Astley Worcestershire Family History Guide

Photo of Astley church, near Stourport-on-Severn. by Philip Halling, some rights reserved.


Astley is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.

Near St Peter’s Church are the remains of a priory built in 1088. The priory was founded by Ralph de Todeni who was given the manor of Eastlie (Astley) for his service at the Battle of Hastings. It was an alien Benedictine House, belonging to a parent monastery in Normandy. The prior’s well remains, but is overgrown. To the East of the priory, well-defined earthworks of a medieval village have been found.[2]
St Peter’s church is of possible c12 century origins[5] although its origins may have been based on an existing priory.[6]
There are several memorials within the church to the Winford family.[5]

Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 Astley Parish ceased to be responsible for maintaining the poor in its parish. This responsibility was transferred to Martley Poor Law Union.[4]

Parishes adjacent to Astley

  • Hartlebury
  • Areley Kings
  • Great Witley
  • Martley
  • Shrawley
  • Ombersley
  • Abberley

Historical Descriptions of Astley

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

Astley, a parish in Martley district, Worcester; on the river Severn, 3 miles SW by S of Stourport r. station. Post Town, Stourport. Acres, 2,958. Real property, £6,862. Pop., 864. Houses, 198. A Benedictine priory, subordinate to the abbey of St. Tanrinus in France, was founded here, in the time of William the Conqueror, by Ralph de Todeni; suffered frequent seizure by the Crown during the wars with France; passed, in the time of Richard II., to John Beauchamp, and in that of Edward IV. to the college of Westbury; and was given by Henry VII. to Sir Ralph Sadler, the compiler of the state papers. A hermitage was cut out of the solid rock at Astley Cliff, near Redstone ferry; was a place of great resort for devotees in the Roman times; and is now an alehouse. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £623. Patrons, the Trustees of the Rev. D. J. J. Cooks. The church stands on an eminence; is Norman; and has a font and some monuments. An endowed school has £20, and other charities £6.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Astley, 4½ miles S. Bewdley. P. 834

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1840

Astley, a parish in the lower division of the hund. of Doddingtree, union of Martley, county of Worcester; 5 miles south from Bewdley; on a small tributary of the Severn. Living, a rectory exempt from visitation, in the dio. of Worcester; rated at £5 13s. 4d.; gross income £719. Patrons, in 1835, the trustees of the late Rev. D. J. J. Cookes. There is a school here, with an endowment of £20 per annum, at which 38 children were educated in 1833. Other charities connected with the parish produce about £5 15s. per annum. “An alien priory of Benedictine monks, subordinate to the abbey of St Taurinus, near Ebroix, founded by Ralph de Todenei, in the time of William the Conqueror, or however, before 1160. Upon the frequent seizure of this estate into the king’s hands during the wars with France, the abbot and convent of St Taurinus obtained leave, in the time of Richard II., to sell the same to John Beauchamp, who was in possession of it for some time; but afterwards, under Edward IV., this priory was annexed to the college of Westbury, in Gloucestershire, and, upon the dissolution, was granted by King Henry VII. to Sir Ralph Sadler.” Tanner’s Not. Mon. A hermitage was dug out of a rock near Redstone ferry here, which was a place of great resort for devotees of high quality in papal times. It has since been made a public house! Pop., in 1801, 697; in 1831, 849. Houses 167. Acres 3,310. A. P. £3,820. Poor rates, in 1837, £429.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1840.

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Astley – a parish in the hundred of Doddingtree, lower division, 6 miles S. from Bewdley, and 123 from London; containing 170 inhabited houses; the church is a handsome building, the ancient part of which is of Saxon architecture, and contains several monuments worthy of the attention of the antiquary. Here was formerly an Alien Priory of Benedictines, founded by Ralph De Todeni, in 1160; and at Redstone, a high cliff on the Severn, was a hermitage cut out of the rock, with a chapel and several apartments, which in the days of papal superstition, was held in great veneration; it is now a licensed public house. The living is a rectory; Rev. Denham James John Cookes, incumbent in his own right; instituted 1812. Population, 1801, 697 – 1811, 740 – 1821, 784.

Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.

Directories

Astley Littleburys Directory 1879

Astley Lewis Worcestershire Directory 1820

Family History Links for Astley

FamilySearch

The following records for Astley are available free from FamilySearch.

Birth, Marriage, & Death

England and Wales Census Records

Migration

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Administration

  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Martley
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Worcester
  • Poor Law Union: Martley
  • Hundred: Doddingtree
  • Province: Canterbury
  • Petty Sessional Division: Stourport
  • Highway District: Kidderminster
  • County Court District: Kidderminster
  • Polling District: Hundred House
  • Family History Links for Astley
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