drawing room. The east range included two more drawing rooms, a second dining room, and two libraries. Many of the rooms had marble fireplaces, some had painted walls, and others were hung with silk. Most of the doors were of mahogany, and the lower sashes of the main rooms on the south front were filled with plate glass. (fn. 115) Joseph Rose executed some of the decorative plasterwork, and Joseph Bonomi designed some of the furniture. The ceiling of the principal drawing room incorporated paintings by J. F. Rigaud. (fn. 116)
On the first floor there were nine bedrooms and six dressing rooms, besides the housekeeper's bedroom. The attic storey consisted of 18 bedrooms 'with cemented floors'. The basement included the housekeeper's room, the servants' hall, the kitchen, and other offices. A reservoir at the top of the house fed by an engine supplied water to the rooms requiring it and to water closets on each floor. (fn. 117) West of the house Brown built service and stable courts of two storeys in red brick with ashlar-faced archways. (fn. 118)
There was a park at Fisherwick, enclosed with a pale, by the late 16th century. (fn. 119) Mention was made in 1650 of a little park as well as the main park. (fn. 120) About 1660 Sir John Skeffington planted the main park with trees. A one-year lease of the herbage of the park in 1663 stipulated that the tenant was to take care of the young trees, keep deer and rabbits out of the newly paled ground, and destroy the rabbits already in the park; Sir John agreed to reduce the number of deer to 90. (fn. 121) By the 1680s the trees had 'grown to a magnitude (for so many together) almost beyond belief' and formed two avenues leading from the house and aligned on Whittington and Tamworth churches. (fn. 122) In 1747 the area of the park was 450 a. (fn. 123) Samuel Hill and Samuel Egerton enlarged it in 1757 and 1758, evidently to the north-east, and erected a new pale. (fn. 124) Lancelot Brown appears to have made a survey in 1757. (fn. 125) The area of the park in 1760 was 571 a. Apart from the avenues the main features were then a small lake north-west of the house, formed by damming Fisherwick brook, a large walled kitchen garden north of the lake, and kennels west of the garden. (fn. 126)
The public roads through the park were stopped up under an Act of 1766, (fn. 127) and Brown was then able to carry out landscaping. He removed the avenues and laid out two drives, one to a lodge at Hademore and the other to Tamworth Gate near Stubby Leas. He planted 10,000 trees, including oaks, elms, planes, and firs; in 1779 Lord Donegall received a medal for planting the greatest number of oaks that year, upwards of 25 a. Several clumps were formed, and a boundary plantation enclosing a ride was made along the south and east sides of the park. A new park of 105 a. extending into Whittington parish was created north of the lake; it too was given a plantation with a ride, and an orangery was built on the high ground above the Tame. (fn. 128) The dam supporting the lake was raised so that the lake was lengthened, and towards its west end a five-arched stone bridge was built carrying the approach to the house from Lucas (later Dog Kennel) Lodge on the north-east of the park. Below the dam, on which there was a cascade, a new lake was formed extending to the Tame. On either side of the upper lake there were lawns and shrubberies, partly enclosed by a haha which ran north to the orangery and south to the area by the house; (fn. 129) access to the house from the lawn in front was by a tunnel under the carriage road. On the north side of the lake, adjoining the kitchen garden, was a 'ladies' botanical garden' with a Chinese pavilion. Marquees were often erected near the lower lake 'for rustic entertainments'. Spaniels and otter hounds were kept in the kennels. By 1776 there was a new home farm in the valley at the western edge of the main park with a icehouse to the north-east. A deer cot and barn were built where a circle of trees had stood in the centre of the former south-eastern avenue. Jenny's Lodge, consisting of a pair of lodge houses, was erected at the point where that avenue had met the park boundary. It was intended to build a brick wall round the whole park, but only about a mile of it was completed, on the south-east.
