The Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844, which came into effect on 20 October 1844, was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which eliminated many outliers or exclaves of counties in England and Wales for civil purposes.
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 and south-east by Gloucestershire. 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 hays, promontories and peninsulas. The principal detached districts are those locally situate in the counties of Gloucester, Warwick and Stafford, the latter county surrounding the town of Dudley. Without taking into account such separated portions, the length of the county, from about Stourbridge, on the north, to Tewkesbury (a border town in Gloucestershire), on the south, is thirty miles and in breadth, from east to west, at its widest part, it is about twenty-eight miles. From the numerous abrupt angles which present themselves on its borders, 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, or 466.560 statute acres, but which, it is presumed, does not include those parts before referred to, as situate in other counties. In size Worcestershire ranks as the thirty-fourth county in England and in population as the twenty-fifth.
Name and ancient history. The name of this county has its origin from that of its city, Worcester, (which see). Antecedent to the invasion of this country by Cesar and under the dominion of his successors, Worcestershire was inhabited by the Cornovii (people of ancient Britain) and was comprised, by the Romans, in the province of Flavia Caesariensis: during the Heptarchy it belonged to Mercia, when it was the frequent scene of sanguinary contests between the Saxons and the Danes. In 1016 the Danish forces under Canute were defeated, with great slaughter, by Edmund Ironside, near Blockley. The ancient city of Worcester was possessed by the Britons and Romans before the arrival of the Saxons; the original cathedral was established in 680. One of the most remarkable hattles recorded in English annals was fought in the Vale of Evesham, in the year 1265, between Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and Prince Edward, afterwards Ednard I, in which the Earl and most of his adherents were slain. Evesham, in the days of monastic grandeur, was celebrated for its abbey, then one of the largest and most stately in the Kingdom. The origin of Dudley may be ascribed to Dudo, a famous Saxon warrior, who raised a strong fortress here, upon the site of which now stand the venerable remains of a castle, which are to this day justly admired, as well from the beautiful situation they occupy, as from their extensive and picturesque contour. During the various internal dissensions which have disturbed the tranquillity of England, few events of importance have transpired within the limits of this county of which the city of Worcester has not been largely a partaker; during the civil commotions that marked the reign of Charles I, it was frequently the scene of sanguinary struggles between the King's forces and those of the parliament and the inhabitants, though they suffered severely, continued, to the end of the contest, zealous adherents to the royal cause and, after a respite of five years, opened their gates to Charles II, which again involved them in a disastrous war, terminated only by that hattle which Cromwell, in describing his success, designated as "a crowning mercy" and, in token of his victory, ordered a sixty-gun ship, which was soon after launched at Woolwich, to be named the "Worcester".
Soil and climate, produce and manufactures. The soil of this county, though various, is generally rich and fertile, producing grain and fruit in the greatest profusion and abundant pasturage. Between Worcester and the Vale of Evesham, the soil is composed partly of red marl and partly of a strong loamy clay, the beautiful valley of Evesham consisting of a deep rich earth. On the borders and in various parts of the Cotswold Hills, lime-stone predominates, particularly in the more elevated regions, while the lower are covered with a rich loam. From Worcester to the Malvern Hills, the surface is clay and gravel; westward, deep clay forms the upper stratum in some parts; in others, a loose stony soil. The air of this county is mild, warm and healthy, there being but few lakes and very little swampy ground. The inhabitants enjoy a most salubrious and temperate climate, a circumstance which, conjointly with the beautiful, rich and picturesque scenery which the country furnishes, contributes not a little to induce multitudes of loungers to make the villages of Great and Little Malvern, situate upon the eastern side of the hills here, the temporary theatres of their gaieties. The principal manufactures of this county are seated in its city; they consist in the making of gloves to a great extent and beautiful porcelain and cabinet ware. In other towns in the county are considerable tanneries and glass and iron works; many hands are also employed in the combing and spinning of wool, linen weaving, the making of needles, nails, fish-hooks, &c.. Kidderminster has long been famed for its carpets and also for the manufacture of worsted stuffs and fabrics of silk and worsted. This county is also noted for its fine cider, perry and hops and excellent salt is obtained from the springs at Droitwich; the antiquity of the manufacture of this article, here, has been traced prior to the Norman conquest and at the present day it is its staple trade. At Dudley all kinds of ornamental and cut glass are got up in the most elegant style of workmanship. The iron-works for manufacturing various descriptions of heavy hardware are very extensive, particularly at Stourbridge and the villages adjacent and the nail trade employs an immense population in Dudley and the neighbouring parishes. The town of Redditch is almost entirely supported by the needle and fish-hook trade, which furnishes employment to numerous hands in the manufacture of these minute and useful articles.
