The day finally arrived, it was time to embark on my grand tour of the villages en route to Evesham. The weather forecast was favourable, my navigation was done and all that was left was hitting the road. My plan was to travel by bus to Kemerton, take my pics and then head over to either Overbury or Ashton-Under-Hill, and from there to Evesham. The only real hard and fast decision was that Kemerton would be my first stop.
I grabbed the 07.35ish 540 bus in misty weather and even the sun was still partly asleep at this time of the morning, and I duly arrived in Kemerton at 7.50ish. Everybody was apparently asleep too.
This is the road from Bredon.
Lost? this may help.
As you can see the sun was starting to colour the sky and the light was improving considerably.
Even the local shop/post office looked like it was starting to stir. This was the only shop I saw in the village. While “The Crown” was the only pub I saw, although there may be others.
And finally, the reason for my early morning sojourn.
The War Memorial is described as a “Latin Limestone Cross atop a tall shaft, which is on a 5 stage base. The design of the cross was adapted from an ancient village cross in the village of Laycock.” (https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/32460). It was unveiled on 9 January 1921, and was made by Sir Herbert Baker RA (possibly the architect?), Messrs E T Taylor of Tewkesbury and Mr A Stanley of Kemerton. It is a Grade II listed structure.
There are 20 names from the First World War and 7 from the Second World War on the memorial.
The building in the picture behind the memorial had an interesting sign painted on the wall, although I do not know if it is a period sign or a recent addition.
The rent was paid, it was time to walk across to Overbury which was less than a kilometre away, past the village hall (dated 1902),
although walking on the pavement was difficult because the grass was heavy with dew. Not much was stirring here, but then it was still early.
Much to my delight I found a Catholic Church on the outskirts of the village, and it still had a graveyard.
It is called St Benet’s Catholic Church (served by the Benedictines of Douai Abbey), and it was built in 1843 by M E Hadfield, together with the adjoining Priest’s House.
I had missed the local Anglican Church though, so that is another reason for a return to the village. Across the street from the church was a large field with grazing sheep and a white painted farmhouse in the distance. There was a hint of mist in the air and the slowly lightening sky was still coloured orange by the sun on the clouds. It was one of those moments that always leaves me breathless.
In fact there were sheep having breakfast on both sides of the road. This chap was resting his wary head and we exchanged Baa’s.
Kemerton is also mentioned in the Domesday Book
- Hundred: Tewkesbury
- County: Gloucestershire / Worcestershire
- Total population: 40.5 households (very large).
- Total tax assessed: 13.4 geld units (very large)
- Taxable units: Taxable value 60 geld units. Taxed on 60.0. Payments of 0.82 urban.
- Value: Value to lord in 1066 £26.5. Value to lord in 1086 £30.
- Households: 80 villagers. 30 smallholders. 38 slaves. 1 free men. 32 burgesses.
- Ploughland: 20 lord’s plough teams. 48 men’s plough teams.
- Other resources: Meadow 74 acres. Woodland 2.5 leagues * 1 league + 2 furlongs & 0.5 leagues * 2 furlongs mixed measures. 4 mills, value 2.0.
- Lords in 1086: Paris (Saint-Denis), abbey of; free men, five.
- Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Paris (Saint-Denis), abbey of.
- Places mentioned in this entry: Calcot; Coln [St Dennis]; [Deerhurst] Walton; Haw; Leigh; [Little] Compton; Preston [-on-Stour]; Staverton;Uckington; Welford [-on-Avon]; Woolstone; Kemerton.
My next destination was in sight.
And in the distance I could see the the bell tower of St Faith’s, Overbury on the left side of the road.
There are 5 CWGC graves in the churchyard, and all five are from the First World War. The War Memorial is incorporated into the Lych Gate so technically it could also double as a coffin rest.
The Memorial commemorates the Men of Overbury and Conderton who gave their lives in the Great War (and the Second World War). There are 26 names from the First World War and 4 from the Second World War. (https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/32563)
For some strange reason I took almost no images of the Lych Gate structure as I was too intent of trying to get the names instead. Once that was done I tackled the Churchyard, 4 of the headstones were standard CWGC pattern while the last was a private memorial, and it had been recently restored too.
Rent paid, it was time to move onwards. And I seemingly did not photograph the church completely, although it was not easy to get an unobstructed view of it. Fortunately I did get the back of the Lych Gate.
The Exif data of this image puts the time at 8.34 and I still had to find the bus stop to get the bus that theoretically should arrive about 8.50. I had scoped the route out on my maps and the bus stops were marked on it, so no problemo!
In fact, the timetable listed the bus stop as “opposite shelter”, and this is the shelter….
The shelter however is on the side heading back to Tewkesbury, and Google Earth marks the stop as being roughly 50 metres before the shelter, and the locals said the stop was at a small bench 50 metres on the other side of the shelter. This is the UK, if you do not stand at a designated bus stop the bus will not stop!
I returned to Overbury in April 2019 to investigate a screenwall that was being worked on at the church. It was completed by April which is why I made the trip.
- Hundred: Oswaldslow
- County: Worcestershire
- Total population: 15.5 households (medium).
- Total tax assessed: 3 geld units (medium)
- Head of manor: Overbury.
- Taxable units: Taxable value 6 geld units.
- Value: Value to lord in 1066 £6. Value to lord in 1086 £6.
- Households: 15 villagers. 7 smallholders. 6 slaves. 2 female slaves. 1 priest.
- Ploughland: 3 lord’s plough teams. 12 men’s plough teams.
- Other resources: Meadow 10 acres. Woodland 1 * 1 leagues. 0.5 church lands.
- Lord in 1066: Worcester (St Mary), bishop of.
- Lord in 1086: Worcester (St Mary), bishop of.
- Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Worcester (St Mary), bishop of.
- Places mentioned in this entry: Overbury; Pendock.
and this is the road out of here.
The next village in the route was Conderton although I was not stopping there, and fortunately the bus driver saw my frantic waves from what I hoped was the bus stop.
My next destination was Ashton-Under-Hill and that is over the page….
DRW © 2018 – 2019. Created 20/10/2018. Added link to page with return visit. 04/05/2019. The Open Domesday Project and the associated images are kindly made available by Professor J.J.N. Palmer. Images may be reused under a Creative Commons BY-SA licence.