History on the town of Alcester in the county of Warwickshire. Research is augmented with photographs, details of licensees, stories of local folklore, census data, newspaper articles and a genealogy connections section for those studying their family history.



 

Alcester
Alcester

Background Information
I have visited the historic market town of Alcester many times and always enjoy wandering around the streets, lanes and alleys - and, of course, nipping into one of the local taverns. Like many places, Alcester has lost plenty of its historic past but enough traces remain to make a visit highly enjoyable. It is quiet compared to places like Stratford and this affords a degree of serenity as you wander around gazing at timber framed structures, unusual windows, worn steps and Georgian makeovers. In tiny lanes such as Butter Street, with diminutive former shops, it is easy to imagine what life was like in times of old. Some of the former pubs still stand, perhaps making the loss less disheartening - at least there is tangible evidence to help foster a tacit appreciation of the town's halcyon drinking days.

Alcester stands on the confluence of the River Alne and River Arrow and, although the centre of the town has shifted slightly, the settlement is of Roman origin. Traces of a defensive wall suggests that Alcester was a place of significance and several important Roman roads converged here, notably Ryknild Street and the saltway from Droitwich. The A435 has been laid on the former railway that served Alcester but this helps to maintain low traffic density in the town centre.

Overley Bridge at Alcester [c.1918]

There were two key river crossings at Alcester that enabled traffic to pass through the town and stimulated growth and trade down the centuries. The road from Worcester to Stratford passed over Oversley Bridge, whilst Gunnings Bridge served those travelling to-and-from the north. Mentioned as early as 1274, the latter was previously known as Gunnyld Bridge. These river crossings have shaped the town down the years. With key arterial routes radiating out from Alcester, the town was quite an important coaching stop, particularly as it was on one of the main routes from London to Shrewsbury and Holyhead.

Butter Street at Alcester [c.1928]

The commercial centre of ancient Alcester was probably based at the southern end of the modern High Street. Although partly in-filled in more recent times, this part of the street was more expansive and once known as The Bull Ring. Heading northwards, the thoroughfare narrows and winds around the church to join Henley Street. Buildings used to encircle most, if not all of the churchyard, though a disastrous fire probably did for the properties on the south-eastern side. The church itself was not spared and had to be rebuilt. However, Butter Street is a lovely remnant of the earlier development.

Butter Street at Alcester [2009]

It has been suggested that the narrow thoroughfare, once known as Shop Row, got its Butter name as it receives little sunlight due to its orientation and the closeness of the buildings and, consequently, was ideal for the sale of dairy  products and provisions. Seems logical enough! The oldest properties stand on the east side and adjoin the churchyard, whereas the buildings on the west side date from the 18th century onwards. Where the street opens out slightly at the southern end there is the Old Rectory [see gallery above], a three-storied red brick house built in 1796 but extended to the rear during the Victorian period. It is an attractive building despite its simplicity. A brick dentil cornice is partially hidden and the windows feature whitewashed rusticated stone flat arches with keystones.

Churchill House at Alcester [2009]

At the northern end of Butter Street and next to the Holly Bush public house stands Churchill House. The frontage of 1688 is later than the original timber-framed structure so, both visually and historically, this is a much more complex building. The initials of Thomas and Eleanor Lucas can be seen in the leaded rainwater head to the right. The building was once noted for an elegant iron balcony but this had been removed by the time of this 2009 photograph. I am not sure if this feature has been restored to the frontage. Access to the balcony was via the doorway that features an architrave, entablature, and broken curved pediment. Above this, modillions are a key component of the carved wood egg and dart cornice. However, it is the misalignment of the frontage's key features that lend to the building's wonderful character.

Nos. 3-5 Butter Street at Alcester [2009]

The cottages and former shops in Butter Street are not as grand as Churchill House but each property adds their own individual character to the townscape. The above whitewashed brick cottages are typical in that they date from the early 17th century but were re-fronted some 200 years later. However, rather than detracting from the older appearances, the 16-pane sash at No.5, for example, adds charm to façade. The two-storey canted bay at No.3 complements the stepped nature of the adjacent properties.

