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Packwood (St. Giles)

PACKWOOD (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Solihull, Warwick division of the hundred of Kington, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4½ miles (N. N. E.) from Henley-in-Arden; containing 352 inhabitants. This parish comprises by admeasurement 1640 acres of land, the property of Earl Cornwallis, John Fetherston, Esq., and Wilson Aylesbury Roberts, Esq. The surface, though considerably elevated, is generally flat, and the soil chiefly marl and clay, peculiarly adapted to the growth of oak-trees, of which some magnificent specimens are to be seen in the grounds of Packwood House, the seat of the Fetherston family, who settled here from the castle of Fetherstonhaugh, in the county of Northumberland, in the 8th of Edward IV. This ancient mansion is a remarkably fine example of the timber frame-work buildings of the 14th century, with offices and stables in the Elizabethan style, and, from its numerous gables of curious and elaborate masonry, ornamented with sun-dials, having Latin inscriptions, has a singularly striking appearance. One of the fronts of the edifice is approached through an outer and an inner court-yard. The gardens are laid out in terraces, and adorned with shrubs clipped into fantastic devices; in one part of them is an ancient apiary of about 40 hives inclosed in brickwork, and in one of the walks a smoking-room of early date. The Pleasantry Mount, or Calvary, extending over two acres, and encircled with broad-cut hedges of box and yew, contains some very ancient yew-trees, of which three are symbolical of the Trinity, and others of the Twelve Apostles, with various appendages illustrative of Our Saviour's suffering and the consequent propagation of Christianity. The Stratford canal and the road from Birmingham to Warwick pass through the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £100, with a good house recently built; patron and impropriator, Earl Cornwallis. The tithes have been commuted for £318. 10.; the incumbent's glebe consists of 30 acres. The church is an ancient structure, and contains two piscinæ, and several handsome monuments to the Fetherston family.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.