Noake's Worcestershire Page 351


a castle may still be traced. Cowsden, or Cuddesden, is a hamlet. The main village consists of old cross-timbered cottages, clustering round the churchyard. The parish was once notorious for a double murder, in 1707. Mrs. Palmer and her maid servant were murdered, and her house burnt, by a gang of villains, of whom her own son was one, and a Mr. Symonds, whose sister Palmer had married, was another.


A parish of 988 acres, two and half miles N.E. of Worcester, and entirely belongs to Mr. Berkeley, of Spetchley, who is also lord of the manor and patron of the living. There are no resident gentry - not even the rector, for the parsonage buildings (which have not been tenanted by "his reverence" within living memory) are divided into cottages for labourers) The parish is under the care of the curate, Rev. J. Paul. Population, 164. Wheat and grass crops chiefly grown. Many of the women are glovers, and some of the men work as mechanics in Worcester; but this is complained of by the farmers. Rev. G. St. John (residing at Clifton, near Bristol) is rector; value of living, 150; church accommodation, about sixty. Date of church, 1542; merely an oblong building, with wooden tower at west end. There are Roman Catholics in the parish, and Dissenting preaching is carried on at one of the cottages. The parish includes the hamlets or places of Trotshill, Smite, Wood Green, and Tollerdine.