Noake's Worcestershire Page 163


Baptist chapel there, and elswhere in the pariah the Wesleyan Methodists have chapels. A free school once existed here, but it having been found impossible to obtain a regular master for it, on account of the smallness of the endowment available for salary (£20), the "Blue boys," as they are called, are educated at the National School, and apprenticed by the


Tn March, 1854, David Clarkson (who and his ancestors had officiated here as parish clerks for upwards of two centuries) died in his seventy-ninth year. He had tutored choir after choir of the famous singers of Feckenham. A Mrs. Eadee died in this parish in 1802, at the age of 103.

I am told there was formerly a custom at Feckenham, when a young single woman died, to carry a garland of flowers before the corpse to church, and there suspend it until it decayed of old age. The same custom prevailed in many other places. Another relic of the past—if I may be permitted to descend from the sublime to the what may I call it—exists in the kitchen of the Rose and Crown Inn, being no less than a meat-jack, worked with cord and weight—a very ancient and scarce piece of machinery indeed!


HERE we have another of those interesting old places which, like Feckenham, Alvechurch, and a few other villages in Worcestershire, once boasted of some importance, of which indeed they still bear numerous vestiges. The name signifies a town by the river (Avon) side, and it is in the best part of the Vale of Evesham. A convent, subordinate to Worcester Priory, existed here in Saxon times; and the parish had extensive branches, hamlets, or chapelries, some of which were isolated and at a considerable distance: there