Areley Kings is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.

Alternative names: Lower Areley

Other places in the parish include: Dunley.

Church: St. Bartholomew

The register commences with the year 1539.


The manor of Areley Kings was from early times part of the manor of Martley and the rector of Martley still has the right to appoint the rector at Areley Kings. The manor of Areley originated in a fishery at “Ernel” which, with the land belonging to it, was granted by the Empress Matilda to Bordesley Abbey upon its foundation in 1136, and retained until the Dissolution.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine is rumoured to have slept a night at Areley House during the English Civil War.

St Bartholomew’s Parish Church at Areley Kings was founded as a Norman Church, with a continuous history and a partial re-building by the Victorians. The church is probably first mentioned in the preface of the Brut of Laȝamon, who wrote sometime between 1189 and 1207. He describes himself as a priest at Erneleye, at a noble church upon Severn’s bank. He wrote a history of England, partly legendary, partly factual, translating earlier writings from Latin and French. The discovery, during rebuilding, of the base of a Norman font under the nave floor with an inscription containing the name of Layamon, establishes the connection with the writer and shows that a church existed here c. 1200.

The church complex includes a Queen Anne Rectory and medieval timber-framed church house.

Parishes adjacent to Areley Kings

Historical Descriptions of Areley Kings

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

Areley (King’s), a parish in Martley district, Worcester; on the river Severn, ½ a mile SW of Stourport r. station. It contains the hamlet of Dunley; and its post town is Stourport. Acres, 1,449. Real property, £3,659. Pop., 564. Houses, 138. The property is much subdivided. An eminence on which the church is situated commands an extensive prospect. Areley House and Areley Hall are chief residences. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £346. Patron, the Rev. H. J. Hastings. The church is early English, with a Norman doorway. A rude sepulchral monument, inscribed with a quaint rhyming distich, said to be to the memory of Sir Henry Coningsby of Herefordshire, is in the churchyard. Layamon, author of an ancient British history, was a native. Charities, £19.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

ARELEY, KING’S, or Lower Areley (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the union of Martley, Upper division of the hundred of Doddingtree, the HundredHouse and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, ½ a mile (S. W. by W.) from Stourport; containing 423 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1449 acres, whereof two-thirds are arable and the remainder pasture, with the exception of sixty acres of common or waste. It is separated from Stourport by the river Severn, and fully partakes of the beauty of the surrounding district; the general surface is irregular, and the higher grounds are clothed with wood. Across the western boundary of the parish, nearly from north to south, a range of hills or high grounds extends from Stagberry, in the parish of Ribbesford, towards the Abberley hills: from the base of these hills the land generally slopes to the Severn. The living is a rectory, valued in the king’s books at £9, and in the patronage of the Rector of Martley: the tithes have been commuted for £358, and there is a glebe of 41 acres, with a house. The church is situated on a considerable eminence commanding a fine prospect and nearly overhanging the river, which flows through a rich valley at the base. In the burialground is a singular sepulchral monument, of the date of about 1690, supposed to commemorate Sir Harry Coningsby, of Hampton Court, who lived in seclusion in this parish, in consequence of the loss of his only child.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1840

Areley (King’s), a parish in the upper division of the hund. of Doddingtree, union of Martley, county of Worcester; 3½ miles south by east of Bewdley; on the Severn opposite Stourport. Living, a rectory in the archd. and dio. of Worcester; rated at £9; gross income £406. Patron, in 1835, the rector of Martley. The church is a fine Gothic building, and stands on an eminence, from which there is an extensive prospect. In the burial ground there is a rude sepulchral monument bearing a quaint rhyming distich, importing that a person named Sir Harry was buried there. It is not certainly known who Sir Harry was; but tradition relates that he was a Sir Henry Coningsby of Herefordshire, who was driven into seclusion here by the loss of his only child, who was drowned by falling from his arms, as he held her at a window, into a moat. Charities connected with this parish produce £19 yearly. Layamon, author of a history of the British from Brute to Cadwallader, who states himself to have been a priest residing at Erenlege on the Severn, is said to have been born in this parish. Pop., in 1801, 377; in 1831, 372. Houses 83. Acres 1,390. A. P. £2,554. Poor rates, in 1837, £233.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1840.

Worcestershire Delineated C. J. Greenwood 1822

Areley-Kings – a parish in Doddingtree hundred, upper division, 4½ miles S. from Bewdley, and 122 from London; containing 76 inhabited houses; the church, which stands upon a hill, is a neat gothic structure, and has lately been tastefully repaired in that style: on the north side is a curious Saxon doorway, now built up: under the shade of 4 elms planted in the church-yard, is a curious tomb, supposed to be that of Sir Henry Coningsby; a walnut-tree was planted over the grave, which has lately been cut down. The living is a rectory; Rev. George Hulme, incumbent; instituted 1793; patron, the Rector of Martley. Population, 1801, 377 – 1811, 392 – 1821, 358.
Areley Hall, the residence of the Rev. Reginald Pyndar, a handsome modern mansion, built on the site of a very ancient building, formerly the seat of the Mucklows.

Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.