Church of Saint Nicholas at Alcester [c.1905]

After soaking up the setting that is Butter Street you can step back further in time by visiting the parish church of St. Nicholas. The oldest part of the building is the lower section of the west tower which was constructed in the 14th century and repaired in 1983 after being struck by lightning. The south-east corner features a semi-octagonal projecting stair-turret. The tower is embattled and incorporates pinnacles, all added at a later date, probably during the 18th century. Note the unusual angle of the clock - it was placed diagonally so that it can be seen clearly from the High Street. Dating from around 1682, the old mechanism of the clock [see gallery above] was put on display inside the nave during 1988, some 13 years after it had been superseded by an electrical system.

Church of Saint Nicholas at Alcester [c.1918]

The main body of the church was rebuilt between 1729-33 following a fire which destroyed much of the building's older fabric. Directed by Francis Smith of Warwick, the reconstruction was undertaken by Edward and Thomas Woodward of Chipping Campden. As with most churches that have been tinkered with over generations, there are elements of many styles but the 18th century work is classical in character and features colonnades of five bays with Doric columns. There are extraordinary alabaster effigies [see gallery above] of Sir Fulke Greville and his wife Lady Elizabeth Willoughby plus a faithful dog at her feet. Sir Fulke Greville was Lord of the Manor and High Sheriff of Warwickshire. Look out also for the wonderful tapestries of life in Alcester during the 1980's, comprised of work by many local organisations.

Alcester Town Hall [c.1912]

Alcester's Town Hall stands at the top of Butter Street in the shadow of the church tower. Replacing the market cross, the building dates from 1618 when Sir Fulke Greville, Lord of the Manor, donated £300 for a new market house. A market had operated in Alcester since the late 13th century and in 1292 Walter de Beauchamp first sought a royal grant for an annual fair. The upper storey of the Town Hall was not added until 1641, almost a quarter of a century after the ground floor had been erected. This was meant to be of matching stone but the cost proved prohibitive so timber was used. A plaque on the building records that the hall was purchased in 1919 by public subscription from the lord of the manor, the Marquis of Hertford, as a permanent memorial to the men of Alcester and Oversley who gave their lives in World War One.

The Old Malthouse at Alcester [c.1907]

The Old Malthouse stands on the corner of Church Street and Malt Mill Lane and, until 1984 when a house in Henley Street was found to be of cruck construction, it was thought that this was the oldest house in Alcester. Dating from around 1500, the L-shaped building is unusual in that it had jetties to both the front and side. There are two gable heads to the close-studded building between which a passageway led to a rear courtyard.

The Old Malthouse at Alcester [2009]

The Edwardian photograph [above] shows that a cycle shop once traded from the premises. This was operated by the cycle agent and hairdresser Edwin Stanton. Outside the shop there are advertisements for Rover and New Hudson Cycles. During this period there was also a cycle manufactory in the town. In 2009 the shop on the corner of Malt Mill Lane was an outlet for Italian wines.

Malt Kiln at Alcester [2010]

Of course, a website devoted to pubs cannot overlook a building called The Old Malthouse. Within the gardens of the nearby award-winning sheltered housing scheme is the remains of a medieval malting kiln, originally sited on the opposite side of Malt Mill Lane, probably behind the Old Malthouse. There was another maltings behind the Baker's Arms, along with a brewery at the Angel Hotel, a few yards from the Old Malthouse. The Alcester Brewery Ltd. was a larger concern and operated from Church Street, supplying a small estate of public houses.

Malt Mill House at Alcester [2009]

Opposite the Old Malthouse on the other corner of Malt Mill Lane stands Malt Mill House. This building's frontage features colour-washed brick, stone quoins and a string course from the late 18th and early 19th centuries but conceals an older structure dated 1610. I believe that the house fronted the former Excelsior Needle Works, one of several needle manufactories in Alcester that survived into the 20th century. One of the largest needle factories was that of the Minerva Works close to the railway station.

Malt Mill Lane at Alcester [2009]

The adjacent property to Malt Mill House in Malt Mill Lane dates from the 16th century and features a jettied upper story, partly of close-set studding, and with an oriel window. Much of the lower section of Malt Mill Lane consists of cottages erected in the 18th century. The restoration and development of Malt Mill Lane has been recognised with a number of accolades, including the Royal Institute of British Architects Architecture Award in 1986, the Civic Trust Award in 1992 and the RIBA Housing Design Award in 1993.

Henley Street at Alcester [c.1909]

Henley Street has retained a number of historic houses and a couple of former taverns, including the Red Horse Inn and the Greyhound's Head. There are fine timber-framed properties on both corners of Meeting Lane - they can be seen here in an Edwardian photograph when they were used as commercial premises.

