Rock is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.
Other places in the parish include: Alton, Heightington, Upper and Lower Lindons, Snead Moor, and Conyswick.
Church: St. Peter and St. Paul
Parish registers begin: 1548
Nonconformists in Rock include: Plymouth Brethren, Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist.
Rock, a parish in the lower division of the hundred of Doddingtree, county of Worcester, 4¾ miles (S. W. by W.) from Bewdley, containing, with the hamlets of Alton, Hightington, Lindons, and Snead, 1266 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Hereford, rated in the king’s books at £17. 11. 8., and in the patronage of Mr. Woodhull and others. The church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is very ancient. There is a charity school, the salary of the master being paid out of the crown rent. Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1831
On the south-west side of Bewdley is the parish of Rock, with the chapelry of Heightington, some twenty miles in circumference, comprising the lord ships of Alwynton, or Alton, of Upper and Lower Lindons, of Snead Moor, and Conyswick, and of Heightington, a population of about 1,400, all agricultural, save only a few colliers. Grain crops, chiefly wheat, are grown; acreage, over 8000. W. L. Childe, Esq., of Kinlet, is lord of the manor of Alton, the chief manor of Rock, and the principal landowners are Sir Edward Blount, Mr. Higginbottom, of Pensax, and Mr. Wheeler, of Warsley. The parish is hilly and bleak, and the cottages scattered; substratum of soil, old red sandstone, in which are found strata of coal, varying from two to three feet in thickness; surface soil, clay or marl; and lime also is raised. This is one of the Worcestershire districts famous for longevity. Betty Palmer, born here, died in 1782, aged 113; her brother Richard lived to be a centenarian, and their father and mother to be 102 and 103. Sarah Davis, of Rock, died in 1856, at the age of 103. In the last ﬁve years, out of 100 deaths registered, 4 were upwards of 90 years of age, 14 were more than 80, and 15 were between 70 and 80.
The living is one of the best in the county, value £1,110, with 30 acres of glebe. Patron, J. H. James, Esq., of Kingswood, Hertfordshire; rector, Rev. A. James. There are 400 seats, all free, in the church. This structure is one of the most stately village churches in the county, with ﬁne specimens of Norman work in the chancel arch, north wall, and doorway. The south side of the building, with chapel, and the tower, were reconstructed in the Perpendicular style by one of the Coningsby family in 1510; and in 1861 the church was restored at a cost of £2,000, mainly through the efforts of the former rector, Rev. A. Severne, and memorial windows have been inserted. Among the things to be noticed here are a curious old circular font and an ancient chest made of the trunk of a tree, rudely hacked into a square shape.
A grammar school was founded at Rock by Edward VI, who endowed it with £5. 2s. 4d. per annum, an endowment which is now paid to the master from the produce of the Crown lands. The appointment of the master is in the hands of the rector of the parish, subject to the license of the Bishop, and the present school-room was erected by subscription in 1806 as a substitute for the old chantry of St. Mary and St. George within the parish church, which is of right the school-room of the grammar school. This grammar school, however, is practically merged in the national school of the parish, to which endowments have been left by the late Mr. Green, of Astley, Mr. Nott, of Warsley, and Mr. Edward Wheeler, of Worcester and the New House; while a master’s cottage and school-room have been recently given to the parish by the present Vicar of Mamble and Bayton (the Rev. D. Davies). The school is worked under Government inspection, with a master, sewing mistress, and monitor.
A portion of Rock, in Bewdley Forest, and a portion of Ribbesford, were united a few years ago into an ecclesiastical district, with church, school, and parsonage, and much good has been done among the foresters, in former times a very rough set. There are also in the parish Wesleyan, Plymouth Brethren, and Baptist chapels. Henry Oasland, born at Rock, was one of the ejected ministers in 1662; he was a well-known Puritanical preacher, and author of “The Dead Pastor yet Speaking.”
On December 2nd, 1645, the King and his army lay at Rock, after one of the wearisome eountermarchings of the civil wars.
Source: Noake’s Guide to Worcestershire. Longman and Company. 1868
Rock – a parish of considerable extent, nearly 20 miles in circumference, in the hundred of Doddingtree, upper division, 4½ miles S.W. from Bewdley, and 124 from London; containing 245 inhabited houses. The church, which stands upon an eminence, consists of a spacious nave, south aisle and chancel, with a square tower, containing six bells. From its semicircular arches and zigzag mouldings, it appears to be of Saxon architecture, and like most of the churches built at an early period, it is descended by several steps. It has been partly new pewed, but is still in a dilapidated state, and contains nothing worthy of remark, but some very ancient monuments, the inscriptions on which are nearly obliterated. In this parish was formerly a large oak, held in great veneration, by the country people, and supposed to be that under which St. Augustine met the British Bishops. When the turnpike was first erected, the trunk served as a habitation for the keeper, and was by him burnt down. In the centre of a wood, in the eastern part of the parish, is a great botanical curiosity, called by the people in the neighbourhood, the Quicken Pear Tree, but which Mr. Pitt, in his Philosophical Transactions for the year 1678, describes as the Sorbus Satixa Pyriformis. Its fruit and bark resemble the pear-tree, but its leaf and blossom the mountain ash. Several experienced gardeners have endeavoured to propagate it, but without effect. At Hanley-Castle, in this county, is a tree of the same description. The living is a rectory; in the diocese of Hereford, and archdeaconry of Salop; Rev. H. W. Hill, incumbent; instituted 1812; M. Woodhull, &c. patrons. Population, 1801, 1094 – 1811, 1185 – 1821, 1266. 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.
