Population: 1911, 860; 1921, 888; 1931, 753.
The east and north boundaries of the old parish of
Packwood (fn. 1) are formed by two small streams which
meet at Darley Green. (fn. 2) One bend in the course of the
northern stream includes in the parish some 600 yards
of the Oxford to Birmingham branch of the Great
Western Railway, with part of Knowle Station.
There has been a good deal of modern building on
the west of the parish round Hockley Heath and Four
Ashes, but there is no village near the church.
Packwood Hall to the west of the church is largely
a modern building, facing west, but retains an east wing
of 17th-century timber-framing. The interior of it
seems to be almost entirely modernized. South of the
churchyard is a small house, mostly with modern brick
and rough-cast walls, but preserving a little 17thcentury timber-framing. Two of the detached outbuildings have similar framing.
Packwood Farm, ¼ mile east of the church, is a late16th-century house of L-shaped plan, facing west; the
wing behind at the north end shows original timberframing in the walls, but the front range is faced with
modern brickwork; it has two gable-heads, now roughcasted, but said to be of herring-bone framing. The
square central chimney of 18th-century bricks has a
wide fire-place to the north room, which also has an
open-timbered ceiling with a chamfered beam and wide
joists. North of the road to Baddesley Clinton, opposite
Gospel Oak Cottage, Lapworth, is another small house,
facing south; it has an 18th-century brick front with a
string-course and cornice, but 17th-century timberframing is exposed in the gabled ends.
Windmill Farm, 3/8 mile north of the church, east of
the road to Four Ashes and Dorridge, is a late-16thcentury house with an 18th-century pilastered brick
front, but retaining some heavy timber-framing in the
back wall and the end gable-heads. The back has a
little close-set studding above a former window now
altered to a doorway. The roof is tiled and has a central
chimney with two diagonal shafts.
Aylesbury House, about ¾ mile west of the church to
the north of the road from Hockley Heath, is a large
mid-late-18th-century red brick building, facing south,
of three stories with two bay-windows of the full height,
and a middle doorway with a stone architrave. The
windows have stone key-blocks, and the moulded eavescornice is also of stone. Ivy Farm, 3/8 mile north-east of
Aylesbury House, west of the road to Dorridge, is a
mid-17th-century house of T-shaped plan facing south
with the cross-wing at the west end. The exterior is
mostly of brick and rough-cast, but a little timber-framing remains in both wings. The east part, the stem of
the T, is a low building with gabled upper dormers; its
central chimney-shaft has two round-headed panels in
each of the long sides: the wide fire-place has been
reduced and the room it serves has an open-timbered
ceiling with chamfered joists and beam. The outbuilding against the east end has a higher eaves than the
house, and against it is a lower timber-framed outbuilding. A 17th-century barn south of the house, of three
bays, retains the story-posts in later brick walls, and has
original roof-trusses. About ½ mile farther north, on
the west side of Grange Road, is an isolated barn of
17th-century timber-framing with brick nogging and
a tiled roof.
Packwood House (fn. 3) stands about ½ mile SSE. of the
church. The main part dates from the first half of the
16th century and is a square building of two stories and
attics facing east and west. Against the north side is a
modern stair-hall and a long corridor-gallery leading
northwards to a former barn now converted into a
music-room. A long and lower range, running east from
the corridor-gallery and turning north at the east end
to form an L-shaped plan, was added in the time of
Charles II for offices, &c., and there are other detached
outbuildings farther east, partly of the same period.
The main block is of timber-framing with gables on
all faces, but the framing is plastered externally. An
extant sketch of 1756 shows the framing, which was
fairly ornate, with herring-bone patterns, &c. Most of
the windows are modern, replacing ugly sash frames.
There is one surviving Elizabethan window, now in
an upper internal partition in the north part of the west
half, which suggests that the original plan was L-shaped.
