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Manor Farm, Lower Wick, Worcestershire

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Feature Sets (2)

Description

The first approx. 3m of height of the rectangular building is of 12thc. masonry for the most part. The E and W windows, now blocked, can be seen. Floors have been inserted and partitions made over centuries. It is still easy to see the ground plan of what may have been the 12thc. church.

History

The manor of Wick Episcopi, which included Lower Wick, belonged to the church of Worcester before the Conquest and its site is said to have been granted by King Offa to Bishop Milred before 775. It continued to be held by the Bishops of Worcester until 1558. The manor supplied the church of Worcester with service and produce until the Dissolution. Before the Conquest, St Cuthbert's, Wick Episcopi, was one of several chapels belonging to St Helen's, Worcester, which passed with all its possessions to Worcester Cathedral in 960. St Cuthbert's, in its turn, served as the mother church of several chapels including St John-in-Bedwardine, Worcester. Before 1236, St Cuthebert's became the parish church but was superseded in this role by St John-in-Bedwardine in 1371 and duly abandoned.

The structure, identified as St Cuthbert's Chapel, Wick Episcopi is now used as an outbuilding of Bennett's Farm and Dairy, Lower Wick.

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

There is little doubt that the font found 'deeply buried' in the 'fold-yard' here in 1876 is the 12thc. original which furnished St.Cuthbert's until the old church's demolition was ordered in the 14thc. The farmer gave the font to the builder of Crown East church which was in course of erection, and where it may be seen at present. A copy was made and installed at Hindlip 11 years later.

Comments/Opinions

The VCH suggests that what is 'claimed' to be the remains of the church of St Cuthbert may have been a small house, having a hall and a two-storied block at its E end. If this proves to be correct, then St Cuthbert's church was indeed razed, for there is no trace of another medieval building now. The VCH dates the structure to the early 13thc. The owners of the site are aware of the need to examine any stones which have evidence of carving and have been asked to report any such stones to the British Academy. The Bennett family, which runs a modern dairy business from the site, is conscious of the historical value of the old church, and the public is given access to the farm.

Bibliography

  • The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Worcestershire, vol.III, London 1913, 501-10.
  • C. J. Bond, 'Church and Parish in Norman Worcestershire' in J. Blair (ed.) Minsters and Parish Churches: The Local Church in Transition 950-1200. Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph 17. Oxford 1988, 119-58, 130-32, 138.
  • N.Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Worcestershire. Harmondsworth 1968, 318.

Location

Site Location
Manor Farm, Lower Wick
National Grid Reference
SO 839 527 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Worcestershire
now: Worcestershire
Diocese
medieval: Worcester
now: Worcester
Dedication
now:
medieval: St Cuthbert
Type of building/monument
Chapel  
Report authors
G. L. Pearson