Population: 1911, 198; 1921, 207; 1931, 176.
The parish lies to the east of the River Blythe, about
a third of its area being occupied by Packington Park (fn. 1)
with its fine oak woods and three Pools, or lakes, and
herd of deer, which in 1936 numbered 300. (fn. 2) The
country is undulating, rising from about 260 ft. on the
west to a little over 500 ft. on the eastern boundary.
There is no village, and the church stands by itself in
the Park about midway between the Old Hall and
Packington Hall, the seat of the Earl of Aylesford.
Packington Hall has an inscription in the lead roof:
'This house was built by Sir Clement Fisher Bart. in
the year 1693 and was cased with stone and enlarged
by his grandson Heneage Earl of Aylesford in the year
1772. Henry Couchman, Surveyor of the work.' The
original house was of brick, but except for a chimneystack or two in the middle of the house it is lost in the
later enlargements. The house, built about a central
courtyard, is of three stories, the lowest of rusticated
ashlar in cream-white sandstone, the upper stories of
plain ashlar with an entablature, dentilled cornice and
panels with swags at the top. The east and west fronts
have slightly projecting middle and end bays. The
middle entrance, in the east front, has Ionic shafts
supporting a pediment, and the upper stories of the bay
are faced with Ionic pilasters also carrying a pediment.
The northern of the two main staircases is of late17th-century detail from the first to the second floor,
with twisted balusters, &c. The other has an iron
balustrade. Several of the main rooms have painted
ceilings, others late-18th-century plaster enrichments.
The 18th-century stables, &c., north of the house
incorporate some late-17th-century material, some of
the windows having oak mullions and transoms. The
east front, in line with that of the main house, is of 18thcentury stone work with a recessed middle portico with
The Old Hall, ¾ mile north-east of the Hall, is built
of brickwork of 1679, but probably incorporates a
much earlier house of timber-framing, the walls being
encased or rebuilt by Sir Clement Fisher (whose
nephew built the larger Hall). The attics (third story)
were made more commodious by the provision of
large dormer windows of brick with stone entablatures,
probably c. 1700.
The plan is rectangular facing approximately south,
inclosing two parallel gabled ranges of rooms, north
and south, the latter with the central chimney-stack of
the original house. In front is a porch-wing, a little
west of the middle. The walls are of red brick, in
Flemish bond, with rusticated angle-dressings also of
brick; the plinths are of red sandstone to the main
walls. At the first-floor level are partly moulded stringcourses, of bricks except at the angles.
The porch has, between panelled brick pilasters, an
oak-framed entrance with a flat arch, moulded keystone,
and stone cornice and pediment. The second story
resembles the main walls. The third, which is of the
date of the dormers, has brick pilasters at the angles
with Ionic stone capitals carrying an entablature like
the others and a curved pediment: in the brick tympanum is a raised stone panel, now plain. The north and
east doorways have old oak frames. Between the gables
on the east and west sides are rather ornate rain-water
heads both bearing the inscriptions f/CI 1679. The
eastern has filigree enrichment, the west two little
human figures. The back has three large dormers, the
outer two surmounted by 18th-century panelled chimney-shafts. The original central chimney-stack is square
with small square pilasters.
The entrance opens direct into the hall—the southwest chamber. This has a stone-flagged floor and, in
the central chimney-stack, a stone fire-place with
moulded jambs and a four-centred arch with a keyblock. The chimney-stack is 9 ft. thick. On the east
side it has a 10-ft. fire-place with moulded stone jambs
and a stop-moulded oak bressummer with cuttings
where the former jack was fixed. At the back of it is a
circular oven. In the framed back partition of this room
is a fine ancient oak door hung with ornamental strap
hinges with fleur de lis ends; it was probably the
original front door reset here. The ceiling-beams are
The small north-west chamber has an angle fireplace with a late-17th-century moulded and eared
architrave. The plastered ceiling has a moulded dentilled cornice. The contemporary staircase next east
of it has panelled newels with moulded heads and
twisted balusters. The cellars below this part of the
house have ancient stone walls with lamp-recesses, and
The rooms in the upper story are lofty. The central
chimney-stack has late-17th-century fire-places. The
plastered ceiling of the large room over the hall, with a
coved cornice enriched with swags, &c., is dated 1680
and has a double monogram CF, and a shield with the
Fisher arms and crest. The dressing-room over the
porch has a plastered ceiling with a circle-rib of bay
leaves and oak leaf and oak apple (fn. 3) ornament in the
spandrels. The back rooms have ancient framed partitions, and oak doors with ornamented strap hinges
and wood latches, &c.