This wall and the others of the lower room (inner hall)
south of it are of close-set studding. The north-east
angle of the room has an Elizabethan fire-place with
brick jambs and a carved stone lintel; the ceiling has
chamfered beams. The south-west chamber (drawingroom) has two 16th-century moulded ceiling beams
and is lined with panelling of c. 1600. It has an east
fire-place of stone with a four-centred arch and a massive moulded stone shelf. The overmantel of oak is of
two bays divided and flanked by round shafts and having two round-headed panels with pilasters carved with
snaky monsters; the frieze above is carved with similar
The south-east room (dining-room) has similar
ceiling beams and panelling but its west fire-place is
modern. The north-east hall now includes two stories,
the upper floor having been removed and the two windows replaced by one tall window. Close studding
shows in its west wall and it has an ancient stone fireplace, and on its south side a 15th-century oak screen
to cut off a passage from the east entrance, both brought
from elsewhere. In the east entrance is an original
nail-studded oak door. The east porch is old, 17th or
18th century, but the west porch is modern.
In the upper rooms is a good deal of wall panelling
of the 17th century, mostly brought from elsewhere,
and carved oak chimney-pieces; several doors have
'cock's-head' hinges. The Elizabethan window in the
partition between the rooms over the inner hall and
north-west study was of four lights with a transom, and
has ovolo-moulded mullions. In most of the windows
of both stories are set panels of stained glass, partly
heraldic, partly pictorial, collected from various sources
by the owner; much of the glass is foreign. The roofs
retain some ancient timbers; they are tiled. In the south
half above the dining- and drawing-room fire-places
the chimney-stack has a group of four octagonal shafts
of thin bricks. That in the north half, over the hall
fire-place, is an irregular stack of diagonal shafts.
The late-17th-century range extending east containing the kitchen, &c., is built of red brickwork. Its
south elevation is divided into bays by pilasters, all
under a moulded cornice. Above this the higher middle
bay has a great painted sundial between brick pilasters,
and a stone pediment with three ball-finials. A doorway farther west, flanked by pilasters and opening on
to a stair, has a four-centred head: an archway west
of it now has a modern window in its blocking. The
easternmost bay of the elevation is the gabled end of the
range nearly at right angles to it; this wall is of speckled
red and black brickwork and the gable-head has a clock
dial, and immediately behind it is a lantern above the
roof. The east range has been converted into cottages.
Its east elevation is also of red and black brickwork and
divided into bays by pilasters. In the south half is a
wide gateway to the courtyard behind; it has a modern
arch and the bay has a gable-head with another sundial
in a brick frame; above the roof is a lantern with a
cupola. Another bay in the north half also had a wide
archway, now blocked. The original windows had
plain brick architraves; they are altered to smaller
modern windows of stone. In the roof are gabled
dormers. The north end-wall is gabled and has original
slits in it and a modern window; an upper roundheaded window may be an older insertion. The sides
toward the courtyard are more or less similar.
The former barn, north of the corridor-gallery,
shows some 18th-century brickwork in its gabled north
end, but its west side is of modern brickwork. A great
chimney-stack has been built on the east side and has
a late-16th-century stone fire-place from a house in
High Street, Stratford-on-Avon: the stone overmantel
has carved initials j s (said to be John Smith), s m, and
r s. The original upper floor has been removed, except
for part at the south end retained to form a gallery.
The roof is divided into bays by trusses with curved
timbers rather like medieval crucks, rising from the old
first-floor level. In the hall is an ancient long table and
four tapestries formerly at Baddesley Clinton.
The public roadway passes through the grounds
north to south immediately east of the late-17th-century
L-range, through gateways of which the square rusticated brick posts remain. There is also a gateway off
it into the east forecourt of the house, with ball-finials,
and another into the garden north of the building; the
latter has a pair of early-18th-century wrought-iron
gates with scroll and leaf ornament, and an overthrow
with a shield painted argent two cheverons sable. The
boundary walls are also old but restored in the upper
half. Other gate-posts mark the entrance to the stable
yard east of the roadway and to the ground north of the
stables. The stables, now garages, &c., are also partly
of late-17th-century brickwork, and there is a dove-cote
above the roof. Farther north, another building (cowhouse originally?) is also in part of red and black brick.
