Claines (St. John the Baptist)

CLAINES (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Droitwich, Lower division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Worcester and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 2½ miles (N.) from Worcester; containing, with Whistones tything, 6395 inhabitants. This parish, a considerable part of which lies within the borough of Worcester, is situated on the river Severn; the Worcester and Birmingham canal passes through it, and the Droitwich canal near its northern boundary. It is intersected by the Worcester and Shrewsbury and the Worcester and Birmingham roads, and comprises by measurement 4532 acres, of which 2000 are arable, and nearly all the rest pasture. The soil is fertile, the land well wooded, and there are many handsome seats and villas. In the parish is the island of Bevere, formed by the rivulet Beverhern, and memorable as having twice afforded refuge to the inhabitants of Worcester; first in 1041, from the fury of King Hardicanute on account of their refusing to pay the Danegelt, and next in 1637, from a dreadful pestilence then raging in the city. Owing to the improvement of the Severn, an iron suspension-bridge has been erected over this rivulet, which has now become a wide stream. The Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton railway runs through the parish.

The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £175; patron and impropriator, Sir Offley Penbury Wakeman, Bart.: the glebe consists of 21 acres in the parish of Hanbury, purchased by a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty. The tithes have been commuted for about £1000 per annum. The church has been recently renovated and repaired, the galleries enlarged, and the porch rebuilt. A chapel, dedicated to St. George, was erected in 1830, at a cost of £3345, in the early English style, with a tower; and from the want of sufficient accommodation for the increasing population, it is expected that another chapel will be shortly built at Fernall Heath. Some schools are supported; and a fund of about £35 per annum, arising from bequests, is applied to the purchase of clothing, bread, &c., for the poor. On Elbury Hill is the site of a Roman camp, which completely overlooked and would defend the city of Worcester: this camp appears to have been first described by Mr. Allies in his Antiquities of Worcester. A remarkable relic of Roman-British antiquity, supposed to have been used as a torque or ornament worn round the neck, was lately found at Perdiswell, the seat of Sir O. P. Wakeman; and other relics have been discovered in the parish.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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