By 1808 a scheme had been prepared by J. B. Papworth for reducing the house to 'a residence on a moderate scale' by the retention of the eastern part only. (fn. 130) It was not carried out, and R. B. Howard had the house demolished. The sale of materials and fittings had begun by the spring of 1814 and culminated in a four-day sale in May 1816. The portico was sold to 'the architect of Lord Anson', and in 1823 it was erected at the George hotel in Walsall, where it remained until the demolition of the hotel in 1934. (fn. 131)
The parks were divided into fields, and there was extensive felling. The boundary plantation and ride in the main park still existed in 1842. The southern end survived as Hademore Belt until the Second World War when most of the timber was cut, the rest being cleared in the late 1940s. The enclosing wall on the south-east still stands, and part of the plantation in the northern park remains. The upper lake was drained, although the earth dam survives. Much of the bed of the lake became woodland, along with much of the silted-up lower lake and the surrounding lawns and shrubberies. (fn. 132) The outbuildings of the hall were converted into Fisherwick Hall Farm; the main approach is along the road from Dog Kennel Lodge, and the stone bridge survives to carry it over Fisherwick brook. The kitchen garden with its gardener's house are part of Woodhouse farm, with the orangery turned into a cowshed. The icehouse was demolished c. 1980. (fn. 133) The eastern lodge house of Jenny's Lodge survives as part of Fisherwick Park Farm, in existence by 1820. (fn. 134) Dog Kennel Lodge too has been incorporated into a dwelling house. Hademore Lodge, which was occupied by an agricultural labourer and his family in 1871, was a ruin by 1881, (fn. 135) and only the gate piers remain. Copes Lodge, which stands on the site of Tamworth Gate on the east side of the park, was evidently built soon after the sale of 1808. (fn. 136)
Fisherwick Hall Farm was bought from the White family c. 1930 by Nathan Buxton, who let it to M. H. Meddings. From 1938 the tenants were Buxton's daughter Jessie and her husband John Leese, who eventually became the owners. Their son Mr. T. E. Leese sold it in 1986 to Mr. J. A. Holgate. (fn. 137) The Home farm, which became Fisherwick Dairy farm, was still part of the Fisherwick estate in 1842 but was later owned by S. L. Seckham of Beacon Place, Lichfield, and Whittington Old Hall (d. 1901) and his son B. T. Seckham (d. 1925). In 1945 it was sold by Alice Seckham to J. E. and P. Bostock, from whom it passed to the Leese family c. 1960. It was sold by Mr. Leese to Robina Properties in 1988. (fn. 138)
In 1086 TIMMOR was a member of the bishop of Chester's manor of Lichfield (later Longdon) and so continued until at least 1739. (fn. 139) It was held of the bishop by Ranulf in 1086. (fn. 140) By 1135 it formed part of 1 knight's fee with Freeford and with Fradswell, in Colwich. (fn. 141) In 1166 William of Timmor held the fee. (fn. 142) He was succeeded by Simon the clerk (also known as le sage and sapiens) of Lichfield, who seems to have ousted William by judicial combat in 11678. (fn. 143) He was dead by 1183. (fn. 144) His heir was his daughter Parnel la sage (also sapiens), who married Godard of Timmor and survived him. (fn. 145) She was still living in 1240 but had been succeeded by their son William of Timmor apparently by 1241. (fn. 146) William was succeeded by his son Hugh between 1263 and 1267. (fn. 147) Hugh died between 1290 and 1293 with a son William as his heir. (fn. 148) William of Timmor was coroner in 1328, but that year the sheriff was ordered to have a replacement elected because William was incapacitated by age. (fn. 149) His son John had succeeded to Timmor by 1341 and probably by 1333. (fn. 150) He is likely to have been the John of Timmor who was a collector of the subsidy in Staffordshire in 1352; he may still have been living in 1373. (fn. 151)
The manor passed into the Heronville family of Wednesbury by the marriage of John of Timmor's daughter Alice to John Heronville. (fn. 152) Their son Henry, who succeeded his father as lord of Wednesbury in 1403, was already lord of Timmor in 1392 and probably by 1379. (fn. 153) He died in 1406 leaving three infant daughters as his heirs, and Timmor passed to his widow Margaret for life. (fn. 154) By 1415 the daughters' guardian was John Leventhorp, a member of the royal household, whose son William married Joan, one of the daughters. (fn. 155) The other two became nuns in 1419, and their shares passed to William and Joan. (fn. 156) William was still alive in 1435, but Joan was the wife of Henry Beaumont by 1439, when she and her new husband were given possession of the manor by the son of the survivor of Henry Heronville's trustees. (fn. 157) Again a widow by 1452, (fn. 158) Joan was succeeded by her son Sir Henry Beaumont, who was himself succeeded in 1471 by his son John, a minor. (fn. 159) In 1499 John leased the manor for 12 years to Thomas Comberford and David Rochford, a Lichfield mercer. (fn. 160) He died in 1502, with three infant daughters as his heirs. (fn. 161) By a partition of the inheritance in 15401 Timmor was allotted to Joan, the eldest daughter, and her husband William Babington. (fn. 162) Their son Anthony had succeeded by 1553 and lived until 1580. (fn. 163) His son Matthew, however, held the manor by 1577, and probably by 1571 when he owed suit at the Longdon court. (fn. 164) In 1578 he conveyed the manor to Samuel Stanley, who granted Anthony an annuity of 20 out of it in 1579. (fn. 165) Stanley conveyed the manor to Peter Rosse (or Roos) in 1581, (fn. 166) and in 1593 Rosse granted it to William Skeffington and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 167) The manor then descended with the manor of Fisherwick, with which it was granted to Birmingham corporation in 1936. (fn. 168)
The Timmor family presumably had a house at Timmor. William Babington was described as of Timmor in 1539, and he and his wife were probably living there by 1532. (fn. 169) Anthony had a house there in the early 1550s. (fn. 170) Samuel Stanley was living at Timmor in 1579. (fn. 171) The manor house was leased in 1581 to Michael Lowe, the son of a Lichfield mercer and the son-in-law of Simon Biddulph, another Lichfield mercer. A member of the Inner Temple and a chief clerk of King's Bench, Lowe divided his time between the Inner Temple and Timmor until his death in 1593 or 1594. (fn. 172) In 1594 William Skeffington leased his manor house and farm called Timmor to Bartholomew Farmer for 10 years. (fn. 173) At the end of the 18th century the site of the house was stated to be a moated site 'on the right side of the road between Whittington and Elford, opposite to Fisherwick Park'. (fn. 174) That site is no longer identifiable.
