Noake's Worcestershire Page 184


The Hamptons.

GREAT and Little Hampton, near Evesham; and Hampton Lovett, near Droitwich. The former was given by a Saxon king to the Abbey of Evesham, but at the Conquest a part of it fell into the hands of the insatiable Urso. The present lady of the manor is Mrs. Hawley, as devisee of Mr. Beanfoy, deceased. The chief landowners are Lord Northwick, Henry Workman, Esq., C. E. Rudge, Esq., B. Workman, Esq., Mrs. Stokes, Mrs. Hawley, the Dean and Chapter of Christchureh, J. and G. Sansome, &c. Great and Little Hampton are two villages, forming one parish, and separated by the little river Isborne, commonly called Hampton brook. This is one of the few river streams in England that ran from south to north. It is one of the loveliest spots in the celebrated "Vale," the beautifully sloping banks of the river being dotted with snug villas and pretty cottages ornee. On the side of a hill here - still known as "The Vineyard Hill," alias "Clarke's Hill" - the monks of Evesham formerly cultivated the grape, tier upon tier, as in the Rhine land. It slopes eastwardly down to the ferry which carries you over from the Hampton side of the Avon to the Evesham side. From this hill there is a very fine panoramic view of Evesham and the Cotswolds,

"Which right athwart three counties roll,"

also of the Bredon and Malvern hills, taking in Dumbleton and the woods above it until the termination of the view at Cleeve-hill, above Cheltenham. The chief crops grown in the parish are wheat and beans. The land for the greater part consists of a strong but very productive clay, being perhaps as good of the kind as any in the country, and so congenial is it for the