Eastham is distant from Tenbury about 3 miles, comprising, in 1851, a population of 319 inhabitants, and an area of 5000 acres.
Hanley William is a small parish and village, and was annexed to Eastham in the year 1560; it contained in 1851 a population of 125.
Hanley Child is a Chapelry to Eastham, with a population, in 1851, of 196.
Orleton is a Chapelry to Eastham, with a population, in 1851, of 107 inhabitants.
From “Heming’s Chartulary” we learn that in the early part of the eleventh century, during the devastations of the Danes in this country, many lands and possession were taken away from the Prior and convent of Worcester, among which were Eastham, Tenbury, Clifton, &c., one Earl Hacun and his soldiers being the chief spoliators; and the record goes on to state, “which his wife, Gunnild, knowing to the unjustly done, to make some small recompence, gave them the image of the Virgin Mary, curiously wrought and adorned with gold.” But that the monks of Worcester were too conversant with the science of “profit and loss” to accept this golden plaything as an equivalent for their broad acres, is proved by the statement that “they made incessant prayers to God and the Holy Virgin, and blessed Oswald their patron, that they would raise up some good man, and put it into his heart, to restore the possessions again to the church, whose right they were; and that whosoever should studiously counsel and advise the same might have an everlasting reward.”
Eastham Church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient edifice, situated on the banks of the Teme, consisting of nave and chancel, with western square tower of brick, containing four bells, which are about two centuries old. This church is supposed to have belonged to the Knights Templars, and hence the devices on the walls; but we are not aware in what the subjects of the carvings apply to the Templars, except that the lamb and cross formed the standard chosen by that knightly order; but they were likewise the symbols of Redemption. There is not much interest attached to the Church, except in those portions which pertained to the Normans. South of the nave is a doorway of that character, with arcade work above it externally, and in the same wall are two rudely-carved bas-reliefs, representing apparently two of the signs of the Zodiac, Leo and Sagittarius; and on the wall of the chancel arch, facing the nave, are two similar carvings, the one of the lamb and cross, and the other two lions’ bodies united to one head. On the east side of the chancel arch is a painting of the Crucifixion. The old wooden tower was taken down in 1830, and the present brick one, with stone coping, erected. At the same time the church was repaired, re-pewed, and a new gallery erected, the outlay being £620. in the chancel lie the Soleys of Orleton, several of the former Rectors of Eastham, and the Whitcombs. The living is a Rectory, with Hanley William and the chapelries of Hanley Child and Orleton attached, in the patronage of the Rev. Henry Brown, B.A., who is the present Rector; Rev. Thomas Morris, M.A., Curate; Mr. William Porter, Clerk. Service – 11 a.m.
Hanley William Church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient edifice, consisting of nave, chancel and spire. Mr. James Wainwright, Clerk. Service – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., alternately.
Hanley Child Church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small edifice. Mr. Thomas Tyler, clerk. Service – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., alternately.
Orleton Chapel is in the modern style of architecture, consisting of nave, chancel, and western square tower with embattlements; the interior is neatly fitted up with enclosed seats. Mr. Robert Bruton, Clerk. Service – 3 p.m.
There is a Sunday School, established about thirty years since. Most of the children attend on week days. A cottage, with land, had been given for its support; but through neglecting a claim the annual rent for the property, the parties in possession became the legal proprietors, and the parish has lost all claim to it.
Brown Rev. Henry, B.A., Rector, Rectory
Holl Mr. William, High Wood Cottage
Annam Benjamin, farmer, The Park
Austins James, farmer, Ockerell Farm
Bach William, farmer
Dorrell Thomas, farmer, Fulhams
Eckley Vincent, farmer, Boat House
Element George, shopkeeper and cider retailer
Hemming John, bee retailer and shopkeeper
Holder William, farmer, Hill Wood
Meredith Joseph, farmer, Puddleford
Porter William, wheelwright, carpenter, and Parish Clerk
Powell William, farm bailiff to William Barnbrook, Esq., Nackershole Farm
Preece James, blacksmith and shopkeeper
Price Thomas, farmer, Court House
Pritchard Arthur, farmer, Black House
Weaver John Downes, farmer, Lower House
Worrall William, farmer, The Spout
Morris Rev. Thomas, M.A., Curate
Newport Rev. Thos. Henry, Hanley Court
Bowkett Richard, farmer, Church Farm
Bowkett William, farmer, Broomey Field
Brooke Mary, farmer, Fair House
Oseland Mary, farmer, New House
Oseland John, farmer, New House
Oseland John, farmer, New House
Oseland Thomas, farmer, miller, and Relieving Officer for the Bockleton District of the Tenbury Union, Hanley William Mill
Thomas George, victualler, Fox Inn
Wainwright James, shopkeeper, and Registrar of Births and Deaths for the Bockleton District
Clarke James, farmer, Parsonage
Clifton Edward, shopkeeper
Cooke Thomas, farmer, Woodstock Bower
Cook Thomas, farmer, Upper and Lower Villa
Cooper Solomon, farmer, The Hill
Cullingworth William, farmer, Chaplin Valley
Drew John, farmer, Court House
Graves James, victualler, The Bell
Harris James, shopkeeper and carpenter
Haywood John, blacksmith
Sanders John, shopkeeper
Spilsbury John, farmer, Chaffridge; also of New Grove
Spilsbury William, farmer, Town House
Stratton Matthias, Police Officer, County Police Station
Taylor John, tailor
Young Edward, wheelwright and carpenter
Bruton Robert, wheelwright, carpenter, and Parish Clerk
Davies Samuel, cooper
Davis Thomas Henry, farmer, auctioneer, and land agent, Middle House
Moore James, farmer, Loxton Farm
Morris George, farmer
Morris James, farmer, Upper House
Strafford William, farmer, Orleton court
Carrier – To Kidderminster, Graves (omnibus), Bell, Hanley Child, Thur., 5 a.m.; to Worcester, Sat., 7 a.m.
Source: Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855