TAMHORN was a member of the bishop's manor of Lichfield (later Longdon) in 1086. Assessed as 1 hide c. 1255, it continued as a member of Longdon manor until at least the mid 19th century. (fn. 175) A chief rent of 1 8s. 8d. was still payable to the lord of Longdon in 1827. (fn. 176)
In 1086 Tamhorn was held of the bishop by Nigel de Stafford. (fn. 177) A mesne lordship was held in 1166 by Richard de Gresley, probably Nigel's grandson. (fn. 178) It remained in the Gresley family until at least 1421. (fn. 179)
The terre tenant in 1166 was Robert of Tamhorn, (fn. 180) and a man of that name was still active in local administration in 1203. (fn. 181) He was probably succeeded soon afterwards by John of Tamhorn, who held knight's fee in 12423. (fn. 182) John appears to have been succeeded by Thomas of Tamhorn, who was mentioned several times between 1246 and 1279 and was a verderer of Cannock forest in 1262 and 1271. (fn. 183) Thomas's son William, a verderer in 1286, held the fee in Tamhorn in 12845 and was probably the William of Tamhorn living in 1305. (fn. 184) His son William was mentioned from 1306 and was probably the William of Tamhorn who was assessed for tax in 1333. (fn. 185) Thomas, son of William of Tamhorn, was lord of the manor by 1337 (fn. 186) and died between 1347 and 1350. (fn. 187) He divided the manor in his lifetime, granting two thirds to his elder son William and a third to the younger son Thomas. William evidently predeceased his father since the younger Thomas was described as the elder Thomas's heir in 1350. He was still a minor in 1362 but was of age in 1363. (fn. 188) Knighted by 1377, he was M.P. for Staffordshire in that year and 1382 and was sheriff in 1380. (fn. 189) In 1399 he and his wife Alice granted the reversion of the manor, should they have no children, to Sir Adam de Peshale of Weston under Lizard. (fn. 190) Sir Adam granted the reversion to his daughter Margaret and her husband Richard (later Sir Richard) Mutton in 1406, the Tamhorns' interest being then described as a life interest. (fn. 191) Sir Thomas Tamhorn died probably in 1416 or 1417, and Tamhorn passed to the Muttons. (fn. 192)
Sir Richard Mutton died in 1418 and Margaret in 1420; their heir was their son William, who came of age in 1436. (fn. 193) He died in 1495 or 1496, and Tamhorn passed to his son John, who died in 1500, leaving a life interest in the manor to his cousin Joyce Jake. (fn. 194) The Mutton family, which became known as Mytton in the earlier 15th century, had estates elsewhere in Staffordshire, including Weston under Lizard with which Tamhorn descended until 1763. On the division that year of the estates of the earl of Bradford (d. 1762), Tamhorn was assigned to his sister Diana Coote, countess of Mountrath. On her death in 1766 it passed under her will to Lionel Damer, a younger son of Joseph, Baron Milton and later earl of Dorchester, and on Lionel's death in 1807 to his sister Lady Caroline Damer. In 1818 she conveyed the manor in return for an annuity to Lord George Cavendish, the remainder man. (fn. 195) He sold the manor and its 713 a. in 1827 to Robert (from 1830 Sir Robert) Peel. (fn. 196)
Tamhorn then descended with the Peel baronetcy. Tamhorn Park farm was sold in 1921 to W. J. S. Hughes. It later passed to N. F. Budgen, who sold it in 1949 to H. F. Deakin. In 1964 Deakin sold it to Hoveringham Gravels Ltd., but he continued as tenant jointly with his son D. F. Deakin. In 1980 the firm, by then Hoveringham Group Ltd., sold 470 a. to CIN Industrial Investments Ltd. and the farmhouse with 11 a. to Mr. and Mrs. D. V. Adams. An area of 84 a. in the west was acquired by the Ministry of Defence, having for a long time formed part of the danger area of the rifle ranges at Whittington barracks. (fn. 197)
The Tamhorn family presumably had a house at Tamhorn. A house was part of the manor in 1500, (fn. 198) and by the late 16th century it was the home of the Astley family. Walter Astley was Edmund Mytton's bailiff at Tamhorn from c. 1590 and was still living there as bailiff in 1605. (fn. 199) He was presumably the Walter Astley who was tithingman for Tamhorn by 1603 and continued in the office from year to year until at least 1642. (fn. 200) In 1657 the manor house was still held by a Walter Astley, and he or another Walter Astley was assessed on seven hearths there in 1666. (fn. 201) A Walter Astley who died in 1710 conveyed the house in 1690 to his son Matthias, and in 1692 Matthias paid 95 1s. 9d. as six months' rent for the manor. (fn. 202) He was succeeded in 1725 by a younger son Arthur, who died in 1742 or 1743 with an infant son Matthias as his heir. Matthias was succeeded in 1751 by his uncle Christopher Astley, who was already living at Tamhorn and continued there until his death in 1780. (fn. 203) His daughter and heir Mary married her cousin Richard Dyott in 1783. (fn. 204) Dyott went to live at Tamhorn, and although he moved to Freeford in 1784, he renewed his lease of the Tamhorn estate in 1785 and 1807 and continued to farm there. (fn. 205) On his death in 1813 the lease passed to his brother Gen. William Dyott, who moved to Tamhorn from Lichfield in 1815. Although he soon sublet the farm, he retained the house until 1817. (fn. 206) He believed that it was as a result of his persuasion that Peel bought the Tamhorn estate. (fn. 207)
