Grimanlege (ix cent.); Grimanleag (x cent.);
Grimanleh (xi cent.); Grimele (xiii cent.).
The parish of Grimley on the right bank of the
Severn to the north of Hallow covers an area of
2,471 acres. Of these 865 acres are arable land,
the chief crops being wheat, barley, beans and roots.
The soil is loam and gravel, the subsoil red marl and
clay. There are 1,187 acres of permanent grass and
the woods and plantations cover 180 acres. (fn. 1) Grimley
Brook, a tributary of the Severn, rises to the north
of Monk Wood and forms the northern boundary
of Grimley, the Severn forming the eastern boundary.
The land near the river is very low-lying and liable
to floods, being only 48 ft. above ordnance datum.
The village itself stands about 70 ft. above the
ordnance datum. To the west the ground rises,
reaching a height of 200 ft. at Oakhall Green near
Monk Wood. A road from Worcester to Stourport runs north past the vicarage and crosses Grimley
Brook near Ball Mill. At Camp House a ferry leads
The village of Grimley is situated on the right
bank of the Severn to the east of the road from
Stourport to Worcester. The church stands at the
north end of the short street which constitutes the
village. Sinton (fn. 2) is a hamlet to the west of the
village. Sinton Court, a 19th-century house of
moderate size, is the residence of Mr. Thomas
MacBean. Thorngrove, the property of Mrs. Lee
Williams, now occupied by Mr. Herbert Whiteley,
was for several years the residence of Lucien
Bonaparte, Prince of Canino, younger brother of
Napoleon I, when a prisoner of war in this country.
It is a plain stone mansion of the late 18th century
standing in extensive grounds.
The Priors of Worcester visited Grimley frequently
in the 14th century, and transacted business here.
Many letters and orders in 1302, 1307 and 1375
are dated from Grimley. (fn. 3) The manor-house built
in the reign of Henry VIII was destroyed towards
the close of the 17th century and replaced by a cross-timbered building called 'The Palace.' (fn. 4)
George Hooper, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was
born here in 1640, (fn. 5) and Sir Samuel White Baker,
F.R.S., F.R.A.S., the African explorer, is buried in
the churchyard, his father Samuel Baker being then
the owner of Thorngrove in this parish.
Former place-names in the parish include Ocholt or
Okholtesgrove, Sechenhal, Bertrithestoking, Erthelond,
Smocacra, Storteland, Werle, Hashulle, Heldedeshashull, Boygrava, Rugmore, Smethemor, Ailwinch,
Holithurn, Marshell, Butholt, Leintewirthin (fn. 6) (xiii
cent.); Pritch (fn. 7) (xvi cent.); the Vineyard, (fn. 8) Monkredding and Holy Well (fn. 9) (xix cent.).
Bertwulf, King of the Mercians, in 851
gave 3 cassata at GRIMLEY to the church
of Worcester for the salvation of his soul.
It was to be free of all service except military
service and the building of bridges. (fn. 10) Possibly King
Offa also granted land at Grimley to the monastery,
as a charter of that king relating to Grimley is
noted among the charters of the church of Worcester. (fn. 11)
Bishop Oswald (961–72) leased four manses at
Grimley and one at Moseley (fn. 12) to his brother Oswulf
for three lives, (fn. 13) but Bishop Wulfstan redeemed it in
the time of William the Conqueror and gave it to
Thomas, Prior of Worcester. (fn. 14)
Grimley was among the possessions of the monastery
of Worcester in 1086, (fn. 15) and was confirmed to the
monks by Bishop Simon in 1148. (fn. 16) It is difficult to
account for the statement found in one of the cloister
windows of Worcester Cathedral that Bishop Walter
(1214–16) gave Grimley to the priory of Worcester. (fn. 17)
In 1240 the priory held at Grimley a court and
2 carucates of land, one of which was held by the
tenants at will and the other let to them at farm. (fn. 18)
In 1256 the monks obtained a grant of free warren
at Grimley. (fn. 19) From that time until the Dissolution
Grimley remained in the possession of the priory of
Worcester. (fn. 20)
The manor was granted by Henry VIII to the
Dean and Chapter of Worcester in 1542, (fn. 21) but in
1547 they gave it back to the king in exchange for
the rectory of Kempsey and other lands, (fn. 22) and
Edward VI gave the manor of Grimley in the same
year to the Bishop of Worcester. (fn. 23) Bishop Heath was
deprived of his see when he refused to subscribe to
the Edwardian Prayer Book, but on the appointment of Bishop Hooper Edward VI gave him the
lands of the bishopric. (fn. 24) Grimley remained in
episcopal hands until 1648, when it was sold to John
Corbett. (fn. 25) The bishop recovered it at the Restoration, and it was taken over in 1860 by the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (fn. 26) who are the present
lords of the manor.
