Leigh Worcestershire Family History Guide

Leigh Church
Leigh Church Leigh church is dedicated to St Edburga. It was built by Benedictine monks from Pershore Abbey in around 1100. Here the church is viewed from the south-east. The copyright on this image is owned by Philip Halling and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Leigh is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire. Bransford and Malvern Link are chapelries of Leigh.

Other places in the parish include: Leigh Sinton, Link End, Sandlin, Sherridge, Brockhampton, Lower Howsell, Upper Howsell, and Cow Leigh

Parish church: St Edburga

Parish registers begin: 1538

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Roman Catholic, Countess of Huntingdon Connexion and Wesleyan Methodist.

Nonconformist Chapels

Countess of Huntingdon Connexion – Two chapels. One at Leigh Sinton erected in 1831. There was a house and small burial ground that belonged to the chapel. The other chapel, at Malvern Link, erected in 1835 at an expense of £300 seated 122 people.

Wesleyan Methodist – Centenary chapel erected in 1839 at Smeethen-green.

Parishes adjacent to Leigh

Historical Descriptions

Leigh

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

LEIGH, a parish and a sub-district in Martley district, Worcestershire. The parish lies on the river Teme and the Worcester and Malvern railway, 4½ miles WSW of Worcester; contains the hamlets of Leigh Sinton, Link-End, Sandlin, Sherridge, Brockhampton, Lower Howsell, Upper Howsell, and Cow-Leigh, the chapelry of Bransford, and most of the locality of Malvern-Link, adjoining Great Malvern; has postal accommodation partly through Worcester, partly through Great Malvern; and lies around the r. stations of Bransford-Road and Malvern-Link. Acres, 6,129. Real property, £17,498. Pop. in 1851, 2,342; in 1861, 3,330. Houses, 641. The increase of pop. was chiefly in the Malvern-Link locality, and arose from proximity to Great Malvern. The property is much subdivided. The manor belongs to Earl Somers. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £312. Patron, Earl Somers. The church is of varions dates, but chiefly of the 12th century; comprises nave, and chancel, with W tower; has, over the N door, a remarkable ancient sculpture in a recess supported by Norman pillars; and contains a curiously carved ancient screen, a Norman font, a fine monument of Sir Walter Devereux, and a number of ancient monnments and relics. A chapel of ease is at Bransford; a church was recently built at Cow-Leigh; and a school chapel is at Leigh-Sinton. A chapelry, called St. Matthias, is in the-Malvern-Link section; was constituted in 1846; had a pop. in 1861, of 1,670; and is a p. curacy, of the value of £100, in the patronage of the Bishop of Worcester. There are a Wesleyan chapel, two chapels of Lady Huntingdon’s Connexion, another dissenting chapel, two endowed schools, and some charities. The sub-district contains also three other parishes. Acres, 13,087. Pop., 4,981. Houses, 1,005.

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

Laird Description of Worcestershire 1814

Leigh Parish close to Cotheridge, but on the southern bank of the river, affords little worthy of notice, except the church, which is dedicated to St. Edburga, and must not be slightly passed over. The Devereux family were formerly great landlords here, and Sir Walter Devereux repaired the ceiling of the chancel, which represented the firmament with the moon and stars, and his motto – “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth forth his handy work” – but by some strange mistake of the painter, the arms of St. Walter were also placed in the centre of the firmament! The church contains many curious monuments of the families of Devereux, Cottes, &c. This parish extends a long way to the westward of the church, and the Mansion-house of Cowleigh, is said to divide the counties of Worcester and Hereford, where, said Mr. Habingdon, “the springs descending from above, delight the senses; a seat for the muses, but better for devotion; for lifted up on high, if you look one way, you see nothing but the hills and the heavens; if the other, you behold a vast prospect of this perishing world, which every instant consumeth.” It now belongs to Edmund Lechmere, Esq.

Source: A Topographical and Historical Description of the County of Worcester, by Mr. Laird. Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, Paternoster Row; and George Cowie and Co. successors to Vernor, Hood, and Sharp, 31, Poultry, London. Printed circa 1814.

Universal British Directory 1791

Leigh, about seven miles from Worcester, is a large parish, having rich meadows towards the north, adjoining Teme; in which is a place called the Castle, though no traces of any building remains. In its church are several ancient monuments. Southward it extends to Malvern-hills, on whose side lies Cowleigh, which mansion-house separates the counties of Worcester and Hereford. Within this parish is Brannsford and Braces Leigh; the former has a bridge over the Teme, with a snuff-mill adjoining; the latter formerly belonged to the Braces, a family in this county almost from the conquest, from whom it took its name. In 1776 an act of parliament passed for inclosing this parish; but, some difficulties arising in respect of its being within the chase of Malvern, it was not completed till 1778. The church, dedicated to St. Edburgh, has ancient monuments of Sir Walter Devereux and his lady, W. Colles and G. Freke, Esqrs. &.

Source: Universal British Directory 1791

Chocknell

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Chocknell, a hamlet in Leigh parish, Worcestershire; 6½ miles WSW of Worcester. It was formerly a parish.

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

Sherridge

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Sherridge, a hamlet in Leigh parish, Worcestershire; 5 ½ miles SW of Worcester. S. House is the seat of T. Norbury, Esq.

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

Directories

Online Directories

Bentley’s Directory of Leigh 1840 – Archive.org

Administration

  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Martley
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Powyke
  • Poor Law Union: Martley
  • Hundred: Pershore
  • Province: Canterbury
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