Beoley, a parish in Worcestershire, on the verge of the county, 2½ miles NE of Redditch, which is the post town. Acreage, 4718; population, 643. An ancient castle, of which very slight traces remain, belonged successively to the noble families of Mortimer, Sheldon, Beauchamp, and Holland. Beoley Hall is the chief residence. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester; net value, £65 with residence. The church is ancient, but fully restored, and has an embattled tower with pinnacles; the Sheldon chapel, restored in 1891, contains a stone altar presented by a pope to Ralph Sheldon, a fine east window, and many ancient monuments to the Sheldon family. There is a Wesleyan chapel.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Beoley St. Leonard|
|Poor Law union||Kings-Norton|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1538.
Church of England
St. Leonard (parish church)
The church of St. Leonard is an ancient building of stone in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing 6 bells: the Sheldon chapel in the north side of the chancel, restored in 1891 at a cost of £130, contains many ancient and handsome monuments to members of this family, including the tomb of William Sheldon, who fought for Richard III. at Bosworth Field, August 22, 1485, and for a time lost his estate in consequence; it was, however, afterwards restored to him by an act of grace of Henry VII.: there are also two fine tombs with recumbent figures of knights and their dames under richly decorated canopies: said to be the work of Italian sculptors, and erected by Ralph Sheldon to the memory of his immediate ancestors; the crest of the Sheldon family, a "sheldrake," occurs frequently in the heraldic part of the decorations, the rest of the ornamental work, which is very rich, being of the Renaissance period: the stays which supported the banners of the Sheldon family still remain on the west wall, but the banners themselves have long since disappeared: the chapel contains a stone altar and a fine east window of the Late Tudor period, perhaps unique: the remains of many of the Sheldons lie in a vault underneath the mortuary chapel: there is a brass to Francis Sheldon, ob. 1631: the church was partially restored in 1885, and again in 1891, at a total cost of £1,450, and affords sittings for 240 persons, 100 being free.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Beoley from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Beoley (St. Leonard))
Land and Property
The full transcript of the Worcestershire section of the Return of Owners of Land, 1873.
Online maps of Beoley are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Worcestershire papers online:
Villages, Hamlets, &cHeath Green
The Visitation of Worcestershire 1569 is available on the Heraldry page.