Worcestershire is reckoned among the middle counties of England: and is bounded on the north by Staffordshire, on the north-west by Shropshire, on the west by Herefordshire, on the east and north-east by Warwickshire, and on the south by the county of Gloucester. The shape of this county is extremely irregular, having upon almost every side small portions detached and insulated by the adjoining counties; and the boundaries form numberless indentures, resembling bays, promontories and penisulas. The principal detached districts are those locally situate in the counties of Gloucester, Warwick and Stafford, the latter county surrounding the town of Dudley, Worcestershire. Without taking into account such separated portions, the length of the county, from about Stourbridge, Worcestershire on the north to Bredon, Worcestershire on the south, is thirty miles; and in breadth from east to west, at its widest part, is about twenty-eight miles. From the numerous abrupt angles which present themselves on the borders of this county, some difficulty has arisen in computing its circumference; it may, however, be stated at two hundred and fifty miles including the projecting points, and exclusive of them at about one hundred and twenty-five: the area of the county is stated by Government to comprise 729 square miles, – which, it is presumed, does not take in those parts before referred to as situated in other counties.
Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.
In the quest to uncover our family history, we turn to written records, the family album and even heirlooms. However, they can often be difficult to interpret and sometimes pose more questions than they answer: Why didn’t my ancestors smile for the camera? Why did great-grandfather wear a beard while his sons were clean-shaven? Why is my great-grandmother holding flowers in this photograph? Drawing on evidence from social history, women’s history, and the histories of photography, art and fashion, and using examples from the lowly as well as the famous, Ruth Symes explores many aspects of ordinary life in the past – from the state of the nation’s teeth, to the legal and economic connotations of wearing a wedding ring and even the business of keeping a dog. This fascinating volume aims to help family historians get to know their elusive ancestors by deciphering the wealth of personal and historical clues contained in photographs, documents and artefacts.
Astley is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.
Near St Peter’s Church are the remains of a priory built in 1088. The priory was founded by Ralph de Todeni who was given the manor of Eastlie (Astley) for his service at the Battle of Hastings. It was an alien Benedictine House, belonging to a parent monastery in Normandy. The prior’s well remains, but is overgrown. To the East of the priory, well-defined earthworks of a medieval village have been found.
St Peter’s church is of possible c12 century origins although its origins may have been based on an existing priory.
There are several memorials within the church to the Winford family.
Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 Astley Parish ceased to be responsible for maintaining the poor in its parish. This responsibility was transferred to Martley Poor Law Union.
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Alvechurch is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.
Other places in the parish include: Barn Green, Ferrill, Ferrill with Hopwood, Green, Yields of Town Green, Lea End, Town, Town Green, and Hopwood and Lea End.
The village has a number of medieval half-timbered buildings, as well as a plethora of Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian buildings.
The church of St Laurence dates back to 1239. It is situated on high ground, and was probably the site of an earlier Mercian church, although nothing remains of the earlier wooden building. Much of the church was rebuilt between 1858 and 1861 by William Butterfield.