The garden-court south of the house has a summerhouse or gazebo at each corner of it. The north-eastern
is probably original and has brickwork with black
diaper ornament; the south-western is of later date, and
the other two are modern. South of this garden is
the famous group of yew-trees in topiary work, dating
from the second half of the 17th century, and traditionally said to represent the Sermon on the Mount.
PACKWOOD does not figure in the
Domesday Survey under that name, but as
it appears subsequently as a member of
Wasperton (fn. 4) it may represent the woodland, ½ league
long by 2 furlongs broad, then attached to that manor,
which in 1086 belonged to Coventry priory. (fn. 5) In 1194
Packwood was among the estates of which possession
was disputed between the Bishop and the Prior of
Coventry. (fn. 6) Two years later one Philip of Kineton
released to Master Roger of Charlecote his rights in the
'vill' of Packwood, (fn. 7) but the manor evidently remained
in the hands of the priory, (fn. 8) as it was among the places
in which the prior and convent had free warren within
their demesnes in 1257, (fn. 9) and it was included in the
charter of confirmation issued in 1267. (fn. 10) In 1279 the
prior held Wasperton and Packwood under the charter
of Edward the Confessor and had at Packwood 2 carucates in demesne, with six freehold and two bond
tenants; there was an inclosed park and a wood outside
it. (fn. 11) The demesne was worth 10s. in 1291, the fixed
rents being £4 13s. 4d., and there was a mill worth
6s. 8d. (fn. 12) In 1410 the prior had 'a manor surrounded
with pools, a great wood called the Park' and three
groves called Lusteley Groves. (fn. 13)
In 1535 the manor, which was then assigned to the
office of the Steward of the priory, was farmed at
£7 14s. 4d.; (fn. 14) there were other rents from tenements
amounting to £14 17s. 10d.; (fn. 15) and the bailiff of Packwood, Thomas Huchyn, received a fee of 26s. 8d. (fn. 16)
After the Dissolution the manor was sold to William
Sheldon in 1544. (fn. 17) He must have disposed of it shortly
afterwards to Robert Burdett of Bramcote, who died
seised of the manor in January 1549. (fn. 18) His grandson
Robert sold it about 1606 to Thomas Spencer of
Claverdon, (fn. 19) from whom it passed to his great-nephew,
Sir William Spencer of Yarnton, (fn. 20) whose son, Sir
Thomas, still held it in 1661. (fn. 21) It seems to have been
divided between four daughters of Sir Thomas Spencer. (fn. 22) One of these, Elizabeth, and her husband, Sir
Samuel Gerard, were dealing with a quarter of the
manor in 1687 and 1692. (fn. 23) A second, Katherine, dealt
with another quarter with her first husband, John
Dormer, in 1694, (fn. 24) and with her second husband,
George Mordaunt, in 1709, (fn. 25) at which time they
owned also another eighth of the manor—one of the
sisters having presumably died without issue. A third,
Constance, married George Marwood, and in 1710 her
daughter Jane, then an orphan, with her grandfather,
Sir Henry Marwood, dealt with a quarter of the
manor. (fn. 26) Finally, in 1715, Edward Warren and Margaret, Rachel Spencer, spinster (probably representing
Jane, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Spencer and wife
of Robert Spencer, Viscount Teviot), Cholmeley
Turner and Jane (Marwood), George Mordaunt and
Elizabeth, and John Dormer, made a conveyance of
the whole manor, (fn. 27) presumably for sale. It was sold to
'Mr. Russell of Warwick, formerly a menial servant to
the Spensers of Claverdon, who left it to his two daughters'. (fn. 28) These two daughters,
Jane Russell and Lucy, wife of
Thomas Pulleine, were ladies of
the manor in 1727, (fn. 29) and they
sold it to Sir Horace Mann,
from whom it descended to Earl
Cornwallis, and so to his greatgrandson Philip Wykeham
Martin, (fn. 30) with whose representatives it has remained.
Wykeham - Martin. Gules a lion within an orle of alternate crosslets and molets or.
A considerable part of the
parish of Packwood lay in the
manor of Bromes or Broom Hall
in Lapworth (q.v.).