No.44 Henley Street at Alcester [2009]

No.44 Henley Street is on the south corner of Meeting Lane and, like the nearby Golden Cup Inn, is thought to date from the middle of the 17th century. The house has square framing and a gabled north end.

No.42 Henley Street at Alcester [2009]

Dating from the early 17th century, No.42 has a jettied upper story on both the Henley Street frontage and the gabled south end in Meeting Lane. The property is originally thought to have been of three bays, as suggested by the carved scroll brackets.

Oak House in Meeting Lane at Alcester [2009]

Meeting Lane was formerly known as Meeting House Lane as the thoroughfare was the location of the old Baptist Chapel thought to have been used from 1650. On the opposite side of the lane is Oak House, another early 17th century property of square framing with a jettied upper story on moulded scroll brackets. At the end of the lane behind a tall brick wall is a bowling green which, according to local folklore, has been in use since the Elizabethan period.

Arden House in Henley Street at Alcester [2009]

Returning to Henley Street, on the eastern side to the north of Meeting Lane stands the quaint-looking Arden House, an early 17th century building with two gables, one of which looks like it is junior to the other! The right-hand side of the property has a jettied upper floor. Across the road from Arden House stands No.19, now known as Cruck House.

Cruck House in Henley Street at Alcester [2009]

It was not until 1984 that the history of this house was revealed. It was found that it was of cruck construction and it is believed to be of 14th century origin, possibly as early as 1350. The crucks are, however, part of the internal structure so cannot be appreciated from outside. The house was enlarged some 200 years after its original construction date. The L-plan of the house was created by the extension of a projecting gable.

Baptist Church at Alcester [c.1905]

Returning to Church Street one encounters the Baptist Chapel of 1859, built to replace the earlier place of worship in Meeting House Lane. The red brick building is of stucco and features a moulded string course, cornice and parapet. The date 1859 can be seen within the pediment that crowns a short projection. There are tripartite windows above the main entrance which are flanked by round-headed windows. The interior has some original furnishing.

By the time non-conformity took hold in Alcester, the town had developed a reputation for drunken and vulgar behaviour associated with drinking plenty of ale. The Reverend Samuel Clarke dubbed the town 'Drunken Alcester.' The rector was to play a key role in 'cleaning' up the town. Three dissenting congregations emerged in Alcester with the Presbyterians and Quakers also founding meeting houses in the town. The Methodists were less successful in establishing themselves in Alcester where the locals tended to beat them up a bit before, in one case at least, the poor minister was dragged through the streets. The first Baptist minister is thought to be John Willis who preached here for a congregation based in the town and surrounding area.

The Limes in Church Street at Alcester [2009]

Church Street has some elegant Georgian frontages looking out across to the church and town hall. The Limes, typically, is largely dated to the early-mid 18th century but has elements from an earlier century. However, the front of the building, featuring imitation ashlar render with whitewashed quoins, dates from the early-mid 19th century when Church Street would have looked quite fashionable. The doorway was probably re-modelled around this time and features plain Doric pilasters and entablature with a fanlight window.

No.21 Church Street at Alcester [2009]

Nos. 20 and 21 act as an interface between Church Street and the High Street. These date  from the early 17th century and were probably jettied but have since been underbuilt with shops.  The adjacent property in High Street also features square framing and two gables with geometrical panels. Many of the buildings in the High Street date back to the 17th century but have additions or alterations from the 18th and 19th centuries. These will be discussed within the pub pages for Alcester.

High Street and Stratford Road at Alcester [2009]

At the southern end of High Street there is a group of buildings that were erected in the former Bull Ring. Here you can see the corner section of High Street and Stratford Road, a red brick building dating from the late 18th or early 19th century. On the opposite side of Stratford Road is a former house of around 1790 later converted into a bank. This has some rather fine windows on all three floors. On the ground and first floors there are two Venetian windows recessed within gauged brick relieving arches. On the second floor there are two Diocletian windows.

No.18 Evesham Street at Alcester [2009]

Most visitors to the town concentrate so much on the area around the church that they tend to overlook Evesham Street. However, in addition to having a couple of former public houses, the thoroughfare has a good degree of interesting architecture. The buildings tend to be of a later date than in the town centre. For example this pair of shops on the corner of Birch Abbey date from the mid-19th century.

