Areley, Upper (St. Peter)
ARELEY, UPPER (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Kidderminster, S. division of the hundred of Seisdon and of the county of Stafford, 4 miles (N. by W.) from Bewdley; containing 667 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3803a. 3r. 12p., whereof 58 acres are common or waste; the surface is undulated, the soil generally good, and the scenery very fine. A thin stratum of coal is worked; and there are quarries of red freestone, of which large blocks are raised for building, and which is also used for grindstones and millstones. Areley Castle, the seat of the late Earl of Mountnorris, who, when Viscount Valentia, published his interesting travels in the east, is now the residence of his nephew, A. L. Annesley, Esq., who succeeded to his English and Irish estates. The village occupies a romantic situation near the margin of the river Severn. The living is a perpetual curacy; patron and impropriator, Mr. Annesley; incumbent, the Rev. John Allen. The great tithes have been commuted for £391. 7., and those of the incumbent for £305: the impropriate glebe consists of 199 acres; the glebe belonging to the incumbent contains about half an acre, with a good house. The church, which is situated on an eminence commanding a fine prospect, was first built by Henry de Port, in the reign of Henry I., and was rebuilt in the time of Edward I.: the interior was renovated and beautified at the expense of the late Earl of Mountnorris, who also built a handsome school-house, with a residence for the master, and endowed the school with £21 per annum. In Areley wood are the remains of a Roman camp; at Hawkbatch a Roman town and bridge are said to have existed, and many Roman coins have been found in that part of the parish. There are mineral springs, which are said to be something like the Harrogate waters, and have been used for medicinal purposes.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.