The parish church of ST. GILES consists of a chancel, north organ-chamber,
nave, north transept, north vestry, south
porch, and west tower.
The nave and chancel date from the end of the 13th
century and the west tower was added late in the 15th
century at the cost of Nicholas
Brome of Baddesley Clinton (fn. 31) (died
1517). The north transept was
built in 1704 by Thomas Featherston. The organ - chamber and
vestry are modern. The church
was restored in 1885. There were
formerly three dormer windows
on the south side of the nave roof.
The chancel (about 22½ ft. by
14½ ft.) has a late-13th-century
east window of three plain pointed
lights and intersecting tracery in a
two-centred head with an external
hood-mould and head-stops. The
jambs are of two chamfered orders,
the outer hollow, and the internal
splays, which are very obtuse, are
carried up from the floor. The
chamfered rear-arch is segmentalpointed. In the north wall is a modern archway to
the organ-chamber, and east of it a similar window
with wide splays but of two lights. The south wall has
a like window opposite, and near the west end a narrow
low-side window rebated for the shutter. Between
them is a priest's doorway, blocked with stone; it has
chamfered jambs and pointed head with a hood-mould
and an east mask-stop. Near the east end is a small
piscina with chamfered jambs and trefoiled pointed
head with soffit cusps. The octofoiled basin is partly
in a projecting corbelled sill.
The walls are of coursed ashlar in white stone and
have chamfered plinths and old eaves-courses. At the
angles are old diagonal buttresses. The roof is probably
of the 17th century and is in two bays with middle and
west queen-post trusses. The purlins have straight
wind-braces. Modern battlements have been fixed on
the old stop-chamfered tie-beams.
The chancel arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and with base-stops,
the inner carried on moulded corbel-capitals of the late
13th century. Above the arch and not quite concentric
with it is a later relieving arch of three large voussoirs
on each half. North of the arch (3 ft. 2 in.) are the
remains of a small niche, probably for an image, and
south of the arch is a short length of straight joint and
patching with large stones, some modern, which may
indicate a former rood-stair. The masonry flanking the
arch is of small courses of original yellow and white
stones, but where the relieving arch comes, and above
it, the courses are larger and probably of the 15th
The east wall of the organ-chamber has a reset lowside window from the north wall of the chancel, and
in the north wall is a modern window.
The nave (42½ ft. by 21½ ft.) has an early-18thcentury archway on the north into the transept, with
half-round shafts to the responds, with moulded capitals and plain abaci, square on plan. The north doorway, farther west, has original chamfered jambs and
pointed head. It opens into a modern vestry in place
of a porch. West of it is a late-13th-century light with
a trefoiled head.
Plan of Packwood Church
In the south wall are three windows; the easternmost is of two plain pointed lights below a two-centred
head. The jambs are of two orders, the inner ovolomoulded. The window is ancient outside and leans
outward with the wall, but internally the west splay
has been rebuilt plumb vertical and above the springing
level on the east side of the face has been brought out
to the modern vertical face over it by a corbel-course.
The second window, all modern, and the western,
original with restored splays, are single lights like the
north-west window. The south doorway has chamfered
jambs and two-centred head, retooled. It has an ancient
door with planted-on ribs making four long panels, and
has vertical and horizontal framing at the back.
The piscina near the east end has a trefoiled ogeehead with retooled soffit cusps. The sill is modern.
The walls are of white stone ashlar but have been
much patched and partly rebuilt; they have chamfered
plinths. The north wall has one and the south has five
square buttresses. They are all old although probably
not all original with the walls, and have higher plinths.
At the north-west angle is an old diagonal buttress.
The gabled roof of three bays is probably of the 16th
century but has been reinforced with brackets, &c. The
two intermediate trusses have stout old tie-beams and
moulded wall-plates and purlins. The other trusses are
modern and have no tie-beams. The sloping weather
course on the east face of the tower indicates an earlier,
slightly higher, roof.
The transept (14 ft. square), built 1704 of brickwork, has an original round-headed north window, now
furnished with modern mullions and tracery bars in an
attempt to 'Gothicize' it. It has a moulded stone architrave and impost moulds, and the keystone is carved
with a grotesque face. The walls have pilasters at the
north angles. The roof has a coved ceiling of plaster
rising above a moulded cornice.