Acorn House in Evesham Street at Alcester [2009]

Built in the Neoclassical style, Acorn House dates from around 1800. It was looking a little untidy when this photograph was taken but looked unoccupied. The property has an attached coach house so must have been owned by one of the town's more prosperous families. The front door has Greek Doric three-quarter columns with dosserets and triglyphs and a broken pediment with dentils. Like the doorway, the ground floor's tripartite windows are recessed within round arches. They feature raised pediments above the central sash.

Alcester Railway Station [c.1908]

The railway arrived at Alcester in 1866 as the Birmingham to Gloucester route did not serve important towns such as Redditch, Alcester and Evesham. A line from Barnt Green to Redditch opened in September 1859 but Alcester was first connected to Evesham, some two years before the line was completed to the north. Goods trains were first used on the line opened by the Evesham and Redditch Railway but was soon followed by passenger trains on September 17th 1866. A passenger service between Evesham and Redditch operated for almost 100 years before it was closed in July 1964.
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List of Pubs
Angel Inn
Apollo Inn
Baker's Arms
Bear Inn
Bell Inn
Bull's Head
Cross Keys
Dog and Partridge
Fox Inn
Globe Hotel
Glove and Cross
Golden Cup
Greyhound Inn
Holly Bush
Lord Nelson
New Inn
Red Horse
Roebuck Inn
Rose and Crown
Royal Oak
Swan Hotel
Talbot Inn
Three Tuns Inn
Turk's Head Inn
Vine Inn
White Lion Inn

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Genealogy Connections
If you have a genealogy story or query regarding the Alcester area you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Warwickshire Genealogy.

Map
Map of Alcester High Street [1907]
 

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Newspaper Articles

 

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Quotation
"I see by my labour but little I thrive,
And that against the stream I do strive. By selling off ale some money is got,
If every man honestly pay for his pot.
By this we may keep the wolf from the door.”
17th Century Ballad
of the Industrious Smith

Links to other Websites
Welcome to Alcester
Genuki Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Council

Doors
Alcester Doors - No.2 Malt Mill Lane [2001]

Alcester Doors - No.6 Butter Street [2001]

Alcester Doors - Churchill House [2001]

Alcester Doors - Lloyd's Bank [2001]

Alcester Doors - No.1 Church Street [2001]

Alcester Doors - Town Hall [2001]

Alcester Doors - No.46 Henley Street [2001]

Alcester Doors - Perrymill [2001]

Alcester Doors - The Old Rectory [2001]

Alcester Doors - No.13 Butter Street [2001]

Alcester Doors - No.9 Church Street [2001]

Alcester Doors - No.14 Bleachfield Street [2001]

Alcester Doors - Angel House in Church Street [2009]

Alcester Doors - The Limes in Church Street [2009]

Alcester Doors - Churchill House [2009]

Work in Progress

1950 Advertisement for Mitchell's & Butler's

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Ansell's Mirror [c.1900]

 

