Strensham is a delightful village and parish situated between the Bredon and Malvern hills on the west bank of the Avon, having Bourn brook on its north boundary; is distant 5 miles S. W. of Pershore, 4 E. of Upton-on-Severn, 6 N. of Tewkesbury, 12 S.E. of Worcester, and about 2 ½ S.W. of Defford station on the Birmingham and Bristol branch of the Midland railway. It is in the eastern division of the county and hundred of Upper Pershore; poor-law union, petty sessional division, and county court district of Pershore; polling district of Bredon; annual rateable value, £3,633; area of parish, 1,800 acres; population in 1861, 279; in 1871, 280, with 57 inhabited houses and 65 families or separate occupiers. James Arthur Taylor, Esq; is lord of the manor and chief landowner. There is some rich meadow land here, and wheat, barley, beans, and roots are grown. The soil is clay and loam; subsoil, principally clay. Strensham is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester and rural deanery of Bredon; living, a rectory, value to £243, with residence; patron, James Arthur Taylor, Esq.; rector, Rev. John Townson, M. A., late Fellow of the University of Durham, instituted in 1862. The church, which is dedicated to St. Philip and St. James, stands on an eminence, overlooking the Avon; it has a chancel, nave, porch, and tower with five bells; consists chiefly of Decorated and Perpendicular work, and has an interesting western gallery, thought by some to have been the rood-loft, the front of which is divided into panels, each containing a full-length painting of an Apostle or Saint, our Lord occupying the centre. Here is a monument to Butler, the author of “Hudibras, who was born in this village, A.D. 1612, and died 1680. The monument bears the following inscription :-
“This tablet was erected to the memory of Samuel Butler, to transmit to future ages that near this spot was born a man so celebrated. In Westminster Abbey, among the poets of England, his fame is recorded; here, in his native village, in veneration of his talents and genius, this tribute to his memory has been erected by the possessor of the place of his birth, John Taylor, Strensham.”
In the church are also some brasses to the Russell family, who resided here for four centuries. There are nine almshouses, founded and endowed by Sir Francis and Lady Russell, for males and females, who, in addition to the house, receive bread, coal and clothing. Here is a national school for boys and girls. The parish register begins with the year 1569. Strensham Court, the seat of James Arthur Taylor, Esq., J.P., .D.L., is a large and handsome stone mansion, erected by the late John Taylor, Esq. Its grounds are tastefully planted, and add much to the beauty of this part of the county.
Postal Regulations. – John Stinton, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive from Tewkesbury at 9.30 a.m.; despatched thereto at 4. 30 p.m. Eckington and Upton are the nearest money order offices. Tewkesbury is the telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Philip and St. James). – Rev. John Townson, M.A., Rector; Mr Herbert Bennion and James Arthur Taylor, Esq., Churchwardens; Richard Simons, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls). – Miss Brown, Mistress
Carrier to Worcester. – Thomas Long (of Defford), on Saturdays, returning from the Coventry Arms, Friar street, at 4 p.m.
Taylor James Arthur, Esq. J.P., D.L., Strensham court
Townson Rev. John. M.A. (rector), The Rectory
AGRICULTURAL & COMMERCIAL.
Bennion Herbert, farmer & churchwarden
Brown Miss, schoolmistress
Buckle Joseph, farmer, Ley farm
Bunn George, shopkeeper
Evans John Edward, Taylor’s Arms Inn, farmer and butcher
Hawkes Peter, shopkeeper, L. Strensham
Lee Richard, farmer, Bredon Field farm
Powell James, farmer, Rough farm
Simon Richard, farmer and parish clerk
Smith Anson, general smith & pig butcher
Smith William, blacksmith
Souter James, land steward for J. A. Taylor, Esq., D. L., Strensham court
Stinton John, shopkeeper and sub-postmaster
Viveash Oriels farmer and churchwarden, Moat farm
Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.