Population: 1911, 56; 1921, 66; 1931, 72.
The parish of Oldberrow (fn. 1) was part of Worcestershire (fn. 2)
until 1896, when it was transferred to Warwickshire,
into which county it penetrated, between Morton
Bagot and Ullenhall, as a narrow strip some 3 miles
long by about ½ mile wide. The land slopes from 513 ft.
at Oldberrow Hill in the north-west to about 275 ft.
in the south-east. There is no village, but the church,
rectory, and the Court lie at the crossing of four small
Oldberrow Court is a timber-framed building facing
approximately south. This front has a main block running east and west between two projecting gabled
cross-wings. The east wing is of c. 1540: the upper
story has close-set studding, also the lower story on the
south front. The north and south gable-heads have
herring-bone framing. The other framing in the lower
story has wider panels. Projecting from the east side
is a stone-built chimney-stack with a plinth: it is
gathered in at the sides to a rectangular shaft of thin
bricks. The front of the main block is of 17th-century
square framing, and continued northward from it is a
wing of the same span and of similar framing containing the kitchen, &c. The north end is gabled and has
a projecting chimney-stack of brickwork with a wide
fire-place and oven: it is gathered in above to a detached
rectangular shaft. The main block also has a wide fireplace, of which the lintel has trefoiled round-headed
panels carved on the face, and above is early-17thcentury panelling. The lower rooms have stop-chamfered beams and joists. The west cross-wing is entirely
modern. At the north-west corner of the kitchen-wing
is a small detached out-building of two stories also of
square framing. Around the house are the remains of
a rectangular moat; the north and west arms of it still
contain water. To the south-west beyond the moat is
a timber-framed barn partly weather-boarded.
Bishop's Farm, about ¼ mile south of the church, is
mostly of red brick but shows some 17th-century
framing in twin gable-heads on the north front and has
a central chimney-stack of thin bricks of the same
period. Spring Farm, close by, has its framing replaced
by brickwork, but a back wing has a 17th-century
chimney-stack, and some of the farm buildings are of
In 1253 Henry III granted to Adam Dispenser a
weekly market on Wednesday at his manor of Oldberrow, and a fair on the eve, feast, and morrow of St.
John the Evangelist. (fn. 3)
In 709 Kenred of Mercia gave to Bishop
Egwin 12 acres in Oldberrow for the endowment of the new monastery of Evesham. (fn. 4) In
1086 the Abbey of Evesham still held an estate here
consisting of 12 acres, with a league (lewede) of woodland, where were 2 swine-herds. (fn. 5) This points to its
being mainly swine-pasture at this date. Robert of
Jumièges, Abbot of Evesham 1104–22, gave OLDBERROW to Simon Dispenser (fn. 6) without the consent of
his chapter, who vainly tried to recover it. It was held
by his descendants for about 200 years, until in 1311
Aumary Dispenser gave, or sold, the manor back to
Evesham, who retained it until the Dissolution. In
1542 Henry VIII gave the manor to Sir Edmund
Knightley (Northants.), who died a few months later,
when it passed to his brother Sir Valentine. In this
family it remained until the death of Essex Knightley
in 1670. His only child Anne married Thomas Foley
(created Baron Foley of Kidderminster in 1711), and
they were dealing with the manor in 1694, after which
its descent is obscure. In 1716 it was in the hands of
Richard Hilton and Mary his wife, who then conveyed
it to Robert Fulwood. He seems to have sold it in
1741–2, when a Mr. Parrot of Coventry is said to have
bought the manor-house and 257 acres of demesnes.
In 1776 Mary widow of Gery Packwood settled the
manor on her son Charles Porter Packwood and he
apparently sold the estate to the trustees of the late Earl
of Catherlough for the use of his illegitimate son Robert
Knight, after which it descended with the estate of
Barrells in Ullenhall (q.v.).
The parish church of ST. MARY is a
plain rectangular building about 51 ft. by
13½ ft. Of this a screen divides the chancel,
17 ft., from the nave. The church was practically rebuilt in 1875, but old features preserved include a
re-set window and a pillar-piscina of the 12th century
and other windows of the 13th century and later.
North of the chancel is a small modern recess for an
organ; the south porch and main roof with a west bellcote of timber are also modern.
The east window is of three trefoiled pointed lights
and interlacing tracery in a two-centred head, of about
1400. North of the chancel is a tiny 13th-century light
set low in the wall. On the south side is a single trefoiled
pointed light with soffit cusps of the 13th century.
West of it is a small round-headed light of the 12th
century. East of the former is a medieval locker with
rebates for the door. The pillar-piscina, set in the
south-east angle, has a round shaft with a cushion
capital containing the square basin.
The eastern of the two north windows of the nave
is of the 14th century, an ogee trefoiled light with segmental-pointed head and sunk spandrels, all roughly
worked. The other near the west end is a modern
ogee-headed light. Between them is a blocked doorway
of the 15th century; it has a lintel of one stone cut with
a four-centred arch and treated with panels on the face
In the south wall is a modern two-light window with
a square head and, farther west, the south doorway with
chamfered jambs and pointed head (in two stones), of
the 13th or 14th century. In the west wall is a
modern window of two lights.
The font appears to have had a cup-shaped bowl,
now cut to an octagon, with incised foliage ornament;
the stem is of quatrefoil plan and the whole is probably
of the 13th century. A 17th-century chest has a
panelled front with a fluted top-rail and a panelled lid.
There are three bells, the treble being uninscribed,
but of the ancient long-waisted shape, possibly 13th
century. The second and tenor are by John Martin of
Worcester, 1662 and 1674. (fn. 7)
The communion plate includes a cup of 1787 with a
bell-shaped bowl. The registers begin in 1649.
There was a chapel at Oldberrow in
the first half of the 12th century, to
which Simon Dispenser had the right
of presentation. In about 1150 Bishop Simon of Worcester consecrated a cemetery there for the parishioners,
but the monks of Conches claimed that the burial rights
belonged to their church of Wootton Wawen, and the
Abbey of Evesham said that it was on their fee. The
bishop ordered that the rector of the chapel should pay
2s. yearly to the church of Wootton. (fn. 8) In 1291 the
rectory was valued at £4 6s. 8d., (fn. 9) and in 1535 at £4. (fn. 10)
The advowson descended with the manor until 1705,
when it is said to have been sold by the Foleys to William
Holyoake. In 1761 John Holyoake sold it to the Rev.
John Peshall of Guildford, in whose family it has
remained. (fn. 11) Since 1904 the living has been annexed
to Morton Bagot, the present patron being the Rev.
C. J. E. Peshall.
Edmund Court, before 1780, conveyed to trustees for the use of the poor
of Oldberrow certain property in Henley-in-Arden. The land now produces about £5 yearly,
which is given to poor persons, chiefly widows.
Francis Court and Richard Freeman each left rentcharges of 5s. yearly to the poor, and these are distributed with the other charity.