Billesley (All Saints)
BILLESLEY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Stratford-upon-Avon, Stratford division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Stratford; containing 31 inhabitants. This was at one period a considerable place, but became depopulated during the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster. It was formerly the property of the Whalley family, who resided in a large handsome Elizabethan house situated in a finely-wooded park, and of which one wing forms the present mansion. The estate was afterwards possessed by Bishop Sherlock, through whose sister, who married Sir Thomas Gooch, Bishop of Ely, it passed into the Gooch family, by whom it was sold to Mr. Miles, father of the late Matthew Miles, Esq. The parish comprises by measurement 793 acres, of which 579 are arable, 201 meadow and pasture, and 13 woodland; the surface is undulated, and there are some good views. The road from Stratford to Alcester passes through. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 4. 7.; net income, £100; patrons, the family of Miles, and the Rev. T. Higgins. The church, which is in the Grecian style, was built about 1712, by Mr. Whalley. In 1844 was found, without the walls of the present churchyard, a stone coffin, containing a head, supposed to be that of a member of the Trussell family (anciently connected with the parish) who was slain at the battle of Evesham. Traces of streets and buildings are discernible here; and skeletons have been found.