Areley Kings (with the Hamlet of Dunley) Littleburys Directory 1879

Areley Kings is a small parish pleasantly situated on an elevated spot, close to the modern town of Stourport, 12 miles N. of Worcester, 3 S. of Bewdley, and within half a mile of the river Severn; is in the Western division of the county, Upper Doddingtree hundred, Martley union, Stourport petty sessional division and polling district, Kidderminster highway and county court district, Worcester diocese and archdeaconry, and West Worcester rural deanery. The parish has excellent communications by river and rail, the Severn Valley line running by Stourport. There is charming scenery here. The area is 1,449 acres; annual rateable value, £3,367; the soil is loamy; subsoil, sandstone; chief produce, wheat, burley, oats, potatoes, turnips, and apples. The common was enclosed in 1843. Sampson Zachary Lloyd, Esq., is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The population in 1861 was 564; in 1871, 625; inhabited houses, 148; families or separate occupiers, 157. The church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, has a nave and chancel, with tower in the centre of south aisle, forming the principal entrance. It is nearly all 15th-century work (Perpendicular), except a Norman doorway in the north wall. In 1865 it was repewed and otherwise repaired, at a cost of £200. A good tenor bell, by Blews & Son, of Birmingham, was added in 1867 to the previous peal of five. There are some curious inscriptions in the church, and a slab in the chancel in memory of W. Walsh, Esq., a connection of the poet Walsh, who lived at Abberley; also in the churchyard are a remarkable old sculptured pillar-dial and a monument of sandstone blocks in the wall facing to the memory of Sir H. Coninysby, the latter of which has occasioned some controversy. The register commences with the year 1539. The living is a rectory, annual value £410, in the patronage of the Rev. John Parsons Hastings, M.A. (of Martley), and held by the Rev. Edward Acton Davies, M. A., St. John’s College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1875. The national school for boys and girls was established in 1834, and enlarged in 1872 at a cost of £200, and now affords accommodation for 100 children. There is a residence for the mistress attached. The charities amount to about £25 yearly. An estate was left in the 17th century for the purpose of keeping the parish church in repair, so that there are no church-rates. Layamon a famous historian in the 11th century, was born at Areley. In the ancient manor house of the Zacharys it is said Prince Rupert once slept in the civil wars; and until a few years ago the old buttery-hatch, dais, and other curious antiquities, remained in the mansion. Areley Hall is now the seat of Sampson Zachary Lloyd, Esq. Areley Court is a new mansion, the residence of Charles Harrison, Esq., M.P. for Bewdley and Stourport. Areley House, the residence of Edward Broome, Esq., is near the Severn. Broomy Hill is occupied by Mrs. Zachary. Dudley is a hamlet one mile S.W. A portion of this hamlet is in the parish of Astley. Dunley Hall is at present void.
Postal Regulations. – Letters are received through Stourport, which is the nearest money-order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Bartholomew’s), – Rev. Edward Acton Davies, M.A., Rector; Rev. Henry Charles Littlewood, M. A. , Curate; Messrs. James Blount and Stephen Knowles, Churchwardens; William Daw, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls). – Mrs. Turner, Mistress.
Collector of Rates and Taxes. – Mr. James Blount, Dunley House.


Broome Edward, Esq., Areley house
Davies Rev. Edward Acton, M. A. (rector) The Rectory
Harrison Charles, Esq., M.P., J.P., Areley Court; and National club and Reform club, London, W.
Lloyd Sampson Zachery, Esq., Areley hall
Turner Mr. Thomas, Areley cottage
Waldron Mr., Dunley lodge
Wilson Miss, Lower house
Woodyatt Mr. John, Dunley
Zachery Mrs., Broomy hill


Ballard John, cider retailer, Dunley
Blount James, collector of rates and taxes, Dunley house
Brazier John, farmer, Bank farm
Butler George, boot & shoe ma., Dunley
Butler Joseph, Squirrel Inn, and coal merchant
Dance Mrs. Elizth., farmer, White house
Daw Wm., miller, carpenter. & parish clerk
Hill William, farmer, Church farm
Jackson Thomas, farmer, Beaman’s farm
Kenwrick William, farmer, Sturt house
Knowles James, Old Dog Inn, & builder, Dunley
Knowles Stephen, farmer, Burnthorn farm
Martin Rd., plumber, glazier, and painter
Mills William, farmer
Palmer Thomas, tailor and shopkpr., Dunley
Proudman Robert, farmer, Red house
Rann John, blacksmith, Dunley
Rowe Thos., market gardnr. & dairyman
Smith D. H., farmer, Grove farm
Smith Edwin William, maltster and hop merchant, Dunley villa
Turner Mrs., schoolmistress

Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.

Areley Kings Lewis Worcestershire Directory 1820

Areley Kings, 4 miles from Bewdley, containing 75 houses, and 377 inhabitants.


Benbow Mrs. gentlewoman
Beaman Mr. farmer
Bourne James, owner
Crane John, farmer
Crane Thomas, farmer
Crane Thomas, glazier
Degray J., coal dealer
Dickens William, farmer
Hammond John, farmer
Hammond Wm., farmer
Hill Thomas, farmer
Howell T., shoemaker
Hughes John, farmer
Hulme Rev. George
Jenks Matthew, farmer
Lightband John, farmer
Marson Joseph, vict.
Ottlen B. W. gent
Pardoe Elizabeth, farmer
Preen Samuel, saddler
Pyndar Rev. Reginald
Smith Richard, joiner
Wood John, blacksmith

Source: S Lewis Worcestershire General and Commercial Directory for 1820.

Family History Links for Areley Kings


The following records for Areley Kings are available free from FamilySearch.

Birth, Marriage, & Death

England and Wales Census Records


United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

Useful Websites




  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Martley
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Worcester
  • Poor Law Union: Martley
  • Hundred: Doddingtree
  • Province: Canterbury
  • Petty Sessional Division: Stourport
  • Polling District: Stourport
  • Highway District: Kidderminster
  • County Court District: Kidderminster
  • Family History Links for Areley Kings

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