The present house, known as Tamhorn Park Farm, dates from the early 18th century and was built as an L-shaped structure with a south entrance front of five bays. In the mid 18th century it was enlarged by a block which squared off the existing house and projects to the east and south; remains of a dovecot are visible on the west side. A large 17th-century barn stands to the south-west. It was originally timber framed, but the walls have been rebuilt in brick, with the east gable in stone.
In 1298 Horton was held of the bishop by William of Tamhorn, (fn. 210) and it descended with Tamhorn until the earlier 16th century, being described as a manor in 1496. (fn. 211) It was probably the messuage and virgate held of Sir Thomas Tamhorn for life by Henry atte Pole in 141112; by 1500 the manor consisted of two messuages and land in Horton. (fn. 212) In the earlier 15th century Elizabeth Beauchamp, Baroness Bergavenny, had some interest in Horton: in 1426 and from 1433 to 1435 she was presented by the Horton frankpledge for failing to appear at the Longdon court. (fn. 213)
In 1527 John Mytton evidently mortgaged or sold Horton to John Champeneys, from whom it passed to Richard Weston of Brereton, in Rugeley. (fn. 214) Richard's son John held it in 1547. (fn. 215) In 1560 John Weston's son Richard and his wife conveyed two messuages and land in Horton and its neighbourhood to Thomas Allen, and in 1563 Allen sold two capital messuages in Horton to John Chatterton of Lichfield. (fn. 216) The Chatterton family was living in Horton by 1502. (fn. 217) John's father William was bailiff to John Mytton, who leased Horton to him. John Chatterton was living there by 1539, and he was bailiff at Tamhorn to Mytton's grandson and heir Edward Mytton and then to Edward's son John until they quarrelled. (fn. 218) John Chatterton granted a moiety of Horton to his son Humphrey 'for his preferment in marriage'. In 1589 Humphrey leased the moiety, consisting of a capital messuage and land, to John Skeffington, lord of Fisherwick, for six years; at the same time Humphrey and his wife, with John Chatterton and his wife, mortgaged the house and land to Skeffington's son William. (fn. 219) In 1650 the Skeffington estate included a capital messuage and land in Horton. (fn. 220) The manor of Horton descended with Fisherwick and was included in F. E. H. Paget's gift to Birmingham corporation in 1936. (fn. 221)
The great and small tithes of Fisherwick and Timmor were divided between the prebendaries of Stotfold and Freeford in Lichfield cathedral. In 1694 the small tithes were granted by Bishop Lloyd to the vicar of St. Mary's, Lichfield. In 1842 Stotfold held those of 1,133 a., Freeford's being limited to 130 a. in the Hademore area. The dean and chapter became the appropriators of the Stotfold tithes in 1803. Freeford prebend was suspended under the Cathedrals Act of 1840 and its tithes were appropriated to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In 1842 Stotfold's share was commuted for a rent charge of 284 17s. and Freeford's for one of 42 12s. 6d; the sums included 129 12s. and 11 10s. for the vicar of St. Mary's. (fn. 222) There was a tithe barn in Fisherwick in 1388. (fn. 223) The prebendary of Stotfold also held the tithes of Tamhorn and Horton. By the mid 17th century he received a customary modus of 1 6s. 8d. for Tamhorn, although the tithes were stated to be worth 12 a year; the modus was still paid in 1827. (fn. 224) For Horton the lord of Fisherwick was paying him a modus of 4 c. 1760. (fn. 225)
Parnel, the lady of Timmor, gave land there to Merevale abbey (Warws.), and in 1240 her son William confirmed the gift. (fn. 226) In 1532 the abbey granted an 80-year lease of its lands in Timmor to William Babington and his wife Mary; it was stipulated that the Babingtons had first to mark out the bounds. (fn. 227) In 1553 the estate, which included 6 a. of meadow, was sold by the Crown to two speculators. Three days later they resold it to Anthony Babington, lord of Timmor. (fn. 228)
