Noake's Worcestershire Page 294

294 OVERBURY.

and 4,000 acres, and a population of 925; church accommodation in church and chapelries for about half that number, and a very large proportion free sittings. Robert Martin, Esq., is lord of the manor, and the principal landowner; he resides at the Court House, hard by the church. It was an ancestor of Mr. Martin who built the mansion (1736), planted nearly every tree on the estate, and made the place one of the most delightful villages in the county. Recently the house and grounds have been renovated and re-arranged at great expense, and with considerable skill - terraces and walks formed, spacious lawns laid out, streams cleared, bridges thrown across them, cascades brought into play, and judicious openings made for bringing into prominence the grand old trees, unsurpassed for beauty, size, and variety, which clothe the hill, and form a-magnificent back-ground to the scene. The resident gentry besides Mr. Martin are Mr. George and Mr. F. Eyston, the latter a county magistrate of long standing. The little river Carrant, running through the village on its way to the Avon, formerly supplied power for paper, silk, and corn mills; there are now two grist mills only. Employment, chiefly agricultural, and glove-sewing for the women. Wheat, barley, and beans grown. In the time of Queen Elizabeth it was a noted place for the redundancy of rabbits, and the Dean and Chapter (the manor belonging to the Cathedral of Worcester), restricted the lessee from keeping too many of that breed, "they having been informed of the damage done by excessive coneys to the corn lands and the tenants generally." Would that there were more of such considerate landlords in the present day! Overbury, within our own recollection, has been distinguished by bitter bickerings and litigation between the vicar and his parishioners. The former has for a long time been residing in Paris, and the good offices of the curate, Rev. T. L. Stayner, have had the effect of calming and reconciling the parishioners to the services of the Church. Dissent, however, still exists, and there is a chapel used occasionally only by Baptists and Independents. The value of the living is about 700 ; Dean