Birlingham is a village and parish 3 miles S.W. of Pershore, 6 N.E. of Upton-on-Severn, 11 S.E. of Worcester, 1 mile, E. of Defford, and the same distance N.E. of Eckington station on the Birmingham and Bristol branch of the Midland railway. It is almost surrounded by the river Avon and Defford Brook, and is in the eastern division of the county and hundred of Upper Pershore; in the union, county court district, petty sessional division, polling district, and rural deanery of Pershore, and in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester. It is assessed to the county rate at £3,676. the area of the parish is 1,210 acres; population in 1861, 353; in 1871, 339, with 75 inhabited houses, and 91 families or separate occupies. The land is fertile, a large portion being meadow and orchard. Asham meadow, about 60 acres is commonable land after the gathering of hay. The Earl of Coventry is lord of the manor of Birlingham. The principal landowners are Henry Porter, Esq., and Robert Woodward, Esq. William Hanford Flood, Esq., of Woollashall (who by marriage with Miss Hanford now represents the old Hanford family of Woollashall or Woolleshill), is lord of the manor of Nafford. The church (St. James’s), which is in the Decorated Gothic style, was rebuilt (with the exception of the tower) in 1871, the cost being defrayed by a bequest of the late rector, the Rev. Robert Eyres Landor. It consists of chancel, nave with aisles, and south porch. Mr. B. Ferrey, of London, was the architect, The register begins with the year 1566. The church was formerly a chapel to Nafford, and the living is still described as Nafford with Birlingham; but the site of Nafford church is now lost. The living is a rectory, annual value £230, with residence and 79 acres of glebe, in the patronage of the trustees of the Rev. R. Landor, and is held by the Rev. Rashleigh Duke, B.A., of Queen’s College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1869. A parochial school, erected and endowed by the late Miss Porter, was opened in 1855, and there are also almshouses for eight poor parishioners, but without endowment. There are several delightful residences in this parish:- Birlingham, the residence of Mrs. Porter, in an elegant mansion, beautifully situated, and commanding magnificent views of the surrounding country. The interior is fitted up with great taste, and is adorned with many valuable paintings by eminent artists. Birlingham Court-house is occupied by Forester Britten, Esq., J.P., and The Moors is the residence of Joseph Woodward, Esq.
Postal Regulations – Matthew Gibbs, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Pershore at 7 a.m. ; despatched thereto at 6 p.m. Eckington is the nearest money-order office. Defford station is the nearest telegraph office. Post town, Pershore.
Parish Church (St. James’s). – Rev. Rashleigh Duke, B.A., Rector; Messrs. Walter Jones and Joseph Woodward, Churchwardens; Albert Bowers, Parish Clerk.
Parochial School (boys and girls). – Miss Elizabeth Ann Cooke, Mistress.
Carrier to Worcester – Joseph Cockbill, every Saturday; returning from the Union Inn, Cadastres, at 4 p.m. the same day.
Britten Forrester, Esq., J. P., Birlingham Court house
Duke Rev. Rashleigh B.A. (rector of Nafford with Birlingham), The Rectory
Porter Mrs. Birlingham mansion
Woodward Joseph, Esq., The Moors
AGRICULTURAL & COMMERCIAL.
Aldington William, shoeing and general smith and edge-toolmaker
Atwood Esther, shopkeeper
Bowers Albert, parish clerk
Cockbill Joseph, mkt. gardener & carrier
Cooke Miss E. A., schoolmistress
Day William, farm bailiff for Mrs. Porter
Gibbs Matthew, carpenter, wheelwright, shopkeeper and sub-postmaster
Goodall Edmund, farmer and butcher, New farm
Jones Walter, miller, Nafford mill
Phelps Samuel, farmer, Hall farm
Phelps William, farmer
Roper James, carpenter and wheelwright
Skinner Mrs. Sarah, farmer, Upper end
Smith George, farmer, Box cottage
Smithin Mrs., farmer Lower end
Taylor Thomas, beer retailer (Swan)
Woodward Joseph, farmer and landowner, The Moors
Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.