Rivers, canals and mineral springs. The principal rivers of this county are, the noble Severn, the Avon, the Teme and the Stour; many streams of little note, but of no inconsiderable utility to the farmer, water this county, besides the rivers just mentioned, but do not form sufficiently striking features to demand particular description. Tire Severn enters this county at Bewdley and, turning nearly south, passes the city of Worcester and also, further below it, the town of Upton, after which it enters Gloucestershire at Tewkesbury and thence proceeds onward to the Bristol Channel. The Avon traverses the south-east part of the county and falls into the Severn at Tewkesbury. The Teme, from the borders of Herefordshire and Shropshire, enters this county a little below Tenbury and falls into the Severn a mile and a half below Worcester. The Stour passes the towns of Stourbridge and Stourport, to which it gives name; on the south side of the latter town it falls into the Severn, which is here joined by the Staffordshire and Worcester canal, where are extensive hasins and warehouses and from these circumstances it is aptly denominated the Port of Worcestershire. The canals that pass through Worcestershire and furnish to its inhabitants the facility of inland navigation and communication with distant counties are, the Droitwich, the Worcester and Birmingham, the Dudley Extension and the canal above mentioned. The springs in this county which are said to possess medicinal properties, are those of the wells at Malvein, which have acquired a reputation for curing many disorders and especially for relieving persons suffering from scrofula or scurvy; their efficacy, however, has been (perhaps unjustly) denied by many and the relief experienced by patients, under different complaints, has been ascribed to the cheering influence of beautiful scenery, pure and bracing air, simple diet and regular exercise.
Civil and ecclesiastical divisions and representation.—Worcestershire is in the Province of Canterbury and Diocese of Worcester (excepting fifteen parishes and eight chapelries, which are in that of Hereford) and is included in the Oxford Circuit; it is divided into the five hundreds of Blakenhurst, Doddingtree, Halfshire, Oswald Slow and Pershore, which are subdivided into one hundred and seventy-one parishes, containing collectively one city and county town (Worcester) and twelve other market towns. The whole county, before the Reform Bill passed, returned nine Members to Parliament, namely, two for the city of Worcester, two each for Droitwich and Evesham, one for Bewdley and two for the Shire. The new Bill deprived Droitwich of one of its Members and conferred the elective franchise upon Kidderminster and Dudley, which return one each and two others have been added to the county, which, in consequence, is now represented by twelve members in parliament instead of nine, as heretofore. The new Boundary Act (an appendage to the Reform Bill), divides the county into two parts, respectively called the Eastern Division and the Western Division; the former comprises the divisions of Stourbridge, Dudley, Droitwich, Northfield, Blockley and Pershore and the western portion includes the divisions of Upton, Worcester, Hundred House and Kidderminster. The election of members to represent the eastern division of the county is held at Droitwich and for the western at Worcester; besides the place of election, the eastern division polls at Pershore, Shipston, and Stourbridge and the western division (besides the place of election) polls at Upton, Stourport and Tenbury. The members returned at the general election in January, 1835, to represent the eastern division, were Thomas. Henry Cookes, of Bentley Hall, in this county, Esq., & Edw. Holland, of Dumbleton, county of Gloucester, Esq. and for the wtstern division, the Hon. Col. Henry Beauchamp Lygon, of Spring-hill, Broadway and Capt. Henry Jeffries Wilmington, of Stamford Court, both in this county.
Population. By the census for 1831 this county contained 103.367 males and 107.989 females for a total of 211.356; being an increase, since the returns made in 1821, of 26.932 inhabitants and from the census of 1801 to that of 1831 the augmentation amounted to 72.023 persons.
