Is a parish in the hundred of Stoddesdon – the market town, a small one, is 137 N.W. from London, 33 S.S.E. from Shrewsbury, and 11 E. from Ludlow; situated on the road from the metropolis to the latter town, close to the Southern border of the county abutting upon Worcestershire, and on an eminence rising gradually from the western bank of the river Rea, which is crossed by a neat stone bridge. The country around here is very productive, and its fertility is promoted by the river, and by numerous fine springs that rise in this neighbourhood. The name of the place is said to be derived from its situation, in a district abounding with clay, and from the Saxon word byrig, a town; the adjunct, by which it is distinguished from North Cleobury, is obtained from its ancient possessor, Ralph de Mortimer, who held it at the time of the general survey. The town consists principally of one long street, in which are some good houses, and the mutilated remains of an old cross. The government of the town is vested in a constable, who is annually appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor, William Lacon Childe, Esq. This town is included in the twenty-seventh circuit of the County Court for the recovery of debts not exceeding £20. Formerly this was a place of good trade, having extensive iron works; these have disappeared, and, with the exception of paper, the town is not distinguished by any manufactures. The malting business is carried on by a few individuals; and on the Clee hills, about three miles west, are collieries, producing good coal, but the works have little, or no influence upon the trade of the town.
The parish church of Saint Mary is an ancient structure, with a plain square tower, surmounted by an octagonal spire of wood, and formerly belonged to one of the mitred abbeys. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the lord of the manor; the Rev. Edward George Childe is the present incumbent. There is a chapel each for Methodists and Roman Catholics – the latter attached to Mawley Hall, about a mile to the west, the seat of Sir Edward Blount, Bart. The locality of this hall is very beautiful, and the prospects extensive and pleasing. The endowed school was founded pursuant to the will of Sir William Lacon Childe, knight, dated 1714: and in 1740 the ground was purchased on the buildings are erected: it is a well endowed establishment, and educates upwards of two hundred pupils, of whom forty boys and girls are annually clothed; and a fee is given for apprenticing boys on their leaving the school. The present income (including land) amounts to about £500 per annum: the management is vested in ten trustees: the head master is appointed by W. L. Childe, Esq. as representative of the founder and visitor of the schools. The market is held on Wednesday, and the fairs April 21st, May 2nd, Trinity Monday, and October 27th. The parish contained, in 1831, 1,716 inhabitants, and in 1841, 1,730.
Post Office, William Jefferies, Post Master – Letters from various places East and South, arrive (from Bewdley) every morning at twenty minutes past seven, and are despatched thereto at eighteen minutes past five in the afternoon.
Letters from various places West and North, arrive (from Ludlow) every afternoon at eighteen minutes past fire, and are despatched thereto at twenty minutes past seven in the morning.
Gentry and Clergy.
Blount Sir Edward, Bart. Mawley Hall
Botfield Mrs. Lucy, Hopton Court
Brown the Rev. Henry, St. John’s Parsonage, Doddington
Childe Rev. Edward George, Cleobury Mortimer
Childe William Lacon, Esq. Kinlet Hall
Cocks Rev. Charles Richard Somers, Neen Savage
Crump Thomas, Esq. Chorley
Crump Thomas, jun. Esq. Cleobury Mortimer
Davis Rev. William, Bayton
Green Rev. Thomas, Mawley
Hardwicke Rev. D. D., Milson Rectory
Halliburton Rev. Chas. Corley Rectory
Hayton Rev. John, Cleobury Mortimer
Kemp Rev. Henry, Cleobury Mortimer
Maddison Rev. Charles, St. Hesdon Vicarage
Prest Rev. – Kinlet Vicarage
Reynolds Mrs. Elizabeth. Cleobury Mortimer
Richardson Lieutenant Jno. Cleobury Mortimer
Smith Captain – Holly Waste, Cleobury Mortimer
Wicksted Charles, Esq. Shakenhurst
Williams Rev. Jno. Farlow Parsonage
Woodward Mrs. Sarah, Cleobury Mortimer
Woodward Rev. Thomas, Hopton Rectory
Academies & Schools.
Allday Miss Ann (boarding & day)
Endowed school – Rev. Henry kemp, head master
Infants’ School – Mrs. Tongue, mistress
Hinde William (& clerk of the county court),
Southam Samuel Phillips, (& coroner for the county)
Jones William Lloyd
Ward Chas. (& veterinary surgeon)
Bakers & Flour Dealers.
Griffiths Pete (farrier)
Haynes John ( & ironmongers & china dealer)
Boot & Shoe Makers
Fire, &c. Office Agents.
Birmingham (fire), James Mytton
Crown (life), Edmd Banks Whitcombe
Grocers and Dealers in Sundries
Evans Edwin P
Inns & Public Houses
Bell, James Lane
Crown, Thomas Edwards
Fountain, Elizabeth Williams
Fox, Mary Pitt
King’s Arms, William Bishop
Plough, Joseph Mineall
Red Lion, Thomas Worrall
Swan, George Bridges
Talbot (& posting house, & inland revenue office)
Linen & Woollen Drapers
Beddoe Charles (& dealer in hops)
Dorrell Benjamin (and miller)
Wheeler William (and miller)
Milliners & Dress Makers
Cooper Mary Ann
Nichols Misses – ,
Nott Margaret (straw bonnet maker)
Potter James (and bricklayer)
Surveyors – Land
Dallow William (and road)
Jones William Lloyd
Cook William, high bailiff, clerk to the union, assistant clerk to the magistrates and superintendent registrar of births, deaths and marriages
Cowbrick William, inland revenue officer
Evans Jno. tin-plate worker & ironmonger
Griffiths John, hair dresser
Hall Thos. Lambert & Son, paper makers, Cleobury Mills
Hare Thomas, joiner
Haycox John, seedsman
Hume Benjamin, painter and glazier
Lawley William, millwright
Littler William, saddler
Mantle James, millwright
Napper William, painter and glazier
Palmer Samuel, saddler
Smith John, joiner
Stockell Thomas, watch and clock maker
Wadeley James, beer retailer
Wainwright William, relieving officer
Whetstone William, beer retailer
Whitcombe Edmund Banks, registrar of births, deaths and marriages
Poor Law Union
Workhouse, Cleobury Mortimer
Master – Isaac Read
Matron – Sarah Read
Clerk to the Board of Guardians – Mr. William Cook
Medical officer – Henry Vevers
Relieving Officer – William Wainwright
To Birmingham, the Royal Mail, (from Ludlow) Calls at the Talbot every afternoon at a quarter-past five; goes through Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Dudley.
To Ludlow, the Royal Mail from Birmingham), Calls at the Talbot way morning at a quarter-past seven.
The nearest Stations at present are those at Birmingham and Wolverhampton, both about 27 miles distant; but the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway, when completed will pass near to, or through Ludlow, 11 miles to the west of Cleobury Mortimer.
There is a daily Conveyance to Birmingham, as above stated.
To Ludlow, -Griffiths, Tuesday and Friday, and to Stourport, Monday and Thursday.
Source: Slater’s Directory (Shropshire Section) 1850