Hanbury (St. John the Baptist)
HANBURY (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Droitwich, Middle division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Droitwich and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 4 miles (E. by N.) from Droitwich; containing 1069 inhabitants. The parish comprises 7002 acres, whereof 100 are waste land or common: the surface is diversified with hills, and many of the high grounds command pleasing views; the soil is chiefly stiff clay or marl, producing excellent wheat and beans. The Birmingham and Worcester canal, the Birmingham and Gloucester railway, and the roads from Bromsgrove and Droitwich to Alcester, pass through the parish. Hanbury Hall occupies the summit of a gently rising ground, in a well-wooded park; it was built about 1700, and ornamented by the pencil of Sir James Thornhill. Mere Hall, built in 1333, is a beautiful specimen of half-timbered architecture, presenting a very picturesque appearance. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £29. 16. 8., and in the gift of Thomas Bowater Vernon, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £1115, and the glebe comprises 162 acres. The church, which stands upon a very lofty eminence, is in the early, decorated, and later English styles, and contains some elegant monuments to the Vernons, particularly one by Sir Francis Chantrey to the late Thomas Taylor Vernon, Esq. The Rev. Richard Vernon, in 1627, founded a charity school; and Thomas Vernon, Esq., in 1711, gave land towards its support, besides £200 for apprenticing children, and £1000, which now produce an annual income of £120, to be distributed in clothing among the poor.