The parish church was re-built, with the exception of the tower, in 1861. Parts of the old building, notably the Norman Doorway and the Norman Arches of the north aisle were retained and dove-tailed into the new structure. The restoration was carried out in the Early English style, the best feature being the East window. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Worcester, in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester, and is held by the Bishop L. G. Mylne, D.D.
TRADE: The manufacture of needles and steel trade
The parish church. dedicated to St. Mathias, is a stone building in the Early English style, erected in 1883 as a chapel of ease to Feckenham in which Parish it is Rev. R.R. Verity.
SITUATION: In the Evesham Parliamentary Division, 6 miles S.E. of Evesham. The village is chiefly composed of one long wide street and contains many of the quaint houses of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries which, with their gables, make this one of the most picturesque of Worcester villages
TRADE: The manufacture of nails, buttons and clothing
Crabbs Cross is a district of Redditch in Worcestershire, England. Crabbs Cross gets its name from the crossroads, known nowadays as the Star and Garter Island. Historically, Crabbs Cross was the junction of Crabbs Cross Lane, with Evesham Road (A441) and the Slough.
Feckenham is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Redditch in Worcestershire, England. It lies some 4 miles (6 km) south-west of the town of Redditch and some 11 miles (18 km) east of the city of Worcester.
TRADE: Salt Works. It is probable that salt was worked here in some form in the time of the Romans and the place has been identified by antiquarians with Salinae the ancient Roman station. The oldest records of the town show it to he a place noted for its salt springs
by James Pigot (1818)
Dudley is a large and flourishing town, in the county of Worcester, though entirely surrounded by Staffordshire. The town and parish contain nearly 3.000 inhabited houses and upwards of 14.000 inhabitants. There is a church at the end of the principal street. The parish church of St. Thomas is now re-building. It will be a very handsome gothic structure, built of stone from the Tixel quarries and when its lofty spire is completed, will be a distinguished object to the surrounding country. The first stone was laid October 21, 1816. St. Edmund's church standing at the entrance of the town from Birmingham, is a plain brick building, in which a large free gallery has been erected by subscription. There is likewise meeting houses for the following sects, viz. presbyterians, baptists, quakers, methodists and independents. It has a free grammar school, founded by Edward the 6th; two charity schools belonging to the established church, conducted upon the Madras system and a charity school, upon the Lancasterian plan, belonging to the dissenters. The venerable remains of Dudley castle are the resort of numerous visitants; this pile being justly said to be one of the finest ruins in England. The keep and gateway, now standing, were built about the year 700, by Dudo, a Saxon general, from which the place takes its name. It stands upon a lofty rock, commanding varied and extensive prospects. The whole of the hill has within a few years been planted with trees, by order of its noble proprietor, Viscount Dudley and Ward and when judiciously laid out in walks, will make a chârming place of resort for the inhabitants and visitors. Near the castle, are the remains of a priory, formerly well endowed and inhabited by Cluniac monks. Not far from thence are the stupendous lime caverns, more than 60 feet in height, with rail-roads communicating with a subterraneous canal much visited by the curious; also a tunnel which is one mile and three quarters in length and runs under a part of the town. In the town are several glass works, where all kinds of ornamental and cut glass are got up for the East and other foreign markets, as well as for home consumption, in the most elegant stile of workmanship. The nail-trade employs an immense population in this and the neighbouring parishes. Fire-irons, vices, anvils, traces and many other descriptions of hardware are likewise manufactured here. In the vicinity coals, iron-stone and lime are found in almost inexhaustible quantities and the stranger approaching the town in the evening, is much struck with the innumerable lights, seen in every direction, from furnaces, forges, collieries, &c. Dudley has many attractions for the mineralogist. It is in the centre of a stratum of coal from ten to twelve yards in thickness, of which there is no other instance in the kingdom. The fossils ſonnd in the coal and lime-stone are much sought after and deemed valuable by geologists and collectors. Dudley is distant from London 120 miles, from Birmingham 10, from Bromsgrove 15, from Kidderminster 12, from Wolverhampton 6 and from Walsall 8 miles; has a market on Saturdays and fairs May 8th. August 5th. and October 2nd. At the Dudley Arms Inn there is a spacious assembly room, elegantly, fitted up, and well attended during the season. It has also to boast of a valuable subscription library, begun December 19, 1805, which contains upwards of 3.000 volumes.