Trade Directories
1900 Kelly's Directory
Alcester [anciently written "Alencestre" and "Alnecester," and by Matthew Paris " Ellencarter" is a market town, head of a petty sessional division, union and county court district, in the South-Western division of the county, standing at the junction of the Arrow and Alne rivers, and near the Worcestershire border, 8 miles west-by-north from Stratford-on-Avon, 15 west-south-west from Warwick, 10 from Evesham, 19 from Birmingham, 13 from Bromsgrove, 7 from Redditch and 102 from London by road, hundred of Barlichway, rural deanery of Alcester, and archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester. There is a junction station here on the Midland Railway, ,with a branch opened in 1876, and connecting the Midland system with the Great Western at Bearley junction, 6¾ miles distant. The streets are lighted with gas from works established in 1850, and the town is well supplied with water from the waterworks at Arrow, by the Alcester Waterworks Co. Ltd., established in 1878, mainly through the generosity of the late Marquess of Hertford. The town derives its name from having been a castrum or fortified Roman station, on or near the river Alne, and was probably the Warwickshire Alauna of the Romans, as quoted by Richard of Cirencester in the 14th century: there appears, moreover, to be a strong probability, both from the name and for other reasons, that modern Alcester does not occupy the site of the ancient town, which is assumed both by Leland and Dugdale to have had a situation upon the Alne river; the latter in particular refers to the remains of buildings discovered at Blacklands, or Blackfields, south of the present town, where, some years since, two urns containing human bones and ashes were found; and in another field, near the Arrow Road, a Roman stone coffin has been disinterred uninjured, containing a perfect skeleton. Icknield Street, one of the three Roman Roads which traverse the county, passes here. The ecclesiastical history of Alcester begins at a very remote period; so early as the eighth century St. Egwin, third Bishop of Worcester and founder of the Monastery of Evesham, visiting it, reproved the inhabitants for their luxury and avarice, and Capgrave, in relating the circumstance, speaks of the place as "Castrum Alnecestre, regale tunc mansum." No mention, however, is made of Alcester in the Domesday survey, and Dugdale meets with no record of it until Henry II's time, when it is styled "Francus Burgus Domini Regis." In the fifth year of Stephen [1139-40], Ralph Boteler of Oversley, founded the priory on a piece of insulated ground, contiguous to where Alcester mill now is, and hence at that time called "The Church of our Lady of the Isle;" but although liberally endowed, and afterwards enriched by pious gifts and bequests, it had become so reduced in Henry VI.'s reign by the ill-management and wastefulness of its abbots, that the King displaced them, and committed its government to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester; its prosperity, in spite of this precaution, and an appeal to the Pope, still continuing to decline, it was, in 1467, deprived its position as an independent house, and united to the Abbey of Evesham. The church of St. Nicholas, once dedicated to St. Faith, and standing in the middle of the town, originally belonged to the Priory of Alcester; it afterwards came to the nuns of Cokehill, of Worcestershire, and at the Dissolution passed to the Greville family, who long continued the patrons, till, at the close of the last century, it was sold, together with the manor, to the Marquess of Hertford: the existing church is a large building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, and an embattled western tower, in the Decorated style of the 14th century, three stages in height, with a turret at the south-east corner, and crocketed pinnacles at the angles, and containing a clock and 6 bells, with inscriptions, all cast at Gloucester by A. B. Rudhall, in 1735: the body of the church, with a recess for the holy table, was rebuilt between 1727 and 1734, the money for the rebuilding being in part collected by means of briefs, as may be seen by an entry in the parish register of Gatcombs, Isle of Wight; in 1870 a new chancel was built at a cost of £2,600, when an elaborately carved pulpit was erected, and a stone font placed in the church as a memorial to the Rev. F. A. Crow M.A. late rector, who died 30th December 1868, and Emma, his wife; in the tower there remains a singular triptych of oak, the folding doors of which, when open, exhibit rudely painted pictures; it is dated 1683, and bears an inscription with sundry texts of scripture: here is also preserved an ancient lock with a key nine inches long and in good order: at the east end of the south aisle is a cenotaph, erected to the memory of Francis, second Marquess of Hertford K.G. d. 1882, with a fine life-sized recumbent figure in white marble, by the late Sir Francis Chantrey, a shield of arms and an inscription; under the tower is a white marble statue of the Right Hon. Sir Hamilton Seymour G.C.B., G.C.H. d. 2 Feb. 188o, erected by his son, Arthur Henry Seymour: there is a memorial window erected by public subscription, July, 1885, to Francis Hugh George, fifth Marquess of Hertford G.C.B. d. 25 Jan. 1884; and another to Lady Georgina Mary Seymour, widow of Admiral Sir George Francis Seymour G.C.B., G.C.H., and mother of the fifth Marquess, d. 20 Aug. 1878, erected by her daughter-in-law, Emily, Marchioness of Hertford, in 1879, and in 1893 a west window was erected by Mr. F. W. Heath, of Toronto, to his parents, who were