By 1383 land in Timmor had been given for the maintenance of a light before a statue of Our Lady in Elford church. The land was known by then as St. Mary Hay. (fn. 229) After the abolition of such lights in 1545 the rent of 3s. 4d. was spent on the general needs of Elford church, but in 1549 the Crown sold the land, described as a close of pasture, to three speculators. (fn. 230) In 1594 it was owned by Robert Stamford of Perry Hall in Handsworth, who then agreed to sell it to William Skeffington of Fisherwick. (fn. 231)
The Iron Age settlements on the east side of the parish had hedged and ditched fields and specialized in livestock farming. The open land to the west was probably used for rough grazing, forestry, and temporary cultivation. (fn. 232) The Romano-British farmstead in the north also specialized in stock farming. (fn. 233)
Fisherwick does not appear in Domesday Book, but Timmor had land for one ploughteam in 1086 and Tamhorn land for four. (fn. 234) Assarting was in progress by the late 13th century. 'New land' in the area in 1298 included 3 a. held by Nicholas Durdent, the lord of Fisherwick. (fn. 235) In 1306 there was land in Fisherwick called the Stockyng, a name suggesting an area of cleared woodland. (fn. 236)
The fields of Fisherwick were mentioned in 1306, and that year a quitclaim was made of nine selions in the Stockyng. (fn. 237) Grazing in the fallow fields of Fisherwick was mentioned in 1561. (fn. 238) There were probably two open fields on the south side of the park. In 1589 Fisherwick field there was described as lately turned into pasture and Tithe Barn field adjoining it on the west was described as pasture lately divided into two. (fn. 239) In Timmor the fallow and the sown fields were mentioned in the early 15th century. (fn. 240) Hademore field, one of the open fields of Whittington, evidently extended into Horton. In 1589 Humphrey Chatterton's Horton estate included 300 a. in the field. (fn. 241) In 1635 land called Horton Hademore was part of Sir William Skeffington's demesne, and in the 1640s what were called Hademore fields were part of his Horton estate. (fn. 242) In the 1840s Hademore farm had two fields called Tamhorn field and Lower Tamhorn field; they adjoined each other on the Fisherwick side of the boundary with Tamhorn and may once have been part of an open field, perhaps shared by Horton and Tamhorn. (fn. 243)
Inclosure of both arable and pasture was in progress in the later Middle Ages. In the late 14th century plots of land in the township of Fisherwick and Timmor were being held in severalty when they should have been common every third year. (fn. 244) Similarly in 1414 a croft in the township of Tamhorn and Horton was being held in severalty instead of being common and fallow every third year. (fn. 245) Land in Horton called the Bents should have been common from Michaelmas to Candlemas but was held in severalty in 1419. (fn. 246) In 1420 and 1421 the lord of Timmor was presented for holding a pasture called Dodsmore inclosed at all times of the year whereas by custom it should have been open from Michaelmas to Lady Day. (fn. 247) In 1455 Richard Libbere of Timmor was presented for holding a field there in severalty which should have lain open that year. (fn. 248) A presentment was made in 1513 of the inclosure of common at Tymhey in Tamhorn. (fn. 249) In the middle of the 16th century a group from Fisherwick broke into nine closes belonging to Anthony Babington, the lord of Timmor, and pastured their cattle there. (fn. 250)
The process of inclosure was probably by then connected with the growth of sheep farming. In 1561 the Longdon court fixed the stint for sheep on the waste and fallow fields of Fisherwick at 20. (fn. 251) Stock farming and dairy farming were evidently important in the 17th century. The security given by Sir John Skeffington for his debts in 1641 included 8 oxen worth 50, 20 milch cows worth 80, 18 calves worth 36, 28 bullocks and heifers worth 98, and 174 sheep worth 73. (fn. 252) A John Smith had a dairy farm at Timmor at his death in 1675. There were 24 head of cattle worth 50, and his goods included churns, milk pans, butter pots, and cheese-making equipment. He was also growing blendcorn (mixed wheat and rye). (fn. 253) His farm was probably Stubby Leas, the only farm in that part of Fisherwick township in 1760. There were then two other farms in the township, the home farm attached to the hall and Hademore farm. (fn. 254) In 1753 there were horses, cattle, and sheep on the 111-a. home farm, with a herdsman paid 14 a year. (fn. 255)
Lord Donegall was a keen farmer. A new home farm had been built in the valley south-west of the hall by 1776 when Lancelot Brown contracted to build a barn there. The buildings enclose a large courtyard with the house in the north-west corner; the barn in the main eastwest range has pediments over the central doorways. Lord Donegall had apartments fitted up at the farm in which he normally breakfasted when at Fisherwick in the summer. He bred Longhorns and oxen on the farm and kept horses in the park. (fn. 256) In 1804 the stock at the farm included 30 dairy cows, Leicester sheep, and some 50 horses, among them racehorses. (fn. 257)
