Elmley Castle (St. Mary)

ELMLEY CASTLE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Pershore, Middle division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Pershore and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 4 miles (E. S. E.) from Pershore; containing 403 inhabitants. This place takes its name from a castle erected on one of the Bredon hills, at the time of the Conquest, and which was destroyed in the reign of Henry III.; who gave to the inhabitants a weekly market, and an annual fair on the festival of St. Lawrence. A chantry or college, for eight priests, was subsequently founded here by Grey Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in honour of the Virgin Mary. The parish comprises 2040a. 2r. 31p., and is partly bounded on the south by Gloucestershire: nearly one-half of the surface is on the brow of the hill, and has a light but fertile soil; in the vale, the soil is a stiff wet clay. Great varieties of fossil shells are found. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 6. 5½.; net income, £112; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Worcester. The church, which stands on the south side of the village, is an ancient edifice with a vaulted roof; it contains some handsome monuments to the Savage family, and one to an earl of Coventry, erected by the countess, his widow. The site of the ancient castle, and the moat by which it was surrounded, are all that remain. Bishop Bonner is said to have been born here. The place gives the inferior title of Viscount to the Earl Beauchamp.

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

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