Shelsley Beauchamp Worcestershire Billings Directory 1855

Shelsley Beauchamp, or Great Shelsley, is a village pleasantly situated on the banks of the Teme, about 9½ miles from Worcester, and contained in 1851 a population of 560 inhabitants.

The Church is a very ancient building, dedicated to All Saints, consisting of nave, chancel, north and south aisles, with western square tower, and has within the last few years undergone extensive repairs. The original edifice was of the fourteenth or fifteenth century, and in the restorations the endeavour was made to bring back the lost proportions, and remove the unsightly additions; a fine arch dividing the tower from the nave was cleared, and the whole sweep from east to west was thrown in, a new north aisle added, and the whole of the rest raised again from its foundations. The east window, in awkward perpendicular, was replaced by a triple lancet; the other windows being simple early English. A beautiful east end of five arches, in which the Commandments and Creed are emblazoned, lies under the eastern window. Stalls occupy the chancel, and the centre of the east window is fitted in with painted glass, after the pattern of the “Five Sisters” at York, with a group of the Crucifixion inserted. Over the interior of the entrance-door is the inscription, “Remember Lot’s Wife!” the moral of which is supposed to show the danger and impropriety, after entering the house of God, of casting the thoughts back upon the affairs of the world. There is now in the possession of the Rector the frame-work of an ancient hour-glass which was appended to the pulpit of the old church. Before the general introduction of watches, and especially during the Puritanical period, it was customary to preach by the hour-glass, which no doubt very frequently supplied a moral comparison to the ebbing tide of human life. There were also discovered two chains and clasps under folding oak panels, with fragments of Fox’s “Book of Martyrs” in the fastening. The living is a Rectory, in the patronage of Lord Ward. Rev. David Melville, M.A., Rector; Mr. Joseph Thomas, Clerk. Service – 11 a.m.; first Sunday in the month, 3 p.m.

The Free School is endowed with landed property to instruct and apprentice poor children of the parish. Mr. Edward Lucas, Master. Average number of children, 40.


Melville Rev. David, M.A., Rector; also of Shelsley Walsh Rectory

Moore James, Esq., Upper House

Barley John, farmer, Sturt

Benbow William, blacksmith

Bunce George, farmer, The Camp

Burbridge Henry, shoe maker

Bury Thomas, farmer, The Bank

Collins John, farmer, Hill Side

Dance John, farmer, Brock Hill

Davis James, shoe maker

Delahay John, farmer

Duggan Jane, farmer, Minyard

Eaton James, plumber and glazier

Fletcher Oswald, farmer, Birch Farm

Hathaway William Green, grocer and draper

Hill Thomas, farmer, Aaron’s Head

Layland John, farmer, The Withys

Mapp William, farmer, Barrel Hill

Martin Samuel, farmer

Martin William, Collector of Taxes

Rackster Elizabeth, farmer, Pard House

Richards Samuel, farmer, Shelsley Mill

Salloway Edward, farmer, Little Blake’s

Taylor George, shopkeeper and carrier

Thomas Joseph, farmer, gardener, and seedsman, Great Blake’s

Waldron John, farmer, Lower House

Wall Thomas, farmer

Webb Edward, farmer, Rudge House

Webb George, shoe maker

Wheeler Thomas, farmer, Church Farm

Wheeler Samuel Crane, farmer, Brinkhill

Young William, victualler, Bridge Inn

Carrier – Kidderminster, Taylor, Thur., 7 a.m., and to Worcester, Sat., 7 a.m.

Source: Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855

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