Besford is a village, and was formerly a chapelry in the parish of St. Andrew, Pershore, but in 1865 it was united with Defford as one ecclesiastical district.
Parish church: St. Peter
Parish registers begin: FamilySearch states: 1539; Littlebury’s Directory 1879 states: 1750.
Besford church is unique in this county for being a timber-framed structure, probably erected during the Perpendicular period, as the western window presents a curious specimen of the style, its mullions and tracery being of wood.
Besford, a chapelry in St. Andrew-Pershore parish, Worcester; on the river Avon and on the Birmingham and Gloucester railway, 2 miles WSW of Pershore. Post Town, Pershore. Acres, 1,300. Real property, £2,025. Pop., 164. Houses, 34. Besford Court here is the seat of Sir T. G. S. Sebright, Bart. The living is a p. curacy, annexed to the vicarage of St. Andrew-Pershore, in the diocese of Worcester. The church is old, and has a tower.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].
Besford, a parochial chapelry in the upper division of the hund, and union of Pershore, county of Worcester; 2½ miles west by south of Pershore, near the Avon, and on the line of the Birmingham and Gloucester railway. Living, a curacy subordinate to the vicarage of St Andrew’s, Pershore. There is a daily school here. Pop., in 1801, 126; in 1831,146. Houses 31. Acres 1,300. A.P. £1,991. Poor rates, in 1837, £76.
Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.
Besford, 2½ m. W. Pershore. P. 179 Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.
Besford – a hamlet and chapelry in the parish and hundred of Pershore; 2 miles W.S.W from Pershore, and 104 from London; containing 29 inhabited houses. Population, 1801, 126 – 1811, 127 – 1821, 154.
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.
Besford is a village, and was formerly a chapelry in the parish of St. Andrew, Pershore, but in 1865 it was united with Defford as one ecclesiastical district. It is 1 ½ miles N. of Defford station, 4 S.W. of Pershore station (about 3 from the town of Pershore), and 6 N.E. of Upton-on-Severn; is in the eastern division of the county, hundred of Upper Pershore, union, petty sessional division, polling district, and county court district of Pershore; is assessed to the county rate at £2,300. The acreage is 1,360; population in 1861, 164; in 1871, 176, with 34 inhabited houses. The Bristol and Birmingham branch of the Midland line runs through the parish. Sir Thomas Gage Saunders Sebright, Bart., is lord of the manor and owner of the whole parish. The soil is clay and sand; subsoil, stone and gravel; chief crops are wheat, beans, barley, and fruit. The united vicarage of Defford-cum-Besford is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester and rural deanery of Pershore; yearly value £170, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and held by the Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Brasenose College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1865, and resides at Defford. Besford church is unique in this county for being a timber-framed structure, probably erected during the Perpendicular period, as the western window presents a curious specimen of the style, its mullions and tracery being of wood! The building consists of a chancel, nave, bell-cot or small tower at the west gable, and wooden south porch; the chancel is Early English. The panelled mural monuments to the ancient family of Harewell are singularly interesting, and there are memorials of the Sebrights. Here also are a rood screen, triptich, and other things highly interesting to the ecclesiologist. The church having been for some time past in a state of gradual decay, a thorough reparation and restoration has been decided upon, at an estimated cost of £1,600, and subscriptions are now being obtained for that purpose. The register dates from 1750. Besford Court, the ancient seat of the Harewells and Sebrights, is at present void. It has the original gates and porter’s lodge remaining; and an ancient tithe-barn is near the house. Postal Regulations. – Letters are received through Pershore. The letter-box is cleared at 5 p.m. daily (Sundays excepted). Postal telegrams may be sent from and received at Defford railway station. Pershore is the nearest money-order office and post town.
St. Peter’s Church. – Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Vicar; Joseph Checketts, Esq., Churchwarden; Thomas Houghton, Parish Clerk.
Carrier to Worcester. – Joseph Cockbill (from Birlingham) passes through on Saturdays; stops at the Union Inn, Carden street, Worcester.
Checketts Joseph, Esq.
Checketts Jos., farmer, near the Church
Day George, farmer
Evans Thomas, farmer
Houghton Charles, farm bailiff for Joseph Checketts, Esq.
Houghton Thomas, parish clerk
Revill John, farmer
Tovey Frederick, farmer, The Bridge
Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.