By 1842 there were eight farms in Fisherwick, five of them part of the Fisherwick estate. The home farm, known as Dairy farm by 1841, covered 112 a. and Stubby Leas 319 a.; Hademore farm, owned by Sir Robert Peel, covered 118 a. (fn. 258) New farms had been created after the break-up of the Fisherwick estate. Jenny's Lodge farm had been formed out of much of the parkland by 1820, with one of Brown's lodge houses as part of the two-storey brick farmhouse; it was 187 a. in extent in 1842 and belonged to Sir Robert Peel. The name still in use in 1861, had been changed to Fisherwick Park farm by 1870, when the farm was advertised for letting as a 229-a. turnip and sheep farm. In 1881 it had a steam threshing machine. (fn. 259) The outbuildings of the hall had by 1834 been converted into the buildings of a farm known as Old Hall farm by 1842 and Fisherwick Hall farm by 1871; it too covered part of the former park and was 245 a. in extent in 1842. (fn. 260) By 1834 there was a farm straddling the northwestern boundary of the township, with 42 a. in Whittington in 1837 and 86 a. in Fisherwick in 1842; centring on an 18th-century house on the Fisherwick side of the boundary, it was known as Grove farm by 1861. (fn. 261) By 1842 the area of the former kitchen garden and botanical garden, together with adjoining land and the gardener's house, was occupied as a 12-a. holding, known as Woodhouse farm by 1861. (fn. 262) Bents farm in the south-west corner of the township existed by 1841; it belonged to Charles Neville and was 11 a. in area. It was offered for sale in 1877, and in 1881 the house was unoccupied. (fn. 263) The chief crops of the township by the later 1860s were turnips and barley. (fn. 264)
About 1680 Walter Astley, the tenant of Tamhorn, was noted for his system of under-draining which used trenches lined with pebbles, filled with faggots, and covered with soil. (fn. 265) Richard Dyott, tenant from 1783, became noted for his cultivation of turnips and barley at Tamhorn; he also grew oats and wheat. He sheared 463 sheep there in 1792 and had a flock of 538 in 1813. He also kept cattle and pigs. (fn. 266) In 1822 the tenant, John Holmes, was growing barley, wheat, and oats; turnips, cabbages, and peas were mentioned as well in 1827. (fn. 267) In 1828 he put up for sale Leicester sheep, cattle including dairy cows, pigs, and bloodstock; the implements for sale included a six horse-power threshing machine which had been in constant use for fifteen years. (fn. 268) The farm was greatly improved in the late 1840s by drainage schemes carried out by Sir Robert Peel. (fn. 269) It was advertised for letting in 1862 as a turnip and sheep farm. (fn. 270) Stock offered for sale in 1892 consisted of 695 Shropshire sheep, 89 beasts, and 73 Tamworth pigs. (fn. 271) When the farm was sold in 1980 the main crop was barley but some wheat and oats were also grown; only 8 a. were under grass. (fn. 272)
Farming in the north-east part of the parish was curtailed by the sand and gravel working which began in 1967. (fn. 273) In 1984 five holdings were officially recorded for the parish, together covering 383 ha. (944 a.). One was involved in general cropping, another concentrated on cereals, and a third specialized in pigs and poultry, mainly turkeys; the other two holdings were farmed part-time. The chief crops were barley (178.2 ha.), wheat (99.7 ha.), and sugar beet (40.6 ha.). (fn. 274)
Meadowland along the Tame was recorded from the 13th century. (fn. 275) There were several dole meadows. Town meadow, mentioned in 1600 and 1753, lay in the north-east of Fisherwick. (fn. 276) Goodman's meadow in Timmor south of Elford mill was recorded from 1571 and was shared by Timmor and Whittington. (fn. 277) It was still an open meadow in 1823, but by 1842 it belonged to the overseers of Elford and F. G. Howard, owner of the Fisherwick estate, and was leased to the tenant of Stubby Leas farm. (fn. 278) Dodsmore meadow, mentioned from the 15th century, was common to Timmor, Tamhorn, and Whittington. (fn. 279) Horton too probably had a share, but by the late 16th century Horton Dodsmore, also known as Horton meadow, was held in severalty. (fn. 280) Dodsmore survived as a dole meadow into the 20th century. In 1917 there were 16 doles, of which 6 belonged to Hademore farm, 5 to the Green farm in Whittington, 1 to Tamhorn Park farm, 2 to Fisherwick Hall farm, and 1 to Manor farm in Harlaston. (fn. 281) In 1753 the Tamhorn estate had a dole in Upper Meadow on the Fisherwick estate. (fn. 282)
Hunting, shooting, and fishing.