Population in 18..: 51.079
Needle Makers in Dudley
TRADE: The town forms the centre of a large fertile tract of country, chiefly engaged in the cultivation of fruit and flowers and agriculture
Hagley and Clent
Hunt End is a district of Redditch in Worcestershire, England.
Townsend & Co.
TRADE: The chief industries are the manufacture of carpets-Brussels, Wilton Pile and Axminster and worsted spinning. The goods made here are noted for the brilliance and durability of their
colors, said to be due to peculiar qualities in the water.
Needle Makers in Kidderminster
TRADE: Health pleasure resort, noted for its healthy climate and scenery
TRADE: The manufacture of anvils, chains, nails, etc and the preparation of fire clay
TRADE: The town owes its business largely to the influx of visitors who resort here for rest and recreation. A first-class retail trade is carried on and there are some very fine shops
TRADE: The cultivation of fruit. The vicinity is chiefly noted for the "Egg" plum
Redditch is a hamlet and chapelry, in that part of the parish of Tardebigge which is in the upper division of the hundred of Halfshire; 111 miles N.W. from London, 19 N. by E. from Worcester, 12 S. from Birmingham and 6 N. by W. from Alcester; pleasantly situate on a commanding eminence, near the Warwick shire border, on the new line of road from London to Birmingham. A Cistercian abbey, of considerable note, formerly existed at Bordesley, near this place, some slight remains of which may still be traced: it was founded in 1138, by the Empress Matilda and, at the dissolution, was granted to one of the ancestors of the late Earl of Plymouth. The only articles of manufacture, for which this place has been long famous, are needles and fish-hooks: the making of the former alone employ, in the village and neighbourhood, about six thousand persons. A constable is appointed annually, in October, at the court-leet of the lord of the manor, the Hon. R. H. Clive, whose seat, Hewell Grange, is about a mile and a half from the village: the building is much admired for its simple elegance and the park surrounding it is finely wooded and laid out with rustic taste. The places of worship are, a chapel of ease and one each for Wesleyan methodists, independents and the Roman catholics: the latter, a neat building, was opened in 1834. A national school, supported by the Countess of Plymouth and Sunday-schools, connected with the church and methodists, afford instruction to the poorer class of children. Two fairs are held here annually, namely, on the first Monday in August and on the third Monday in September, both for cattle. The population of the hamlet is returned with that of the parish of Tardebigge.
Population in 18..: 15.463
TRADE: The manufacture of needles and fishing hooks and tackle
TRADE:The manufacture of chains, anvils, spades and glass. There are coal mines, clay pits and stone quarries in the vicinity
TRADE: The manufacture of carpets, tin-ware, enameled goods and general ironmongery
TRADE: There is a considerable river trade done here, the Severn being navigable at this point for boats up to 108 tons.
The see of Worcester was created in 679, in the reign of Ethelred. Successive Saxon monarchs added to its endowment and at the end of the 8th century a convent, dedicated to St. Mary, was founded near the Cathedral church. This was afterwards converted into a Benedictine Monastery, but disputes quickly arose between the monks and secular clergy which were terminated in 969 by the Church of St. Peter passing under the control of the monastery and the Church of St. Mary becoming the Cathedral. In 1084, Bishop Wulfstan commenced the reconstruction of the building in the Norman style. It was added to at various times until the middle of the 13th century when the main building, as at present seen, was complete. Additions, alterations and restorations, undertaken at various times, have been made in every style of ecclesiastical architecture from Norman to Perpendicular, but the predominating one is Early English and the simplicity of this style is enhanced by the loftiness of the edifice and correctness of proportion. A complete restoration was commenced in 1872, when great care was taken to preserve the style of the original fabric. The Cathedral was the burial place of King John and the chief monument in it is an altar tomb with a life-sized figure of that King. In addition to this there are several other monuments of interest, notably those of Bishops Hough, Wulfstan and Gifford.
TRADE: The Manufacture of glass
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