Noake's Worcestershire Page 260


Worcester Cathedral, was sold, about 1647, was appropriated to the restoration of Castle Morton Church, being at that time burnt. Mr. Rowland Bartlett's house in this parish was also plundered during his absence at Ledbury fair, and among the money, plate, and jewels, they carried away was a "cock-eagle stone," a variety of argillaceous oxide of iron then much valued by physicians on account of its supposed medicinal virtues. One of the uses of this stone was to be suspended on enceinte ladies, in order that the virtue from the stone should impart some of the qualities of the "king of birds" to the unconscious babe. A descendant of the above-named Mr. Bartlett was one of the last country gentlemen who retained a fool - I mean a professional jester - in his house. "As big a fool as Jack Havod" is a saying current here to the present day.

There is an endowed school at Longdon, and it is stated that a house on Bristol bridge was left by one Giles Godwin in 1629 for the maintenance of a schoolmaster. When the said bridge was pulled down, land was purchased on condition that a part of the rent should be applied to the purpose before-named. A new school-house was erected a few years ago; and the lands, which are scattered in three parishes, were valued by Mr. J. R. Lane in 1854 at £36. 5s. per annum, being 26 1/2 acres. There is also a free school at Chaseley, founded by T. Turberville in 1728. At Castle Morton there are excellent school buildings—the schools being just placed under a duly trained mistress and Government inspection. However just the complaints in other places of the lack of support given by agriculturists to education, here nearly all the farmers subscribe their £1 or 10s. to the school, which has nothing to depend upon but the pence and voluntary subscriptions. The Vicar makes himself responsible for a considerable sum in addition.

Among the old names retained in this parish are Yelters, Rugged Nell, Doles, Hare Flock, Occo, Hurste, The Stirt, Norgast Field, The Yellings, The Gome Field, and Rock Street.