Bengeworth (St. Peter)
BENGEWORTH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and borough of Evesham, locally in the Lower division of the hundred of Blackenhurst, E. division of the county of Worcester; containing 1082 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1281a. 1r. 20p.; it is situated on the eastern side of the navigable river Avon, and communicates with the town of Evesham by an ancient stone bridge. A portion of Gloucestershire bounds it on the south, and it is intersected by the roads from Evesham to Stow and Chipping-Campden. The manor anciently belonged to the Beauchamp family, whose baronial castle, situated near the bridge, was in the twelfth century destroyed by William d'Anville, abbot of Evesham, in retaliation for depredations committed by the owner on his monastery. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £7. 10. 10.; income, about £150; patron, the Rev. William Harker: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1795. The church, which is of irregular form, and has a substantial tower and spire, was formerly dependent on the abbey of Evesham: in 1832 the churchyard was inclosed by a substantial brick wall, at the expense of the parishioners. John Deacle, alderman of London, who was born at Bengeworth, and died in 1709, left by will £2000 for the endowment of a free school here; the premises were erected in 1736, at an expense of £335, and with the residue of the legacy an estate was purchased.