Besford, a chapelry in the parish of St. Andrew, Pershore, is situate about 3 miles from that town, and contained in 1851 a population of 177 inhabitants. The Chapel is a small old building, with tower and two bells. The living is in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. Rev. Thomas Whitaker, Curate; Mr. William Davies, Clerk. Service – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., alternately with Defford.
Woodward Thomas, Esq., Besford Court
Bullock James, farmer, New Farm
Bullock William, farmer, Besford Bridge
Checketts Joseph, farmer
Evans Thomas, farmer
Davies Thomas, shoe maker
Tovey John, The Executors of, farmers
Source: Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855
Baylis Henry, farmer
Bullock John, farmer
Checketts Giles, farmer
Checketts Joseph, farmer
Fenwick N. L. Esq.
Tovey John, farmer
Tovey Elizabeth, farmer
Source: S Lewis Worcestershire General and Commercial Directory for 1820.
Distances – 10 miles S.E. of Worcester (8 ½ by rail), 3 S.W. of Pershore, and 5 N.E. of Upton-on-Severn.
Population – In 1901, 566. Acreage, 1682.
Postal Information – Post and Telegraph Office, Edwin Roberts, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive from Worcester about 6.15 a.m. and 3.40 p.m.; despatched thereto at 10. 15 a.m. and 6.30 and 7.20 p.m. Telegrams may be sent from this office, and money order and savings bank business transacted. Post town, Worcester. Wall Letter-box, near Railway Station, cleared at 8 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. on weekdays, and at 6.30 p.m. only on Sundays. Wall Letter-box at Besford is cleared at 7.15 a.m. and 6.55 p.m.
Parish Church (St. James’) – Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Vicar of Defford-cum-Besford; Messrs. Edwin Roberts and Simon Onions, Churchwardens; Charles Chambers, Sexton.
Elementary School for Defford and Besford) – Robert Kersley, Master.
Defford and District Working Men’s Institute – The Earl of Coventry, President; John Brooks, Hon. Secretary.
Midland Railway Station – Anthony Swift, Station Master.
Midland Railway Goods Department – M. Spiers & Sons, Carting Agents for the Midland Railway from Defford Station to Pershore.
Ballard George, bailiff
Ballinger C. E., clerk to the parish council
Bowcott John, mkt. gardener, Church villa
Brooks John, Fair view
Butler Jacob, carpenter, Cold comfort
Checketts Major F., Besford
Clark Miss Jessie, dressmaker, &c.
Coney Frederick, Church farm, Besford
Davis John Andrew, coal dealer
Elliott T., farm bailiff, Chestnut cottage
Ewins Alice M. M., furnished apartments, Spring Bank, Defford. Superior furnished apartments, pleasantly situated. Highest references. Good fishing.
Hayward Mrs. Julia, baker, Woodmancote
Hayward William, farmer, Borders farm
Hemus George, farmer, Bourne farm
Hollier Edward, Crown Inn
Jordon Alfred Ormond, Besford court
Kersley Robert, schoolmaster, School house
Lloyd Miss, Chestnut cottage
Onions Simon, J.P., The Old Manor house, Bourne bank
Read Mrs. Susannah, farmer, Defford farm
Revill Mark, farmer
Roberts Burrage, grocer
Roberts Edwin, grocer and baker, Post office
Roper Jos. Hughes, blacksmith & carpenter
Spiers M. & Sons., hay, straw, and coal merchants, carting agents for the Midland Railway, and furniture removers, Railway station (see advt.)
Summers Mrs., beer retailer, The Oak, Woodmancote
Swift Anthony, station master, Railway sta.
Swinden Rev. George. M.A., (vicar of Defford-cum-Besford), The Vicarage
Taylor Mrs. Elizabeth, cider retlr. & farmer
Taylor George, New Inn
Taylor James, The Villa, Woodmancote
Taylor John, mkt. grdnr., Woodmancote fm.
Taylor Mrs. W.
Wadley John, farmer, Millpond
Ward Harry, market gardener
White Mrs. E. A., furnished apartments, Avon Cottage, Defford. Pleasant situation. Excellent accommodation for visitors. Good fishing. Moderate terms.
Willis George, Hayward of the common
Willis John, Railway Inn
Woodward Herbt., frmr., Dudley Charity fm.
Littlebury’s Directory of Worcester & District. Tenth Edition. Printed and Published by Littlebury & Company, The Worcester Press, Worcester. 1905.