Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for ALCESTER

ALCESTER, a town, a parish, a sub district, and a district in Warwick. The town stands at the confluence of the Alne and the Arrow, and on the Birmingham and Malvern railway, 9 miles NNE of Evesham. The Roman station Alanna stood on its site; and the Roman road, Icknield street, passed through, and may still be traced in the vicinity. Roman pavements, substructions, coins, and urns have been found. The place had great importance in the times of the Saxons, and was a royal residence at the period of the Conquest. A Benedictine Abbey was founded, in 1140, on an island about ½ a mile to the N; but fell into decay, became a cell of Evesham Abbey, and has long disappeared. Alcester was made a borough by Henry I.; and it continued to be of note in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it is now within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates. It consists of one principal street, and some small diverging ones; and presents a clean and neat appearance. The townhall was built in 1641; the corn exchange, in 1857. The parish church, rebuilt in 1732, and retaining the previous tower, is a fine Gothic structure, and contains a well preserved altar-tomb of Sir Fulke Greville and his lady, and a splendid monument of the Marquis of Hertford. There are three dissenting chapels, two public schools, eight alms-houses, and other charities £270. The town has a post office‡ under Redditch, a r. station, a banking office, a weekly market on Tuesday, and fairs on the Tuesday before 29 Jan., on the Tuesday before 25 March, on the third Tuesday of April, May, and Sept., on the second Tuesday of July, on 17 Oct., and on the first Tuesday of Dec. The manufacture of needles and fish hooks is carried on. Pop., not separately returned. The railway past Alcester was partly projected in 1861, but not all opened till 1868.

The parish of Alcester comprises 1,530 acres. Real property, £8,920. Pop., 2,128. Houses, 491. The manor belongs to the Marquis of Hertford; whose seat, Ragley Park, is about 2 miles SW of the town. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £259.* Patron, the Marquis of Hertford.-The subdistrict includes six entire parishes and part of another. Acres, 15,419. Pop., 4,787. Houses, 1,066. The district, while all within the registration county of Warwick, is partly within the county-proper of Worcester. It comprehends the subdistrict of Studley, containing the parishes of Oldberrow, Morton-Baggott, Spernall, Studley, and Ipsley, and part of the parish of Coughton; the subdistrict of Alcester, containing the parishes of Great Alne, Aston-Cantlow, Haselar, Kinwarton, Alcester, and Arrow, and part of the parish of Coughton; the subdistrict of Feckenham, containing the parishes of Feckenham, Inkberrow, Abbots-Morton, and Weethley; and the subdistrict of Bidford, containing the parishes of Salford, Bidford, Wixford, and Exhall. Acres, 52,430. Poor-rates in 1866, £11,054. Pop. in 1841, 16,838; in 1861, 16,878. Houses, 3,750. Marriages in 1866, 119; births, 548,-of which 45 were illegitimate; deaths, 374,-of which 142 were at ages under 5 years, and 15 were at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 950; births, 5,439; deaths, 3,553. The places of worship in 1851 were 23 of the Church of England, with 6,336 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 160 s.; 9 of Baptists, with 1,788 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 500 s.; 8 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,232 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 100 s.; and 3 of Roman Catholics, with 1,180 s. The schools in 1851 were 18 public day schools, with 1,150 scholars; 22 private day schools, with 353 s.; 30 Sunday schools, with 2,334 s.; and 3 evening schools for adults, with 69 s. The workhouse is in Oversley hamlet.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Alcester CP/AP       Alcester SubD       Alcester PLU/RegD       Warwickshire AncC
Place: Alcester

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