There are (or were) walled courtyards north, west,
and east of the house. The small west court retains its
south and west brick walls, in which are small oval
piercings of stone with key-blocks. The larger north
courtyard has at the north-west corner a large pigeon
house of brick with gables and tiled roof with an open
lantern. Its west wall was rebuilt in the 18th century
and provided with a 15-ft. archway for carts: this has
since been walled up again and given a doorway with
a reused ancient frame and panelled door. The three
other walls inside retain the nests, of brick, of which
there are over a thousand; the roof has heavy tie-beams,
&c., and straight wind-braces. The east court has only
the south wall standing, at the east end of which is a
stone ball-head. At the north-east angle of the house
is a one-storied modern addition (the kitchen, &c.).
South-west of the house is a detached venison-house of
the 18th century with blocked round-headed openings
and a wide doorway; the pyramidal roof is tiled.
Whether the house was moated or not is uncertain, but
there is a long narrow pond east of it with a narrow
dry ditch turning northward at its east end.
On the stream running out of the Hall Pool into the
Blythe is Packington Mill. There were two mills in
the manor at the time of the Domesday Survey; (fn. 4) three
are mentioned in 1291; (fn. 5) four in 1568 (fn. 6) and 1666; (fn. 7) and
two in 1684. (fn. 8)
Mill Farm, about ½ mile south-west of the Hall, is a
late-17th-century red brick house with brick pilasters
in the south front and tall segmental-headed windows.
A thatched cottage on the east edge of the park,
½ mile east of the church, is mostly of brick but retains
late-16th-century story-posts and curved braces to the
The manor of PACKINGTON was
held in the time of Edward the Confessor
by Alward as 4 hides, and in 1086 by
Turchil of Warwick, who let it to his brother Godmund. (fn. 9) Either Turchil or his son Siward granted it
to Geoffrey de Clinton, who gave it to the Priory of
Kenilworth. (fn. 10) This grant was confirmed by Hugh and
Henry de Arden, sons of Siward, and by King Stephen,
under whom it was assessed at half a knight's fee. (fn. 11) In
1267 the prior held one knight's fee in Packington of
William Maudit, Earl of Warwick. (fn. 12) The value in
1291 was £11 16s. including three mills valued at
£2. (fn. 13) In the same year a grant of free warren was
made to the prior; (fn. 14) this was confirmed in 1394, (fn. 15) and
the priory retained possession of the manor until the
Dissolution. The Earl of Warwick is again mentioned
as overlord in 1315 (fn. 16) and 1400, (fn. 17) the assessment being
half a knight's fee in the latter year. In 1535 the value
was £35 18
. 8d. in lands and tenements, and 13s. 4d.
from other sources. (fn. 18) Shortly before the Dissolution
the canons demised the manor of PACKINGTON
PRIORS to William Wheeler. (fn. 19) After the surrender
to the Crown this demise was continued, and William
was succeeded by his son Simon. (fn. 20) The reversion was
granted to John Fisher, the manor to be held in chief,
on 20 September 1544. (fn. 21) On the death of Simon
Wheeler his widow married John Fisher, and the latter
then settled at Packington. (fn. 22) He died on 8 March 1571,
and his son Clement succeeded. (fn. 23) In 1617 Sir Clement
received a grant of free warren in his manors here and
at Bickenhill. (fn. 24) He died on 23 October 1619, and was
succeeded by his son Sir Robert, (fn. 25) but his widow,
Mary, continued to live at the Manor House, with her
daughter Anne Dilke, and in 1621 Sir Robert charged
them with wasting timber on the estate. (fn. 26) In 1640 a
second Sir Clement Fisher son of Sir Robert held the
manor. (fn. 27) He died without issue and was succeeded by
a third Sir Clement, his nephew (fn. 28) , who was succeeded
in 1729 by his only daughter, Mary, Countess of
Aylesford, (fn. 29) and the Earls of Aylesford have since held
Fisher of Packington. Argent a cheveron wavy vair between three demi-lions gules.
Finch, Earl of Aylesford. Argent a cheveron between three griffons passant sable.
Two virgates of land in this parish, one granted by
Cecily de Limesi and the other by Robert de Somerville, were confirmed to Polesworth Abbey in 1398. (fn. 30)
They were still in the same possession in 1535, when
their annual value was 8s. (fn. 31)
The church of ST. JAMES, in the
Park, was built in 1789 from designs by
Joseph Bonomi based on that of a church
near Rome. It is of symmetrical plan with a square nave
having recessed quasi-aisles between four square corner
chambers, the east recess being the sanctuary. The
walls are of red brick with stone plinths, large moulded
cornices with console brackets, and middle pediments.
