Noake's Worcestershire Page 50

50 BLOCKLEY.

Blockley.

IS one of the eastern "outlyers" of Worcestershire, entirely detached from the county to which it belongs, and surrounded hy Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, near the ancient town of Chipping Campden. It was an important appanage to the Bishops of Worcester, who had a residence here. Habingdon calls it "that noble manor." There is a population of 2,596, an acreage of 6,395, the parish being twelve miles in circumference; net income of living nearly 800; was formerly the only burial-place for many surrounding parishes ; has a resident lord of the manor (Lord Northwick), with a mansion house and deer park; carries on a silk trade; and, lastly, the parish comprises many hamlets and places, including Hither and Farther Upton Old (two farms united with the township of Blockley), Northwick, Draycott, Ditchford, Paxford, Aston, and Dorn. The present silk throwsters of Blockley are Mr. E. Banbury (who has also a silk mill at Winchcomb), Mr. C. E. Smith, Mr. R. Westmacott, Mr. J. Stanley, and Mr. G. C. Smith. From the very depressed state of the trade for the last few years the mills have been either shut up altogether or worked only occasionally, and then only half-time. The mill belonging to Mr. Stanley is being converted into a paper or cardboard manufactory; and there seems great reason to fear that the silk trade will never again be so prosperous in this place as it has been. The manufacturing of men's linen collars by sewing machines has been lately introduced by a London firm, and is at present employing nearly 100 women and girls. The brook which rises in Bourton Wood, and empties itself into the Stour near Shipston, supplies the motive power for the mills. The first silk mill erected here was by Mr. H. Whatcot, in 1718.