Alvechurch (St. Lawrence)
ALVECHURCH (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Bromsgrove, forming a detached portion of the Middle division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, locally in the Upper division of the hundred of Halfshire, Northfield and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 4½ miles (E. N. E.) from Bromsgrove; containing 1633 inhabitants. This was the occasional residence of the bishops of Worcester, who had a palace here in the reign of Henry II., which after the sale of the manor by the parliament, in 1648, was suffered to fall to decay, and has now entirely disappeared. The parish comprises 6599 acres, and the Birmingham and Worcester canal runs through it. Needles are made here in the rough state, and taken to Redditch to be finished. A sandstone-quarry is in operation. Fairs for cattle and sheep are held on the 22nd of April and 10th of August. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24. 16. 8., and in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester: the tithes have been commuted for £1100, with 96 acres of glebe, and a house. The church has Norman pillars, but the chancel displays the early English style, and the tower is more modern; in the interior is a monument dated 1315, of Sir Thomas Blanchfont, represented as a cross-legged knight. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Baptists. £36 per annum are appropriated to the instruction of children; the original benefactor is not known, but Dr. Warth left £100 in augmentation. A school-house was built in 1839; the school is on the national plan, for 50 boys and 30 girls, and is well supported by subscription. There is also an excellent Sunday school. An hospital for a master, six brethren, and two sisters, was incorporated by Queen Elizabeth; it is endowed with £33. 6. 8., exclusively of keeping the tenements in repair. The Roman Ikeneld-street passes through the parish, in its course from Alcester towards Lichfield. The learned Dr. Hickes, author of the Thesaurus Septentrionalium Linguarum, was incumbent here.