Clifton-upon-Teme is a Parish situate in the upper division of the hundred of Doddingtree, 10 miles from Worcester, 9 from Tenbury, and 3 from Martley. It contained in 1851 a population of 547 inhabitants. The situation of Clifton commands some of the most extensive and beautiful views in the county, overlooking the serpentine course of the river Teme. The visitor passes through one long street, stopping to admire a few villas, the vicarage, and ancient church, with its lich-gate. The “Lion” Inn is almost the only relic of the ancient importance of Clifton. Portions of it bear marks of great antiquity, being built of travertine, the same geological formation as that of which Southstone rock, in the parish of Stanford, is composed; and tradition says that it formed part of the ancient Court-house.
The town of Clifton was constituted a borough by Edward III., and privileged with fairs, a weekly market on Thursday, and many other franchises and immunities, by a charter granted to Mortimer, now disused. The manor of Clifton was conveyed to William Jefferies, by Henry VI. The heiress of that family married Edward Winnington, about a century and a half ago, and thus the estate came into the possession of the Winningtons. “Hamme Castle” was formerly a place of great strength, but was destroyed in 1646, by the Parliamentary troops. It was restored in 1840, and the moat and terraces still remain. There is a noble staircase in the house, and a flight of steps leading to what has been described as a confessional or penance cell.
The Church, dedicated to St. Kenelm, and infant heir to the Saxon King of Mercia, who was murdered on the Clent Hills, near Stourbridge, consists of nave, chancel, and south aisle, with western tower and spire. The tower, which is built of rubble, with irregular ashlar-work at the angles, has duplicated lights, divided by a rude kind of baluster, diagonal buttresses of rubble, and wooden spire. We are inclined to assign a great portion of the tower to the Saxon period. The tower arch, opening into the nave, is interesting, springing from the base something in the shape of a horse-shoe, without capitals to the columns, above this arch is a window, the head of which is triangular, formed of two blocks of stone. Triangular arches are found of a much later date, being often seen in cathedral clerestories of the perpendicular period, but are rarely of so rude a construction. In the chancel lies the body of Edward Winnington Jefferyes (third son of Sir Francis Winnington), who was celebrated as a distinguished speaker in Parliament, and an eminent lawyer, in the reign of Queen Anne. It is said that an offer of the Great Seal was made to him, but his ambition was restrained by his love of country sports, which eventually caused his death. Underneath one of the lofty arches which divide the nave from the aisle, are the remains of an ancient tomb, containing the effigy of a knight of the Holy Voyage, supposed to have been Sir Ralph Wysham, one of a family who formerly held the manor, and resided at Woodmanton. There are also monuments to the Ingrams, a family of great antiquity, mentioned in deeds without date, and therefore prior to the year 1290, and who resided for many generations at a house called “The Noak”, (now occupied by Mr. Hughes). In 1722, a descendant of the Ingrams married into the Winnington family. The Haywoods, another ancient family, who resided at Salfourd Court, have likewise memorials here. The living is a Vicarage, in the patronage of Sire T. E. Winnington, Bart. Rev. Slade Baker, M.A., Vicar; Mr. James Martin, Clerk. Service – 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The National School, for the education of the children of the parishes of Clifton and Sapey Pritchard, is supported by voluntary contributions, and is under Diocesan and Government inspection. The site was given by Sir T. E. Winnington, Bart. Mr. Frederick James Noad, Master; Mrs. Lucy Noad, Mistress. Number of scholars, 75.
An Agricultural Society has been established in this parish.
Fairs are held here on the 15th of April and 10th of October.
Baker Rev. Slade, M.A., Vicar, Vicarage
Haywood Mr. Edwin, Bayton Villa
Walker The Misses
Watkin Rev. Edward
Wright Rev. John Howard Cressy, M.A., Vicar of Wolferlow
Arminger Richard, castrator
Boddington Thomas Henry, farmer, Church House
Boughton John William, farmer, Woodmanton
Callow Edward, saddle and harness maker
Cownley John, shoe maker
Davis Thomas, farmer, The Steps
Derbyshire Joseph, victualler and farmer, Red Lion
Dovey James, Police Constable
Green John, mason
Griffiths James, farmer, carrier, and cider retailer, Shortlands, Clifton Hill
Heaford Thomas, farmer, The Ham
Hodges Hannah, victualler, Crown
Hodges John, wheelwright
Hodges Emma and Marianne, milliners and dress makers
Hooper John, farmer, Clifton’s Wood
Horton John, victualler, farmer, and butcher, Unicorn
Hughes Charles, farmer, The Noak; also of the Oxhall
Jones Thomas, blacksmith and shopkeeper
Jones Thomas, tailor
Lea Robert, farmer, The Hope
Lewis John, wheelwright and carpenter
Lipscombe Joseph, farmer, carrier, and Collector of Taxes
Martin James, carpenter, builder, and Parish Clerk
Martin Susan and Sarah, dress makers
Moore John, farmer, Ham Castle
Neville Thomas, farmer, Hangstree
Noad Frederick James, Schoolmaster, Postmaster, Organist, and Agent to the Hope Mutual Life Assurance Society
Potter Michael, tailor
Rastal John, miller and maltster, Ham Mill
Roberts Edward, blacksmith
Rowley William, shoe maker
Sheward Joseph, boot and shoe maker
Webb Henry, butcher
Wells Thomas George, farmer, Salford
Wells Charles, farmer, Salford
Williams William, grocer, draper, and agent for the Farmers’ Fire, Life, and Hail Storm Insurance Institution
Post Office. – Frederick James Noad, Sub-Postmaster. Arrival, 9 15 a.m.; despatch, 4 p.m.; Sunday despatch, 10 30 a.m.
Carriers – Worcester, through Martley, Griffiths (van), Wed. and Sat. 8 a.m.; Lipscombe, (omnibus), Tues., Thurs., and Sat., 8 a.m.
Source: Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855