In 1344 Roger Hillary was granted free warren in his demesne lands, including Fisherwick and Horton. (fn. 283) In 1402 a group of men were accused of breaking into the warren at Fisherwick and taking hares, rabbits, pheasants, and partridges. (fn. 284)
In 1311 the lords of Hints, Freeford, Timmor, and Fisherwick quitclaimed to William of Tamhorn all rights in his wood called Tamhorn wood. The transaction was subject to an agreement by which William granted the lord of Freeford right of estover. It was also recognized that both had hunting rights in the wood and that William had the right to inclose the wood provided that wild animals could pass through. (fn. 285) In 1405 Sir Adam de Peshale sued the rector of Elford for breaking into his park at Tamhorn and cutting timber there. (fn. 286) Tamhorn park, 87 a. in area in 1763 and 98 a. in 1798, was known as Park wood in 1827 when it covered just over 97 a. in the Tamhorn portion of Hopwas Hays wood. (fn. 287) There was 'a vast quantity of pheasants' on the Tamhorn estate at the beginning of the 19th century, and Richard Dyott had a keeper there. (fn. 288) When Gen. Dyott left Tamhorn in 1817, he retained the shooting rights and often returned to shoot. In September 1824 Robert Peel and his brother William were the general's guests for a day's shooting at Tamhorn. (fn. 289) In 1824 John Holmes, the tenant, sent the general an estimate of damage done to his crops by game amounting to 293 8s. 8d.; he added that he said 'nothing for the loss of straw nor of the injury the land is sustaining by being fruitless'. (fn. 290) Peel too retained the shooting rights when he leased the estate. (fn. 291) The 71 a. of woodland on Tamhorn Park farm in 1918 formed a sporting estate; 59 a. lay in Tamhorn wood. (fn. 292)
As the name Fisherwick indicates, the fishing of the Tame was a feature of the life of the area from early times. Nicholas the fisher had land at Timmor in the earlier 13th century, and Henry the fisher lived at Fisherwick in the latter part of the century. (fn. 293) The manors of Fisherwick and Timmor each had a fishery attached. (fn. 294) In the earlier 13th century Parnel, the lady of Timmor, and Sir William Vernon of Harlaston, in Clifton Campville, acknowledged each other's fishing rights in the Tame between St. Edith's holm in Wigginton, in Tamworth, and Timmor mill. (fn. 295) In 1600 William Skeffington of Fisherwick and Sir John Bowes of Elford were disputing fishing and riparian rights. The matter was settled by arbitrators, who awarded to each fishing rights in separate stretches of the river; each was also given the right to water cattle and to fence his bank. (fn. 296) About 1760 the Fisherwick estate had an upper and a lower fishery, the first of which was leased out. (fn. 297) The sale of the estate to R. B. Howard in 1808 included fishing rights in the Tame. (fn. 298)
The part of the river adjoining Tamhorn belonged to the manors of Comberford and Wigginton, in Tamworth, which were sold by the marquess of Bath to the earl of Donegall in 1790 and were included in the sale to R. B. Howard. Fishing rights in the Tamhorn side of the river were claimed by Lionel Damer as lord of Tamhorn and by Christopher Astley and Richard Dyott, his successive tenants there. Dyott also paid rent for the fishing to Lord Bath and his successors, but in 1810 he sought to establish his claim. His succesor, Gen. Dyott, fished an arm of the river on the Tamhorn side in 1814, and Howard took the matter to law. It was decided that the general had the right to fish the arm but no other part of the river. He duly took a lease of the fishing from Howard. Sir Robert Peel, however, revived the claim to fish the Tamhorn side. (fn. 299)
F. E. H. Paget's gift of the Elford and Fisherwick estate to Birmingham corporation in 1936 included fisheries in the Tame from Alder mill to Elford bridge, from the bridge to the confluence with Fisherwick brook, and from the confluence to Williford in Whittington. (fn. 300)
Fisherwick manor included a water mill in 1282. (fn. 301) A mill was still in use at Fisherwick in 1753, but it did not survive the subsequent improvements to the park. (fn. 302) There was a mill at Timmor in the earlier 13th century when Parnel, lady of Timmor, granted it to Sir William Vernon; it probably stood upstream from Elford mill. (fn. 303) Tamhorn manor included a water mill in 1686. (fn. 304)
There was extensive salt working by the Iron Age settlers in the area. The salt produced seems to have been transported over considerable distances. (fn. 305)
Fisherwick manor included a fulling mill in 1282. (fn. 306) A charcoal burner from Tamhorn was buried at Whittington in 1685. (fn. 307) Quarrying was in progress before the later 18th century. Fields called Quarry Hill south of Tamhorn Park Farm were recorded in 1763, and there was a disused quarry there in the early 1880s. (fn. 308) There was a quarry in Fisherwick park in 1772 when a Thomas Weston was killed by a fall of marl there, and a stone cutter living at Fisherwick died in 1774. (fn. 309) There was a quarry west of Fisherwick Hall in 1776, probably the disused quarry north of the present Dairy Farm. (fn. 310) A quarry in the south-west corner of the park in 1804 was still in use in 1842. (fn. 311) Sand and gravel working began in 1967 between the Tame and the Elford-Whittington road south of Stubby Leas Farm. By the early 1980s the deposits there had been exhausted and much of the area had been filled in with fuel ash from Lea Hall power station in Rugeley; working had moved to the northern part of the former park. (fn. 312) The explosives storage depot belonging to Imperial Chemical Industries plc in the centre of the park area was opened in 1954. (fn. 313)