Over the angles are stumpy square turrets of stone with
panelled faces, moulded bases and cornices, small halfround panelled pediments, and leaded domes with
finials and weather-vanes. The middle parts are lighted
by large lunettes (the eastern blocked) and the side
chambers by two smaller lunettes, one over the other,
the upper unglazed. The west doorway has a stone
architrave and a cornice supported by consoles. Except
for the doorway the four elevations are alike. In the
east side is a doorway to the crypt, which is lighted by
small lights in the plinth: by the doorway is cut a consecration cross.
In each angle of the nave is a fluted column supporting a groined vault. These are of red sandstone, the
remainder being of cream-white stone. Round-headed
archways open from the aisles to the angle chambers.
The altar-piece is of marble with Corinthian shafts,
entablature, and pediment. It incloses a painting of
the monogram IHS in glory worshipped by angels. The
balustraded altar rails are also of marble. In the north
aisle, which is railed off by an oak balustrade, is a small
organ said to have been used by Handel and brought
from Gopsal. The round font in the south-west chamber is moulded. There is one bell of 1808 in the northwest turret recast from a former set of three. Also a
sanctus bell inscribed AVE MARIE GRATIA PLENA S.I.D.,
probably of c. 1480 by a Worcester founder. (fn. 32)
At the west end is a slab with the indent of the brass
figure of a priest and four roundels. (fn. 33) The inscription
is preserved and reads: 'Hic jacet dns Johēs Wryght
qndā Vicarius istius ecclie q[ui] obijt viiio die mēs marcii
anno d[omin]i MCCCCCXXVII cu's ā ī ē ppiciet' ds.'
There are also two badly damaged effigies, of plaster
on wood framework, of an Elizabethan man and
woman. The man, bearded, wears a ruff and full
armour; the woman has a flat cap, ruff, stomacher,
farthingale, and cloak. Their hands in prayer are
broken away, but one of the lady's hands lies loose.
These are part of a large two-tiered monument to
John Fisher (1570) and Katherine (Digby) his wife, and
Sir Clement his son and Mary (Repington) his wife. (fn. 34)
A brass tablet is to Ann daughter of John Chisenhall,
Vicar of Barking, Essex, 1746; and there are other grave
The registers begin in 1538, but are very defective.
The church was apparently given
with the manor to the Priory of
Kenilworth, and was appropriated to
the priory in 1278. (fn. 35) In 1291 it was valued at £3 6s.
8d.; (fn. 36) by 1535 the vicarage was worth £7 10s. 1d. (fn. 37)
and the rectory was leased for £2 13
. 4d. (fn. 38) In 1544
it was granted with the manor to John Fisher, (fn. 39) and
they have ever since descended together. The living
was united with that of Little Packington on 1 August
1860. (fn. 40)
Poor's Money. The endowment of
this charity originally consisted of
several ancient gifts from the Fisher
family and others amounting to £112. 10s., which sum
was improved by Sir Clement Fisher to £160 and was
further increased by the Earl of Aylesford to £225.
This amount was invested and the interest applied in
the purchase of linen and blankets for the poor.
William Wotton gave £5 to the poor of Great Packington, the interest to be distributed in bread.
William Burbidge, who died in 1803, left £10 to be
added to Wotton's £5.
The Communion Charity. By a declaration of trust
dated 15 October 1862 the Rev. George Barrington
Legge gave £100 (representing collections made at Holy
Communion in the parish), the interest to be distributed
in food, fuel, or clothing among the poor of the parish.
The above-mentioned charities are administered by
the vicar and churchwardens, and the income amounting to £10 11s. 4d. annually is applied in accordance
with the trusts.
Frank Watkins Blackwell by will proved 22 January,
1931 bequeathed to the Parochial Church Council of
Great Packington £250, the interest to be applied
towards the upkeep of the churchyard. The income
amounts to £12 7s. annually.
Church Lands. The rents of the following premises
amounting to about £20 per annum are received by the
churchwardens and applied towards the repairs and
expenses of the parish church.
(1) Land containing 6½ acres or thereabouts at
Burton Hastings. The Ashby Canal passes
through the land, in respect of which compensation is paid.
(2) Land at Fillongley containing ½ acre, (fn. 41) and ⅓ of
the rent of Lapworth's Osier Grove (see Meriden).