Wichenford is a parish and village 6 ½ miles N.W. of Worcester and 2 E. of Martley, in the western division of the county, and hundred of Lower Oswaldslow; poor-law union, highway district, and polling district of Martley; petty sessional division and county court district of Worcester; annual rateable value, £3,180; area of parish, 2,669 acres; population in 1861, 366; in 1871, 391, with 83 inhabited houses and 88 families or separate occupiers. Thomas John Jones-Williams, Esq. (the lord of the manor), the Earl of Dudley, Daniel Britten, Esq., Lieut.-Colonel Norbury, and John Bury, Esq., are the principal landowners. The soil is strong clay and marl; chief crops, wheat, barley, beans, oats, hops, and fruit. Wichenford is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester and rural deanery of Worcester West; living, a vicarage, value £422 tithe rent charge, with residence and 8 acres of glebe; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Worcester; vicar, Rev. Maurice Day, M.A., Exeter and University Colleges, Oxford, who was instituted in 1879. The church of St. Lawrence has a chancel, nave, porch, western tower, and spire; was erected in 1262, and restored in 1863 at a cost of about £1,300. Memorial windows have been given by D. Britten, Esq., of Kenswick, and there are monuments of the Washbournes, and ancient family whose residence at Wichenford court, then one of the largest mansions in the county, with moat, drawbridge, &c., and still and object of great interest to antiquarians. The church was subordinate to St. Helen’s in Worcester, and at the settling of the dispute between the Bishop and the Convent of Worcester, was allotted to the monks as it lay on the west side of the Severn. In the year 1650, Wichenford was sold by the powers that then governed to Richard Turner and Thomas Davis, for £574 12s. 7 ½ d.; but at the Restoration it was again attached to the see [sic]. The parish register begins with the year 1690. Here is a national school for boys and girls, erected by the late rector (Rev. H. Shuker) in 1848. It was enlarged in 1875 at a cost of £150. There are a few small charities belonging to the parish. Kenswick was formerly an extra-parochial chapelry, but the ruined old chapel was taken down a few years ago, and under a recent Act of Parliament Kenswick has become a parish of itself, and is joined to Martley union. The place now consists of Kenswick House, the residence of Daniel Britten, Esq., and a farm called the Kedges. (See Kenswick, page 618.)
POSTAL REGULATIONS. – Letters are received through Worcester, which is the nearest money-order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Lawrence’s). – Rev. Maurice Day, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. John Hemus and Daniel R. C. Gill, Churchwardens; John Eaton, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls). – Miss Amelia Allen, Mistress.
Britten Daniel, Esq., J.P., Kenswick; and 7 Hanover terrace, Regent’s park, London, N.W.
Day Rev. Maurice, M.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
Jones-Williams Thomas John, Esq., Laugherne Hill house
AGRICULTURAL & COMMERCIAL.
Allen A., farmer, The Birchend
Allen Miss Amelia, schoolmistress
Box George, shoemaker
Bullock Philip, blacksmith
Cartridge Mark, farmer, Colketts farm
Chance Thomas, farmer, Peg house
Clark Edward, cot. Farmer, Buryend town
Clark Joseph, blacksmith, Coldbrook
Eaton John, farmer, Rimmer’s farm
Fidoe John, farmer, Little Cobhouse
Fox Thomas, farmer, Lingens
Gill Daniel R. C., farmer, Ridgend farm
Heach Henry, farmer and hop grower, The Kedges, Kenswick
Hemus Humphrey, farmer, Buryend bush
Hemus John, farmer, Woodhouse farm; also farmer in Grimley parish
Hicken Mrs. Helen, Mason’s Arms Inn
Hill George, farmer and hop grower, Wichenford court
Hill Thomas, wheelwright and carpenter
Hodges Jn., frm. Bailiff for D. Britten, Esq.
Moseley Thomas, farmer, Clarke’s grounds; and Laugherne House farm, Martley
Munn John, farmer and landowner, The Elms; res., The Elms, Grimley
Powick James, farmer, Woodend
Pugh John, farmer, Hucks farm
Pugh John, shopkeeper
Pugh William, farmer and tax collector, Ruggs farm
Smith Silvester Orlando, farmer, Voyce and King’s Green farms
Surman Thomas, farmer, Cockshott farm
Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.