Bredon, a village and a parish in Worcestershire. The village stands on the river Avon, 3¼ miles NE of Tewkesbury, and has a station on the M.R., and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Tewkesbury. Eanulf, grandfather of King Offa, got a grant of it from Ethelbald, King of Mercia, and founded at it a monastery, which ceased to exist before the Conquest, at which period the lands were given to the See of Worcester. The parish includes also the hamlets of Norton-by-Bredon, Hardwick-with-Mitton, Kinsham, and Westmancote, and the chapelry of Cutsdean. Acreage, 3187; population of civil parish, 1099; of ecclesiastical, with Norton, 1447. Bredon Hill separates the vales of Cotswold and Evesham, has an altitude of 960 feet, and commands an extensive prospect. It is rich in rare plants, and numerous fossils have been found in its quarries; Bambury Stone, a huge mass of oolitic rock on the summit, has been connected by some with the Druids. Earthworks occur on the hill, and a Roman camp, with a double trench, can be traced on the top. Coins and other Roman remains have been found. The living is a rectory, comprising the chapelries of Bredon's Norton and Cutsdean, in the diocese of Worcester, with ancient exempt jurisdiction, the rector being lord of the manor of Bredon rectory; gross value, £1600 with residence. Patron, the Duke of Portland. The church occupies the site of the ancient monastery, is an old and interesting edifice of different periods, the nave and doorways being Norman, the south chapel Early English, and the rest Decorated English; it has a central tower 72 feet high, surmounted by a graceful spire of 89 feet, and was restored in 1845. It contains a piscina, sedilia, and an aumbry, and the seats are of solid oak with carved ends. The remains of Dr. Prideaux, Bishop of Worcester in the time of Charles I., lie in the chancel; a rich monument of Giles Reed, of date 1611, is in the south chapel; there are several other ancient monuments, and also a remarkable coped high tomb in the churchyard. The tithe aim on the manor farm near the church is of immense size. There is a Baptist chapel at Westmancote.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Bredon St. Giles|
|Poor Law union||Tewkesbury|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1559; marriages, 1562.
Church of England
St. Giles (parish church)
The parish church of St. Giles, originally erected in the latter half of the 12th century, is a building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, south chapel, north aisle with porch, and a central embattled tower, with an exceedingly light and graceful spire 160 feet in height and containing 5 bells: the nave, porch and south-west and north doorways are Norman, the chapel Early English and the remainder of the church Decorated, the Norman work being particularly good and in excellent preservation: the west front is flanked by square turrets with pyramidal stone cappings: the porch has a parvise, without, at present, any means of access; the lower part is groined ; both the porch doorway and the other entrances on the south, west and north have the chevron ornament; there are the remains of a piscina in the nave: the chancel retains a piscina and triple sedilia, and behind the piscina a low side window; on the north side of the chancel is a tomb without inscription, under a richly ornamented and crocketed arch, and east of it an aumbry: placed upright against the south wall is a singular monument, circ. 14th cent. formerly in the Mitton chapel, and discovered some years since in the flooring face downward; it represents a crucifix, above which are the busts of a man and his wife under canopies, and is supposed to belong to the Reede family: the tower is separated from the nave by a low wooden screen, and across the chancel arch there was formerly a painted and gilt rood loft: there are several ancient monuments, one of which, at the west end of the chapel, is a gorgeous and costly memorial to Giles Reed esq, and Katherine, (Greville) his wife, both of whom died in 1611; it is of black marble, cased with alabaster, and has recumbent effigies of both under a richly ornamented canopy, near which is suspended a helmet; there are also kneeling figures of their children, and the whole is profusely decorated with various architectural devices, heightened with colour and gilding: in the chancel, under a slab of black marble, with brasses exhibiting a mitre and shield of arms, lie the remains of Dr. John Prideaux, Bishop of Worcester (1641-50), who died here at the house of his son-in-law, Dr. Henry Sutton, July 20, 1650: there are 300 sittings, 150 being free: in the churchyard is a high coped tomb and a monumental cross profusely enriched with the ball-flower ornament.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Bredon from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Bredon (St. Giles))
Land and Property
The full transcript of the Worcestershire section of the Return of Owners of Land, 1873.
Online maps of Bredon 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, &cBredons Norton
The Visitation of Worcestershire 1569 is available on the Heraldry page.