Noake's Worcestershire Page 308



ADJOINS Pendock; has a population of 1,265, and an acreage of 3,669. Wheat, beans, rye, swedes, &c., are grown. Most of the women and girls are gloveresses. Earl Beauchamp is lord of the manor, and besides his Lordship Mr. Ricardo, Mrs. Dowdeswell, and Lady Roberts (the two last-named residing in the parish), are the chief landowners. The wake is still held on the first Sunday after St. Bartholomew's Day, when persons were usually hired for hop-picking, and till of late much fighting and revelling took place. The importation of the Chartist colony into this parish in the year 1847 by Mr. O'Connor had a disastrous effect on the moral and social condition of the people, and has nearly doubled the poor-rates. The Lowbands settlement is still occupied either by the deluded disciples of that visionary leader or their successors. At the death of O'Connor the Court of Chancery confirmed the right of ownership to each holder by granting them a title, and the estate has since generally fallen into the hands of a Manchester man, who is said to entertain similar views. A "New Bible Christian Chapel" was established on behalf of these colonists a few years ago, and still exists; and there is likewise a Wesleyan chapel in the parish.

There was a park, but no record of a castle here. Mr. John Beach, jun., occupies the Park Farm House, which is a brick building put up by Earl Beauchamp a dozen years ago. Ancient names still used in the parish, Nottin Dole, Dark-ham, and Folley-field.

Value of the living, 1,000 ; patron, J. D. T. Niblett, Esq.; rector, Rev. E. H. Niblett; church accommodation, 600, all free seats. The church has been restored within the last