Bishop Pates gave a long lease of the rent-corn
from Grimley to 'Master Abingdon,' Cofferer to
Elizabeth, but John Whitgift, on being appointed
to the see, found the bishopric so much impoverished
by this and other leases, the rent-corn of Hallow and
Grimley being 'the chief upholding of the bishop's
hospitality,' that he appealed to the queen to restore
it to the see. Notwithstanding that Habington 'was
a great man then to contend withal, his wife being
sometimes the Queen's Bedfellow,' the queen supported the bishop, and Habington was obliged to
surrender his lease in return for £300. (fn. 27)
The monks of Worcester held Monk Wood in
demesne in the 13th century. (fn. 28) They bought James
de Wichenford's rights of pasturage in 1300 (fn. 29) and
obtained licence to impark Monk Wood in 1309. (fn. 30)
When the manor of Grimley was granted to William
Moore, the retiring prior, in 1536, (fn. 31) he petitioned
the king to allow him 'the mansion place' of Grimley
with sufficient fuel from the wood called Monk
Wood. (fn. 32) Monk Wood was evidently granted with
the manor to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, for
in 1546 they surrendered it to the king. (fn. 33) Nash
states that when he was writing at the end of the
18th century Monk Wood contained 145 acres, of
which about 50 acres were coppice wood. (fn. 34)
In 1086 the church of Worcester owned a mill at
Grimley, which yielded no profit, (fn. 35) and half a fishery.
In the 13th century the mill was leased at 24s.
yearly. (fn. 36) The inhabitants of Grimley were obliged
to take their corn to be ground at Broadwas when
their own mill was out of repair. (fn. 37) When the manor
of Grimley was sold in 1648 by the Parliamentary
Commissioners the mill of Grimley, then known as
Ball Mill, was included in the sale. (fn. 38) The present
Ball Mill is a corn-mill on Grimley Brook, to the
west of the village.
The church of ST. BARTHOLOMEW
consists of a chancel 27 ft. by 15½ ft.,
north vestry, nave 45½ ft. by 19½ ft.,
north aisle 9¼ ft. wide, south porch, and a western
tower 13 ft. by 10 ft. These dimensions are all
internal. The only remains of the 12th-century
church are the south doorway and the lower part of
the south wall of the nave. The chancel appears to
have been rebuilt in the 13th century, assuming that
the restored lancet windows in its walls are copies
of their predecessors. The south wall of the nave
was partly rebuilt in the 14th century, when the
three existing windows were inserted, and a larger
window was inserted in the east wall of the chancel
in the 15th century. The tower was probably erected
at the same time. The north aisle and vestry were
added in 1886, and at the same time the rest of the
building underwent a drastic restoration.
The 15th-century east window of the chancel is
of three lights under a traceried four-centered head.
In each side wall are two lancet windows renovated
almost wholly with modern stonework. One now
opens into the modern vestry on the north side.
The pointed chancel arch is modern.
In the south wall of the nave are three windows
of two lights under traceried pointed heads; they
appear to be of 14th-century date, but are of unusually rough workmanship. Below the first window
outside is the lower part of a 12th-century shallow
buttress, and to the east of it and also below the
second window are some indications of blocked openings. The 12th-century south doorway is of two
orders, and has detached shafts to the jambs with
modern capitals. The modern south porch is designed
to harmonize with it in style, as is the stairway which
gives access to the west gallery. The modern arcade
north of the nave is of three bays, and the aisle is
lighted by three two-light windows on the north and
a single light at the west end. The tower has been
entirely modernized; it is in four stages, supported
by diagonal buttresses. The west doorway has a
four-centred head, with a two-light traceried window
over it. The bell-chamber is lighted by pairs of
two-light transomed windows, with a quatrefoil in
the head of each. Their ogee labels terminate in
carved finials. The parapet is embattled and a gargoyle projects from each face.
The roofs are gabled and modern.
The font is apparently an old one recut. It is
octagonal in plan, with a moulding of 15th-century
character on the lower ridge of the bowl; the base
is new. The pulpit and the other furniture are
modern, and under the tower is a gallery. The
monuments are all of the late 18th century or
Two of the 14th-century windows contain 15th-century stained glass. One has the kneeling figure
of a saint in the western light holding a cup and
paten. In its east light is a figure of God the Father
in the act of blessing; the two lights appear to be
part of a single subject. Another window has a
representation of the Annunciation.
