Noake's Worcestershire Page 262


but the chapel was destroyed long ago. Habingdon says:- "Clevelode, ye child of Madresfield, complaineth of her mother, who suffered her chapel to vanish away, her bowells rent upp, and dedicated to the idole Ceres.* Clevelode was in our age purchased by Mr. R. Lygon, of Madresfield."

The parish church of Madresfield and the ancient seat of the Bracys and Lygons stand near together, surrounded by well timbered scenery, comprising a charming view of Great Malvern and the hills which form its back-ground. The old mansion in the time of the civil wars "was taken and retaken by opposing forces, and Colonel Lygon, who was a Parliamentarian, suffered heavily at first. Much of the old building, with moat, drawbridge, and the buttresses to the inner escarpment, remains, but the late and present Earls have rebuilt a great portion of the house, although the most characteristic features have been judiciously preserved. As to the church, it was only so recently as 1852 that the old building (a late Norman and early English structure), being dilapidated, was destroyed, and a new one erected by the executors of the third Earl, from designs by Pugin the younger. This was a handsome specimen of the Decorated style, but it was doomed to a very brief existence; its site was damp and otherwise objectionable, and the building showed signs of weakness; accordingly another new one, also in the Decorated style, was projected in 1866, at a distance of some two or three hundred yards from the old one, and this was consecrated on the 10th of November last - the day on which the present Earl completed his thirty-seventh year. The architect was Mr. Preedy, who has succeeded in raising a beautiful and effective building; and the furniture and appointments generally are rich and good. The cost was entirely defrayed by the late and present Earls Beauchamp. Tower and spire 126 feet high, with a peal of six bells and a set of chimes.

Value of living, 230 ; Earl Beauchamp patron; Rev. G. S.

* Mr. Habingdon's poetical way of stating the fact that the site was ploughed up and sowed with grain. It is still called " The Chapel Field."