By 1293 Fisherwick, Horton, and Tamhorn attended the Longdon manor view of frankpledge, held at Lichfield. (fn. 314) Fisherwick and Timmor together formed one tithing by 1297 and Horton and Timmor another. (fn. 315) By 1327 Fisherwick and Timmor were represented jointly at the view by three tithingmen (two for Fisherwick and one for Timmor by 1391) and Horton and Tamhorn by two (one for each by 1424). (fn. 316) Fisherwick and Timmor were presenting separately by 1468, and Horton and Tamhorn by 1488. (fn. 317) Fisherwick still had two tithingmen in 1586 but only one by 1602. (fn. 318) Timmor and Horton were still presenting in 1621, but by 1625 one man represented Fisherwick, Timmor, and Horton together. The change probably reflected the fact that all three manors had had the same lord for some years. (fn. 319) One tithingman was still elected for all three places jointly in 1642, but by 1713 Fisherwick alone was mentioned. (fn. 320) There was still a tithingman for Tamhorn in 1725. (fn. 321)
By the 14th century each of the two tithings was also a constablewick. (fn. 322) There was a separate constable for Horton in 1418, (fn. 323) and each of the four places had its own constable in the late 16th century. (fn. 324) From the early 17th century, however, the election of a constable for Fisherwick alone is recorded. (fn. 325) A constable was still being appointed at the Longdon court in 1839. (fn. 326)
Parochially Fisherwick and Tamhorn townships were detached parts of St. Michael's, Lichfield. There was one sidesman for Fisherwick, Horton, and Tamhorn by 1637; Tamhorn had its own from 1817. (fn. 329) Tamhorn was still paying church rates in 1833 but was recognized as extra-parochial from the 1830s (fn. 330) and as a civil parish from 1858. (fn. 331) Fisherwick too was recognized as a civil parish in the later 19th century. (fn. 332) Fisherwick was included in Lichfield poor-law union, formed in 1836; Tamhorn was added in 1858. (fn. 333) The two parishes were united as the new civil parish of Fisherwick in 1934. (fn. 334) Having been part of Lichfield rural district, the parish was included in the new Lichfield district in 1974.
Fisherwick and Tamhorn were covered by the Whittington association for the prosecution of felons, formed by 1780 and still in existence in 1828. (fn. 335)
There is no record of any church or chapel at Fisherwick or Tamhorn, but there may have been a graveyard in the 14th century: Robert ad cimiterium was assessed for tax in Fisherwick and Timmor in 1327. (fn. 336) Because of the distance from their parish church of St. Michael, Lichfield, the inhabitants often attended nearer churches. In 1599 William Skeffington of Fisherwick and his household were licensed by the archbishop of Canterbury to attend Elford church instead of St. Michael's because of the distance between Fisherwick and Lichfield, the poor state of the roads, especially in winter, and the bodily infirmity of Skeffington, his wife, and some of the servants. (fn. 337) John Skeffington was married at St. Michael's in 1614, and the family used the church for baptisms and burials in the earlier 17th century. (fn. 338) In the late 18th century Lord Donegall had an ornamented pew at Whittington church, although he built a mausoleum at St. Michael's; the pew evidently passed with the Fisherwick estate to R. B. Howard. (fn. 339) Baptisms and burials of many other families from Fisherwick are recorded at Whittington from the 1680s. (fn. 340) The Astleys of Tamhorn were normally baptized and buried at Whittington in the later 17th and the 18th century, but there was a pew belonging to the Tamhorn estate in St. Michael's in 1827. (fn. 341) In the 1880s it was stated that the inhabitants of Fisherwick attended the churches at Whittington and Elford. (fn. 342) Officially Fisherwick remained part of St. Michael's until 1967 when it was transferred to Whittington ecclesiastical parish. At the same time Tamhorn, extra-parochial since the 1830s, was added to Whittington. (fn. 343)
Sir John Skeffington, who succeeded to Fisherwick manor in 1652 and died in 1695, was described in the early 1660s as 'a rigid Presbyterian his whole alliance Presbyterian'. (fn. 344) In 1672 the house of William Palmer of Fisherwick was licensed for Presbyterian teaching, (fn. 345) and in 1693 Fisherwick Hall was included in a list of houses licensed for dissenting worship. (fn. 346) Robert Travers, the Presbyterian minister for the Lichfield area, baptized a child at Fisherwick in 1701. (fn. 347)
There is no record of any educational establishment in Fisherwick or Tamhorn. By the late 1880s children from the area attended schools at Whittington and Elford. (fn. 348)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.