Elmley Castle is a village and parish 4 miles S.E. of Pershore, 4 S.W. of Evesham, 9 N.E. of Tewkesbury, and 12 ½ S.E. of Worcester; is in the eastern division of the county and hundred of Middle Oswaldslow; in the union, petty sessional division, polling, and county court district of Pershore, and highway district of Evesham; annual rateable value, £3,019; area of parish, 2,057 acres; population in 1861 (exclusive of the hamlet of Netherton, which belonged to Cropthorne till 1864, when it was added to Elmley Castle by Order in Council), 464; in 1871, 486, with 82 inhabited houses and 102 families or separate occupiers. Joseph Jones, Esq., of Abberley hall, who is lord of the manor, Lady Hampton, and Lieut.-Colonel Henry Fanshawe Davies, are the principal landowners. The soil is clay and marl; subsoil, gravel and clay; chief crops, wheat, barley, and beans. Elmley Castle is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester and rural deanery of Pershore; living, a vicarage, value £300, with residence; patron, the Bishop of Worcester; vicar, Rev. Edward James Rhoades, M.A., Pembroke College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1878. The church of St. Mary is capacious, and has chancel, nave with aisles, and tower, chiefly Perpendicular work. The chancel was restored in 1863 at the cost of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and Lady Hampton, Rev. W. Parker, and Mr. Hill contributed largely to other portions of the work. Through the exertions of the former vicar (Rev. Hugh Bennett, now of Pirton rectory), the church was completely restored in 1878 at a cost of £1,700 raised by voluntary contributions. The nave, aisles, and chapel were reroofed, and the bells rehung. F. Preedy, Esq., of London, was the architect. A stained-glass window in the chancel (by Powell) was presented by Colonel Davies. There are splendid 17th-century monuments here to the Savages, Coventrys, and others. The earliest register is dated 1665. The national school is a red brick building with stone dressings, erected in 1869. A curious sun-dial is in the churchyard. A strong castle was erected on one of the Bredon hills in the time of William the Conqueror; it was destroyed during the reign of Henry II., but was afterwards rebuilt. In 1309, Guy Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, founded in it a college or chantry for eight priests, in honour of the Blessed Virgin. Traces of the castle are still to be found. The shaft of the village cross remains to mark the site of the ancient fairs and markets. It bears date 1148. Elmley Park, the seat of Lady Hampton, is now in the occupation of Lieut.-Colonel Henry Fanshawe Davies, J.P. It is a handsome mansion with extensive grounds, pleasantly situated on the east side of Bredon hill. Netherton is a hamlet, a quarter of a mile N. of Elmley Castle and 2 miles S. of Cropthorne (from which it was separated for ecclesiastical purposes in 1864). There are still to be seen some interesting ruins of a chapel here, now used as a barn and stable. This chapel is mentioned as existing in the time of Henry III. The hamlet is assessed to the county rate at £881; population in 1861 was 91; in 1871, 105, with 16 inhabited houses. Kersoe is a small hamlet; the population is returned with Elmley.
POSTAL REGULATIONS. – Henry Rance, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Pershore at 8.15 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5 p.m. Pershore is the nearest money-order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Mary’s). – Rev. Edward James Rhoades, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. Henry Moore and Thomas Blizard, Churchwardens; Thomas Heeks, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls). – Miss Jane Blackford, Mistress.
Crosse Rev. A. B. (curate in charge of Bricklehampton)
Davies Lieut.-Colonel Henry Fanshawe, J.P., Elmley park
Hill Rev. Rowland, Kersoe
Rhoades Rev. Edward James, M.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
AGRICULTURAL & COMMERCIAL.
Abell James, farmer, Netherton
Aldington Mrs. Ann, shopkeeper
Aldington Benjamin, hurdle maker
Aldington Mrs. Susannah, blacksmith
Bishop Edward, boot and shoe maker
Blackford Mrs. Rebecca, baker, miller, and beer retailer
Blackford Miss J., mistress of Nat. school
Blizard Thomas, beer retailer
Heeks Thomas, parish clerk
Hodgetts William, wheelwright
Mann Stephen, police officer
Moore Charles, farmer, The Hill
Moore Henry, farmer, landowner, churchwarden, waywarden, overseer, tax collector, &c.
Pitcher William Godfrey Yeend, farmer
Rance Hy., frmr., shopkr., & sub-postma.
Righton Daniel, farmer, Netherton
Rogers Thomas, gardener
Smith John, farmer, Kersoe
Smith Mrs. Martha, beer retailer (Plough)
Summers James, hurdle maker
Summers Richard, shopkeeper
Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.