Alton, a hamlet in the parish of Rock, county of Worcester, noted for its hop plantations. Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1840.
Heightington, a township and chapelry in Rock parish, county of Worcester; 3 miles west of Stourport. Living, a curacy annexed to the rectory of Rock. Returns with the parish. Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851
Lindon, a hamlet in the parish of Rock, lower division of the hundred of Doddingtree, county of Worcester. The population is returned with the parish. Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1831.
Rock is an extensive and straggling parish, very hilly, and the scenery around romantic and beautiful. It is situated about 8 miles E.N.E. from Tenbury, 6 W. of Stourport, and 4 ¾ S.W.W. from Bewdley. Rock, with Heightington, contained, in 1841, a population of 1397, and in 1851, 1435.
Heightington, a small Hamlet to Rock, 4 miles S.W. from Bewdley, consists principally of farm houses.
The Church, which is by far the most stately-looking of the village churches in this portion of the country, is dedicated to St. Peter, and contains nave, chancel, south aisle, and western square embattled tower, containing a peal of six bells. The north wall, chancel arch, &c., are fine specimens of the Norman style of architecture, though Nash supposes it to have been Saxon, from the fact of a priest having been here at the time of the Doomsday Survey. The south side of the building and the tower were reconstructed in the perpendicular style in 1510, by one of the Coningsby family. The north doorway is a very good specimen of the Norman era. The chancel arch is semicircular, magnificent and lofty, the mouldings, &c., being of the same character as those of the north doorway. The nave is separated from the south aisle by four plate pointed arches, and the chancel from its chapel by two of a still more flattened character. The south aisle has an embattled top, and two stage buttresses between the windows. There is an ancient chest in the south chapel, made out of the trunk of a tree; it is of a square shape, and has four locks; it is very much worm-eaten, and is supposed to be as ancient as the oldest portion of the church. The tower is also embattled, and has four stages with diagonal buttresses. The font, which is a large circular basin, appears to be of about the same date. The monuments of this church are but few, and not of any note, except in the chancel, where there is an alabaster imitation of a brass of the sixteenth century, with an outline of a priest vested for the altar, and an inscription to “Ricardus Smith, quondam rector hujus ecclesiae.” The living is a Rectory, in the patronage of J. M. Severne, Esq. Rev. Arthur Severne, M.A., Rector; Mr. Richard Stokes, Clerk. Service – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Heightington Chapel, dedicated to St. Giles, is a small, ancient building, containing nave, chancel, &c. The living is annexed to that of Rock. Rev. Hugh C. Claughton, B.A., Curate; Mr. Thomas Badland, Clerk. Service – 3 p.m.
The Far Forest District Church, recently erected, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a neat brick building, in the Gothic style of architecture. This portion of the parish, and part of Ribbesford, in Bewdley Forest, were a few years back formed into an ecclesiastical district.
At Buckeridge are two places of worship, one for Baptists, the other for Primitive Methodists; and at Callow Hill there is a Wesleyan Chapel.
The School, near the Church, was originally founded for a free grammar school, by Edward VI., and subsequently endowed with £100 by J. Nott, Esq., and £200 by the late W. Green, Esq., of Astley.
Rock Almshouses, for six poor widows of the parish, of good character, were founded by the Rev. George Walls, D.D., and endowed with £20 per annum.
Charities – The charities are but few, Mrs. Elizabeth Walls gave the sum of £5; Mrs. Mary Cary, £5; Rev. J. Baylston, Rector, £10; and Mr. Richard Nott, of Worsley, £1 – which sums are annually distributed amongst the poor of the parish.
