ODDINGLEY
A HISTORY OF WORCESTERSHIRE

From: The VICTORIA HISTORY OF THE COUNTIES OF ENGLAND
Edited by William Page, F.S.A.
Printed by Dawsons of Pall Mall; Folkstone & London, 1913

ODDINGLEY

Oddingley is pleasantly situated about 3 miles to the south-east of a valley through which run the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Bristol and Birmingham branch of the Midland railway, which has a goods station at Dunhampstead, but no passenger station at Oddingley. A road from Droitwich to Huddington passes through the north of the parish, and another road connects the village of Oddingley with Droitwich.

The village is in the centre of the parish, and besides the church of St. James and Church Farm contains brick and tile works on the canal. The old rectory is about half a mile from the church to the north-west. The present rectory and the school are at some distance from the village to the north on the Droitwich road.

The village itself stands at a height of about 185 ft. above the ordnance datum, and the land rises slightly in the north, the rectory at the extreme north being 203 ft. above the ordnance datum.

The church lies a little to the south of the by-road along wich the main part of the village is built, and is surrounded by a small churchyard. Immediately to the south-east of the church is a fram-house of brick and half-timber, which appears to date from about 1600. It is of two stories with attics, and latterly has been divided up into three cottages. In the meadow adjoining is a fine dovecote of half-timber work, rectangular in plan, with a pyramidal tiled roof, surmounted by a fleche affording entrance to the birds. The timbering is of simple uprights and cross-beams, with occasional straight struts, and the filling appears to have been originally wattle and daub, though this has been replaced in many places by brick. The structure is probably contemporary with the adjacent farm-house. The few cottages which make up the main portion of the village are situated a little to the north of the church. Here are some good examples of half-timber work. A samll cottage standing a little way back on the west side of the road has two remarkably fine late 15th-century moulded brick chimney stacks with circular shafts, spirally fluted, and octagonal cappings with concave sides. The plan is a simple oblong containing two rooms on the ground floor with fireplaces at either end of the building, a central staircase, and a small out-house on the north. There is an attic story in the roof. The ceilings are open-joisted. About three-quarters of a mile south-east of the church, on the opposite side of the reilway and canal, is Netherwood Farm, a modernized 17th-century building of red brick; in an adjoining barn was committed a murder consequent of the 'Oddingley murder' in 1806. A man was tried for this in 1830 at the Worcester assizes, but was acquitted. This barn has been since demolished and a new one erected on its foundations.

The vill of Oddingley is said to have been thrown into the forest of Feckenham by Henry II, but was disafforested at the beginning of the reign of Henry III. A part of Trenchg Wood, which lies chiefly in Huddington, is in Oddingley. Oddingley Heath was inclosed before 1817, and until its inclosure the inhabitants of Oddingley, Tibberton, Hindlip, Hadzor and Salwarpe enjoyed rights of common there. The parish contains 894 acres, of which 357 are arable land, 423 permanent grass and 75 woodland. The soil is loamy and the subsoil Keuper Marl, producing crops of cerals and roots.

Place-names at Oddingley are: Stigely, Greenway, Deorleage, Longandic, Caltham Hill, Crohheama (ix cent.); Nufeld (xv cent.); Horsham Valez, Mortymers Coppice (xvi cent.).

MANOR

The manor of ODDINGLEYwas apparently given to the see of Worcester before 1816, for at that date Coenwulf, King of Mercia, granted to Bishop Deneberht and the church of Worcester that Oddingley should be free of all secular services except building of strongholds and bridges and military service. Cynewold, the fifteenth Bishop of Worcester (929-57), is said to have given this manor about 940 to the monks of Worcester, and in 963 Bishop Oswald, with the permission of the convent, of Edgar, King of England, and of Alfhere, ealdorman of Mercia, gave this estate for three lived to Cynethegn with reversion to the church of Worcester. A more detailed account of the alienation is given in the registers of the monastery. A certain clerk of noble birth called Cynethegn came to Godwin, the venerable dean of the monastery, and asked for a cassata of land called Oddingley. Godwin being unwilling to deny him, as he knew him for a powerful man of great prudence, granted it to him without delay, on condition that he should pay 5s. a year for the land. This agreement Cynethegn kept as long as he lived, but on his death his heirs usurped the land and would not do any service for it. In this way the monks lost the land the the service dure for it. The manor was, however, included in the land of the church of Worcester at the time of the Domesday Survey [1086]. It was held by Ordric, and his predecessor Turchil had done service for it to the bishop.


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