for many years residents in the town: in the north aisle stands the 16th century monument of Sir Fulke Greville, and the Lady Elizabeth [Willoughby] his wife, consisting of a high altar-tomb on which lie their recumbent effigies, both painted and gilt, and apparently portraits; the sides of the tomb are divided by twisted columns into compartments, enclosing figures and heraldic shields; two lectors, Thomas Jowling M.A. (1745) and Francis Palmer LL.B. (1843) are buried in the church: and memorials have been placed to the family of Brandis or Brandish (1724-1841), Phillips (1782-1825), Bridges (1666-87), Clarke (1811-27) and others, some of which are modern brasses : there were formerly two chantries in the church, one, in 11 the "Chapel of Our Lady,'' founded by one of the Botelers, the other by John de Beauchamp, for a daily service at the altar of All Saints: there are 600 sittings. The churchyard is now disused, a former Marquess of Hartford having given two acres of land on the Birmingham road, to be used for burial purposes. The register of baptisms and burials dates from 1560, and marriages from 1561, the first entry in the register of burials being that of 'Sir Fulk Gravill, Knight, Nov. 10, 1560." The living is a rectory, net yearly value £239, including 84 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Marquess of Hertford, and held since 1868 by the Rev. Alfred Henry Williams, M.A. of Clare College, Cambridge, chaplain in ordinary to Her Majesty the Queen, and since 1877 incumbent of Weethley. The Catholic School chapel, opened 19th March, 1889, and dedicated to "Our Lady of the Isle and St. Joseph," is a building of local stone, from designs by the Rev. A. J. C. Scales, of St. Joseph's Presbytery, Bridgewater; it was erected at a cost of about £2,000, inclusive of land, and consists of chancel, nave and south porch, and has a residence adjoining for the schoolmistress and caretaker, and will seat 180 persons. There is a Wesleyan chapel, built in I872, and seating 140 persons, a Baptist chapel, built in r869, with 384 sittings, and a chapel for Unitarians. The Town Hall is a building supported on stone pillars, with the carved date 1641; the basement, formerly used as a market place, was, in 1873, converted by the late Marquess of Hertford into a room for holding meetings of magistrates, and for the purposes of the Alcester County Court. There is a fire brigade with a station in Gas House lane, containing one engine and equipment; the force consists of a superintendent and 8 men. Formerly an extensive trade was carried on in the manufacture of needles, but this has in part been removed to Redditch and its neighbourhood: the manufacture of needles, embroidery hooks, toilet and other pins, is, however, still maintained by Messrs. Wm. Allwood & Sons, Limited, and needle-stamping and scouring are largely carried on, arid there are also implement works, a cycle factory, and a brewery. The Metropolitan Bank [of England and Wales] Limited, and the Capital and Counties Bank Limited, have each a branch here. The "Alcester Chronicle" is published here every Saturday. A corn market is held on Wednesdays in the Corn Exchange, a structure of brick with stone dressings, erected in 1857 at a cost of about £2,000, and also let for concerts and entertainments, and holding for these purposes 1,000 persons. Statute fairs for hiring servants are held the Tuesday before and the Tuesday after Michaelmas. Cattle sales are held here instead of the old fairs, generally on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday by Mr. I. A. Jephcott, of Alcester. and Mr. E. G. Righton, of Evesham. The Alcester reading room, established Nov. 1889, occupies premises in High Street, and is supplied with the leading London and provincial papers, magazines etc.; it is supported by the subscriptions from about 90 members. The, Hertford Memorial Hospital for infections diseases etc. opened in April, 1886, was erected by public subscription throughout the county, at a cost of £1,300, on a site given by the present Marquess of Hertford, to the memory of Francis Hugh George, fifth Marquess of Hertford G.C.B.: it is a structure of red brick in the Queen Anne style, with twelve beds, and includes a detached residence for the matron; the original hospital, consisting of two blocks, built of timber is still used, and will hold 24 patients. There are 14 almshouses, four in the Bleachfield for men, and ten on the Birmingham road for women over 6o years of age: these have a land endowment, the profits of which, after paying the necessary disbursements, allow about 3s. 6d. weekly to each of the inmates. Other land at Alne Hills is let at a yearly rental of £40, formerly applied to the apprenticing of poor boys, but this sum, together with Earnshaw's and other charities, is now under a new scheme framed by the Charity Commissioners, apportioned to the endowment of the Newport Grammar School. Some inferior charities, amounting to about £25 yearly, are expended in the distribution of bread. A bequest of Lady Fulke Greville, now amounting to  £6 annually, provides gowns each year for the poor. Beauchamp Court, or Manor House, the moat of which may still be traced, was formerly the residence of the families of Beauchamp and Greville, the direct ancestors of the present Earl of Warwick, but is now the property of the Marquess of Hertford, and is occupied as a farm house. The Marquess of Hertford P.C. is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The number of acres is 1,626; rateable value, £7,711; the population in 1881 was 2,430, and in 1891, 2,406.

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