Cawood Rev. John, M.A., Incumbent of Pensax
Claughton Rev. Hugh Calveley, B.A., Curate, Gaudy House
Minton Miss Ann, Rock House
Severne Rev. Arthur, M.A., Rector, Rectory
Wheeler Mr. John, Bower Batch
Allen Benjamin, victualler, Finger Post
Alltree Sarah, beer retailer, Blue Ball
Ashcroft John, beer retailer, The Rock Cross
Ashmore Thomas, farmer, and drill proprietor, Lower Norchard
Badland Thomas, Clerk of Heightington Chapel
Blount William, whisket and basket maker
Bradley Edwin, wheelwright
Breckwell Emmanuel, farmer, Clay Brook
Brown Benjamin, wheelwright
Browning Isaac, farmer, Lane End
Butcher William, farmer, Gib House
Carter Thomas, brick and tile manufacturer, Clowstop
Cartwright Thomas, farmer
Cook Moses, beer retailer, Royal Oak
Cownley William, sen., farmer
Cownley William, jun., farmer, Fernhalls
Davis Charlotte, victualler, Duke William
Davis Mary, farmer, and coal merchant, Blakemore
Davis William, farmer, Bine
Dorrell Edward, farmer, Field House
Dorrell James, farmer, Conningswick
Dorrell James, farmer, Wylde
Edwards Joseph, farmer, White House; also of Hockly, Pensax
Edwards Thomas, farmer, Yard House
Evans John, farmer, Lem Hill House
Green Thomas, butcher
Green William, farmer, Holton Lodge
Griffin Sarah, farmer, Green House
Hammonds John, farmer, The Pound
Hancox Mary, shopkeeper, and beer retailer, New Inn, Clowstop
Haycox John, farmer, Bransley
Humphries Hannah, farmer, Stildon; also of Newland, Mamble
Instone John, beer retailer
Jones Thomas, farmer, The Hill
Jordan John, farmer, Lower Hollin
Knowles John, blacksmith
Lingen Charles, farmer, Palmer’s
Lingen Francis, farmer, Bower Court; also of the Goddest
Machin Thomas, blacksmith
Mantle Benjamin, farmer, Lem Hill
Mantle William, farmer, Upper Hollin
Maund William, mason
Mills William, farmer, The Chapel
Milman William, shopkeeper
Minton John, farmer, Rock Farm
Nott James, farmer, Castle, Old House, and Bank
Oliver Moses, beer retailer, Wheat Sheaf
Perkins John, beer retailer, Plough
Potter James, victualler, and farmer, Mopson’s Cross
Pratt William, farmer, Upper Norchard
Ree Edward, farmer, Old Hall
Rogers Frederick T., farmer, Moor Green
Seager Benjamin, farmer, Barn Hall, and Foxley’s
Skeldon George, farmer, Moor Green
Spencer Thomas, farmer and miller, Worrall’s Mill
Stokes Richard, Parish Clerk
Tunnington William, farmer, Gorst Hill
Tyler William, beer retailer
Wainwright John, farmer, Bullockhurst; also of Barratt’s, and Burraston Mill
Waldron Thomas, farmer, Hurtle Hill
Walker Sarah, farmer, Lower Snead
Walker Thomas, farmer, Upper Snead
Wall Sarah, day school
Wheeler Thomas, farmer, Worsley; also of the Hazle
White Thomas, farmer
Williams Wm., farmer, Fir Tree Farm
Worrall William, farmer, Old Lye
Booth Thomas, blacksmith
Collier John, farmer, Falklands
Davis Edward, farmer, Organ’s Hill
Green James, beer retailer and shopkeeper, Three Tuns
Loveland Henry, wheelwright and carpenter
Mills Charles, farmer, Elfords
Mills Henry, farmer, Deasland
Waldron Benson, farmer, Wad House; and Latchetts
Wheeler William, farmer, Herdsmans; also of Lystill and Brook Hall
Source: Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855.
Rock, 4½ miles from Bewdley, containing 62 houses, and 532 inhabitants. Heightington is a township to this parish, and contains 148 houses, and 862 inhabitants, including Alton.
Davis Rev. David
Davis Rev. Thomas, Rock Academy
Dipper Joseph, farmer
Dorrell William, farmer
Evans John, farmer
Hall Edmund, shoemaker
Lilley John, farmer
Lowe Richard, butcher
Wainwright John, farmer
Wainwright Wm. smith
Wheeler Edward, farmer
Source: S Lewis Worcestershire General and Commercial Directory for 1820.
Bodenham Mrs. farmer
Cooke Moses, farmer
Dallow W. woolstapler
Dallow M, farmer
Davis Thomas, farmer
Dorrell Edward, farmer
Evans James, farmer
Green William, farmer
Hammons Sam., farmer
Hammons Wm., farmer
Hammons James, farmer
Harvat Widow, farmer
Holder John, farmer
Horton John, tailor
Millichap Edw., farmer
Mole Ann, farmer
Morris Joseph, farmer
Oliver Edward, farmer
Oliver William, farmer
Perkins Thomas, farmer
Rea E. B., farmer
Roberts J., Shoemaker
Smith Edward, farmer
Stringer John, farmer
Wainwright Wm., farmer
Walton Samuel, farmer
Wheeler H., farmer
Whitcomb Thos., farmer
Winwood George, farmer
Winwood John, farmer
Source: S Lewis Worcestershire General and Commercial Directory for 1820.