There are six bells: the first three cast by John
Rudhall in 1820; the fourth dated 1599 and inscribed 'God be our good spede, William Wogan,
I.G.'; the fifth bears the inscription '+ Jesus ba (sic)
our sped 1626'; the tenor is a well-known dated
pre-Reformation bell, it is inscribed in Lombardic
capitals 'O Beate O Sancte Gregori laus tibi in
gloria,' with winged dragons and a cross; below it
in script letters is another small inscription reading
'T. Clyvegrove, Tempore dñi Roberti Multon Prioris
Wygornae Anno Dñi millimo CCCCmo LXXXIJ.'
The communion plate comprises a large silver cup
of 1635 with the initials F/RA, a plated paten, and a
silver flagon of 1812.
The registers are as follows: (i) mixed entries 1573
to 1731; (ii) baptisms and burials only 1731 to 1812;
(iii) marriages for the same period.
In 1238 there was a free chapel
at Grimley. (fn. 39) The advowson belonged to the Priors of Worcester (fn. 40)
until the monastery was dissolved. It was appropriated to the priory in 1268 under the title of
'church,' and to it was attached the chapelry of
Hallow. (fn. 41) In 1269 the bishop assigned to the vicar
10 marks from the priory until a certain portion of
the tithes had been provided, (fn. 42) and the vicarage was
ordained in the following year. (fn. 43) In the 16th
century 20s. was paid to the vicar out of the rectory. (fn. 44)
After the Dissolution the advowson and rectory
passed with the manor to the Bishop of Worcester.
In 1549 the advowson was sold to William Sheldon
by Bishop Heath, (fn. 45) but in the following year the
bishop recovered the patronage by exchanging for it
certain land in Ditchford. (fn. 46) From that time until
the present day the Bishops of Worcester have been
patrons of the church. (fn. 47) In the 18th century the
rectory of Grimley seems to have been leased to
members of the Davis family, Francis Davis (fn. 48) dealing with it in 1741 and Thomas and Edwin Davis
and others in 1776. (fn. 49)
During the Commonwealth a grant of £50 was
made for the maintenance of the minister of Grimley. (fn. 50)
Hallow was a chapelry of Grimley until 1876. (fn. 51)
Question arose in 1733 about the tithes of hops,
which, it was claimed, should not pay tithe because
they had been introduced into the parish recently
and after the time at which a composition in money
had been made for the small tithes. Dr. Thomas
took counsel's opinion, but he does not state how the
matter was settled. (fn. 52)
The Poor Land.
—In 1732 Mrs.
Rebecca Clarke, as stated on the
church table, gave land in Grimley
Field and Broadley, the rents whereof to be laid out
in bread to poor housekeepers. The land was sold
in 1880, and the proceeds invested in £151 6s. 5d.
consols with the official trustees, producing £3 15s. 8d.
In 1812 Thomas Berrow, as stated on the same
table, gave £40 for the poor. This sum was invested
in £40 5s. 7d. consols in the name of the official
trustees, producing £1 yearly.
Thomas Bourne, by his will (date not stated),
gave £100, the interest to be distributed in flannel
and linen to the poor. The legacy was invested in
£100 15s. 1d. consols, with the official trustees, producing £2 10s. 4d. yearly.
In 1875 Susannah Garmston, by her will proved
at Worcester 21 August, bequeathed £1,000, the
interest to be applied in the purchase of coal for the
poor. This sum was invested in £1,036 5s. 4d. consols,
with the official trustees, producing £25 18s. yearly.
The church allotments consist of 2 a. 2 r. 28 p.,
producing £4 4s. yearly.
In 1910 the net income of the preceding charities,
amounting to £35 13s. 10d., was applied as to
£4 10s. 6d. in money gifts, £5 3s. 4d. in bread and
flannel, and £26 in coal.
The church table further stated that Anna Bull,
by her will, gave £100 to purchase lands, the yearly
rents whereof were to be laid out for teaching poor
children of Hallow and Grimley to read English and
to learn the Church Catechism. The money was
laid out in 1722 in land at Newland in Leigh,
which, with an allotment under the Inclosure Act,
consisted of about 3 acres. The land has been sold,
and the endowment now consists of £2,886 16s. 1d.
consols, with the official trustees, producing £72 3s. 4d.
yearly, of which two-fifths is applied for educational
purposes in Grimley, two-fifths in Hallow, and onefifth in the parish of Madresfield.
In 1864 Susan Bourne, by her will proved at
Worcester 22 June, left £300, the interest to be
applied in clothing or relief in money, or both, to
sick and other poor persons. The legacy, less duty,
was invested in £303 15s. 11d. consols, with
the official trustees. The income, amounting to
£7 11s. 8d. yearly, is applied at Christmas in clothing to about twenty widows or other needy persons.