Martley, with the Hamlet of Hillhampton, is pleasantly situated, nearly 8 miles N.W. from Worcester. Martley contained in 1851 a population of 1160, Hillhampton, 149; total, 1309 inhabitants.

Berrow Hill is of an oval form, with two lines of entrenchments round the brow of the hill, which evidently shows that it must have been the site of an ancient camp. The trenches are still perfect in some parts, particularly at the north and south ends of the oval; it is supposed to be as large as anything of the kind in the kingdom, measuring in length about 400 yards, and in width about 190 yards.

The Church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient edifice, comprising nave, chancel, and western tower, with a peal of six fine bells. The south doorway, and a portion of the walls, are in the Norman style of architecture; and the remaining portions of the building consists of repairs and improvements of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. At the south of the altar is a piscina. The ceiling is semicircular, and the walls are connected by rude tie-beams. In the south side of the chancel is a recumbent alabaster figure, said to be intended for Sir Hugh Mortimer, from whom Martley descended to the Barons de la Ware, the families of Mucklowe, Slaney, Foley, and the present Lord Ward. There are several older memorials, chiefly belonging to the Nash family. The edifice contains free accommodation for 261 persons, having been enlarged in 1829. In the churchyard are traces of an old school, which was recently pulled down, and was supposed to have been founded in the reign of Elizabeth (see notice of School below). The living is a Rectory, in the patronage of the Rev. H. J. Hastings, M.A., who is also Rector. Rev. Henry James Hastings, M.A., Rector of Arely Kings, Rector; Mr. James Merrick, Clerk. Service – 10 30 a.m. and 3 30 p.m.; winter months, 3 p.m.

The School was originally an Endowed Grammar School, founded in the reign of Elizabeth, fro we find that lands in Martley, Wichenford, &c., of the yearly value of thirty-three shillings, went for the maintenance of a learned schoolmaster; and in the time of Charles I., other property worth sixteen pounds per annum was exemplified out of Chancery for the same purpose; but whether the traces of the old school in the churchyard are the remains or not we have no means of ascertaining. The present building was erected some years ago, through the instrumentality of Lord Ward and others. His Lordship gave the land and £300; Rev. H. J. Hastings, £300; Dr. Nash, £50; and other parties equally liberal contributions. It is under Government and Diocesan inspection. Mr. William Henry Pennington, Master; Miss Sarah Sidley, Mistress. Number of scholars – boys, 36; girls 50.

The Union Workhouse is a commodious brick building, sufficiently large to accommodated 160 persons. The Union is comprised of twenty-eight parishes and townships. Chairman, Rev. John Pearson, Suckley; Vice-Chairman, Daniel Zachary, Esq., Areley Hall; Chaplain, Rev. H. J. Hastings, Martley Rectory; Surgeon, J. N. Greensill, Esq.; Clerk, John Walcott, Esq.; Master, Mr. James John Bigwood; Matron, Jane Eliza Bigwood; Schoolmistress, Sarah H. Hiam; Relieving Officers, Mr. John Wormington and Mr. William Hill. Board day is held once a fortnight, on Friday.

Charities – There are several charities belonging to this parish, viz., The Rev. John Vernon left £15; Mr. James Clark, £100; Mr. John Clark, £20; Alice Nash, £10; besides several other sums, amounting to £40, which are annually distributed on St. Thomas’s day.

DIRECTORY

Clarke Mr. James, Stony Bridge

Hastings Rev. Henry James, M.A., Rectory of Areley Kings, Honorary Canon of Worcester Cathedral, Rural Dean, and Curate of Martley, Rectory.

Hughes William, S. P., Esq., Laughern House

Hurst Mrs. Mary

Husbands Mr. Edmund Thomas, Barfurlong Cottage

Nash James, Esq., M.D., The Noak

Smith Rev. William, B.A., Curate, Rectory Cottage

Smith Mr. Nathaniel, Horseham House

Allport Richard, farmer

Badger John, farmer, Upper Hollen

Ballard John, wheelwright and carpenter

Bigwood James John, Master of the Union

Bishop Thomas, blacksmith

Boughton Joseph Henry, farmer, Brook

Bradley Thomas Waldron, surgeon, Hope House

Clewer Ann, farmer, Hill Top, Horseham

Cooper John, cider retailer

Cowell Daniel, farmer, Martley Court

Davis Michael, farmer, Lingens; also of the Hope House

Davis Daniel, farmer

Davis John, farmer, Old House

Davis William, farmer, Hawksnest

Ennis Diana, farmer, Ham Bridge

Farmer William, shopkeeper

Farmer John, lime burner

Footman Richard, shoe maker

Gardner Elizabeth, farmer, Brook House

Gardner Edward, farmer, Brook House

Gittings John, tailor

Gould Marianne, farmer, Hill Side

Gould George, blacksmith

Gregg Frederick, tailor

Hill Matthew, farmer, Tompkins

Hill Thomas, wheelwright and carpenter

Hill John, victualler and shopkeeper, Crown

Hill Henry, shopkeeper

Holliday Charles, victualler, farmer, and farrier, Admiral Rodney

Holliday Charles, farmer

Lipscombe Edwin, Registrar of Births and Deaths for Martley District

Merrick James, grocer and draper; Collector of Taxes

Matthews Mark, shoe maker

Payne John, farmer, Berrow Green

Perks Henry, butcher

Potter George, farmer, Rodge Hill; also of Lane End, Shelsley Beauchamp

Rimell William, castrator, Berrow Green

Rogers William, farmer, Berrow House; also of Upper and Lower Horseham

Rogers John, tanner, Tan House

Rowley George, cooper

Severn Samuel, farmer

Shepherd Richard, carpenter & builder, Kingswood

Shepherd Richard, carpenter and builder

Sidley Elizabeth Susannah, boarding school

Spilsbury Benjamin, farm bailiff to J. Nash, Esq., The Noak

Taylor Samuel, farmer, Hockhams

Thomas William, blacksmith

Turley Sarah, farmer, Pudford

Turley James, farmer, Prickley Farm

Turley Joseph, farmer, Aldon’s; also of the Park Farm, Great Witley

Turley Joseph, farmer, Lower Hollen; also of Barber’s Farm

Turley Edward, wheelwright and carpenter

Williams Thomas, Police Officer, Station

Young Thomas, farmer, Prickley Green

Young John, blacksmith

Hillhampton

Gibbons Benjamin, Esq., Hillhampton House

Bal Joseph, shopkeeper

Broom Wm., gamekeeper to Lord Ward

Croydon William, farmer, Hillhampton Farm

Dukes John, mason

Pearman Joseph, farmer

Williams Henry, beer retailer and mason, Rock Tavern

Post Office, Martley – Mr. James Merrick, Sub-Postmaster. Arrival, 10 a.m.; despatch, 4 p.m.

Carriers – Worcester, Lipscombe, Tue., Thur., and Sat., 9 a.m.; and Morris, Sat., 9 a.m.

Source: Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855