Defford is a village, formerly a chapelry to Pershore, but now united with Besford as one vicarage (see Besford); it has a station on the Birmingham and Bristol branch of the Midland railway, and is situate 10 miles S.E. of Worcester, 3 S.W. of Pershore, and 5 N.E. of Upton-on-Severn; is in the eastern division of the county, and hundred of Upper Pershore; in the union, petty sessional division, polling and county court district of Pershore; annual rateable value, £3,241; acreage, 1,213; population in 1861, 463; in 1871, 464, with 103 inhabited houses and 109 families or separate occupiers. The parish is bounded on the south side by the river Avon; hence the ancient name Depeford (deep ford in the river). The principal landowners are the Earl of Coventry (the lord of the manor), Sir John G. S. Sebright, Bart, Henry Porter, Esq., the Executors of the late Rev. William Ellis Wall, George Whitaker-Wilson, Esq., and Joseph Checketts, Esq. The soil produces good wheat, beans, turnips, &c. Defford is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester and rural deanery of Pershore; the united vicarage of Defford-cum-Besford is valued at £170, with residence; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster; vicar, the Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Brasenose College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1865. The church (St. James’s) consists of chancel, nave, and western capped-tower, with south porch; mainly 14th and 15th century work, with some Early English. A new chancel was built in 1865. The earliest register is dated 1687. The national school for Defford and Besford was erected in 1872 by subscription and Government grant. It is a neat building of brick with stone dressings, and has residence for the mistress attached. There is a charity amounting to £65 yearly. The Dissenters have a small chapel in the parish. Woodmancote is a hamlet one mile S.W.
POSTAL REGULATIONS. – Miss Kezia Hundy, Sub-Postmistress. Letters arrive by messenger from Pershore at 7 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5.30 p.m. Postal telegrams may be sent to Defford railway station. Pershore is the nearest money-order office and post town.
St. James’s Church. – Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. John Read and George Day, Churchwardens; William Mayo, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls). – Miss Julia Brooke, Mistress.
Assistant Overseer. – Mr. William Alfred Salsbury, Pershore.
Railway Station (Midland). – Thomas S. Rainbow, Station Master.
Carrier to Pershore and Upton. – Michael Spiers (carting agent to the Midland railway company), from Defford station to Pershore daily; also to Upton at 2 p.m. daily.
Carrier to Worcester. – Thomas Long, on Saturdays at 7 a.m.; returning from the Coventry Arms Inn, Friar street, Worcester, at 4 p.m. the same day.
Dawson Mr. Thomas, Saunders villa
Gwilliam Mr. Benjamin, Defford villa
Loxley The Misses, Yew-tree cottage
Onions Simon, Esq., Bourne bank
Revill Mr. Mark, Defford house
Swinden Rev. George, M.A., (vicar of Defford-cum-Besford), The Vicarage
AGRICULTURAL & COMMERCIAL.
Bowkett John Henry, Crown Inn
Brooke Miss, schoolmistress, School ho.
Collins Mrs. Eliza, beer retailer
Collins Joseph, market gardener
Goodall Edmund, farmer, Stone Hall farm; res., New farm, Birlingham
Hemus Mrs. M. A., farmer, Bourne farm
Hemus George, farmer, Bourne farm
Hitchings Geo., shopkpr. and cider retlr.
Hundy Miss K., shopkeeper, Post office
Long Thomas, carrier to Worcester
Mayo William, parish clerk
Phipps William, farmer, Woodmancote
Rainbow T. S., station mas., Railway sta.
Rammell Benjamin, Railway Inn, coal dealer, and fly proprietor
Read John, farmer, Defford farm
Roper John, blacksmith
Spiers Michael, farmer, coal merchant, fly proprietor, and carting agent for the Midland railway company, Woodmancote
Taylor George, farmer, Woodmancote
Taylor Thomas, farmer and cider retailer
Taylor William, beer retlr. (The Old Dog)
Webb John, police constable, Brook cot.
Willis John, beer retailer, Woodmancote
Woodward Mrs. Sarah and Herbert, farmer, Dudley Charity farm
Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.