Noake's Worcestershire Page 240


the parish belong to his lordship, and the remainder is much subdivided, Earl Beauchamp, Mr. A. S. Fetherstonhaugh, and Major Norbury, being the next largest owners. The ancient family of the Braces (of whom Lord Beauchamp is the direct representative) gave their name to one of the manors in this parish, where is still an interesting old manor-house now occupied by a farmer. Bransford, a chapelry in the parish, was the birth-place of Wolstan de Bransford, prior of Worcester, who in the fourteenth century built the beautiful Guesten Hall in that city - a structure which has only within the last year or two been destroyed; and, mindful of the wants of his old neighbours and friends at Bransford, he built them a bridge over the Teme there. Bransford, although a chapelry of Leigh, is a separate parish. It supports ita own poor, pays its own rates, has in addition to the population and area of Leigh a population last census of 270 souls, and an area of 1,020 acres, of which about half, viz., Brace's Leigh and the New House Farms, belong to Lord Beauchamp, Gilbert's and the Hall House to Mr. Little, a small estate to Mr. Onley, and the Worfield charity land rented by Mr. Onley from the Corporation of Worcester. Leigh and Bransford are both privileged to the Worfield exhibitions for the sons of poor persons at the Universities. Cowleigh once gave name to a family of distinction, and afterwards the Corbets of Chaddesley dwelt there. I am not aware of any portion of the ancient mansion being in existence, but Mr. White is the present tenant of Cowleigh Park Farm.

Leigh Court, an ancient mansion near the church, now occupied by Mr. G. B. Essex, was no doubt, the residence of many ancient families in succession, besides receiving frequent visits from the jovial abbots of Pershore, and suites. Colles, Deverenx, and others whose names are vainly struggling against Time on the old monuments of the parish church, were here located. The present Court is on the site of an older building, the lodges of which remain. Fragments of the edifice were not long ago turned up in the excavations for