Noake's Worcestershire Page 206


house - a moated residence, being a fine old timber structure, with twisted brick chimneys, trefoiled niches, and many other peculiarities - still remains, as also an avenue of trees leading thereto, called "Lady Winter's Walk; and here, the legend says, in the time of the Gunpowder Plot, one of the Winters, who were concerned in that attempt, not daring to appear by day, made appointments with his wife by night. The benighted "rurals," when in a state of "market peart," still occasionally see the lady's spectral form there - or fancy they do, which is much the same thing. The interior of the Court-house is also exceedingly interesting, from its fine Elizabethan mantelpieces, wainscoting, carvings, &c. In one of the chambers, behind an Elizabethan mantel-piece, may be seen part of an older one of stone, containing the carved figures of three lions (arms of England) and the ball-flower, indicative of fourteenth century work. Near the Court-house is the church, a Perpendicular building, with some older work at the west end. Here may be seen a post-Reformation rood-screen, the remains of a piscina, monuments of the Winter family, and a mural brass with eulogistic Latin inscription to one Adrianus Fortescutus (1663), which brass was kept in the Dog public-house hi the time of Nash, the historian. The Rev. Sandys Lyttelton Frances is the perpetual curate; value of living, 57; church accommodation, 100; free seats, 48.


ADJOINS Alcester, and is some fourteen miles in circumference, with an acreage of 6,700 and a population of nearly 1,600. There were 129 families in the time of Elizabeth, and 889 souls in the year 1770. It belonged chiefly to the Bishops of Worcester and Hereford at the Conquest, but in Henry II's time was exchanged,