The west tower (about 9 ft. square) is of three stages
with moulded string-courses, the lowest stage of more
than half the whole height. The walls are of ashlar and
have a moulded plinth. At the west angles are original
diagonal buttresses of four stages reaching to half-way
up the third stage. On the south side is a projecting
semi-octagonal stair-turret with a pointed stone roof
reaching the parapet string-course. It is entered by a
pointed doorway in the south wall and lighted by plain
loops. The parapet is embattled, with returned copings
to the merlons, and crocketed pinnacles above the angles.
In the string-course and at the angles are gargoyles.
The pointed archway towards the nave is of two
chamfered orders, the inner with a moulded capital.
In the west wall is a doorway of two hollowchamfered orders with a four-centred arch in a square
head with a label. The spandrels are carved, the north
with a Tudor rose and foliage and the south with a
crowned head and foliage. Above it is a window of
three cinquefoiled ogee-headed lights and vertical
tracery in a two-centred head. The jambs and head
have a wide, hollow mould. The second stage has
rectangular lights in the west and south sides.
The bell-chamber windows are each of two trefoiled
pointed lights and plain spandrel in a three-centred
head; they have middle transoms. The jambs and
heads have a large outer splay.
The tower has a hexagonal-pointed roof with a
On the face of the stair-turret is a large sundial with
the restored painted date 1680 in Roman numerals.
The south porch, of timber-framing on low stone
walls, is modern.
The communion table is of the 17th century and has
turned and carved bulbous legs and carved top-rails.
The rails, also of the 17th century, have turned, twisted
balusters and a moulded top-rail.
In the transept window is some coloured glass reset
from the chancel east window. It includes a late-13thcentury Crucifixion, much worn with age. It has a
white figure in a blue background and yellow foliage,
and is set in a trefoiled pointed niche-arch under a gable
with crockets. The pilasters of the niche are of ruby
glass and flanked by buttresses panelled with window
tracery in black line. There is also a shield of the
Featherston arms. There are also some fragments of
13th-century glass in the side windows of the chancel,
patterns in black line on white and two roundels
quartered green and yellow.
Above the chancel arch towards the nave are the
remains of 15th-century wall-paintings, representing
the popular allegory of 'the three Kings and the three
Dead men'. (fn. 32) They include a figure, north of the arch,
of a bearded man, with his left hand upwards, palm
outwards. Behind him is another figure in a red garment: both stand on scrolls. South of them can just be
discerned the figures of the three corpses.
The font, probably of the late 13th century, has a
tapering round bowl with a rim mould round the top.
The octagonal stem and base are modern.
The screen to the chancel arch is of the 15th century.
It has a moulded doorway with a four-centred head and
two bays each side with trefoiled pointed heads. The
posts are moulded.
In the nave are two benches, 6 ft. 3 in. long, with
shaped standards and with seats hinged on pivots. A
like standard has been re-used as a support for a modern
seat. They are probably of c. 1500.
In the organ-chamber is a dug-out chest, 5 ft. 8 in. long,
2 ft. 4 in. wide, and 1 ft. 8 in. high, with a curved top and
a heavy lid let into the rebated sides and ends. It has strap
hinges and straps for former hasps. There is one middle
lock and marks of two other former staples and hasps.
On the north wall of the nave is a monument to
William Hovell, died 1610, Prudence (Davers) his
wife, and a daughter Dorothy, with a shield of arms.
On the south respond of the chancel arch is a marble
monument to John Featherston, Sept. 1670, with a
shield of arms. A marble monument in the north transept
is to Thomas Featherston, its builder, died 1714, and
there are memorials to other members of the family.
There are six bells, (fn. 33) five by Henry and Matthew
Bagley, 1686, and provided by Thomas Featherston,
and the treble by Barwell of Birmingham, 1907.
The registers begin in 1668.
The church of Packwood was a
chapel of Wasperton, served by a
priest, for whose salary the small tithes
and certain glebe lands were assigned. (fn. 34) In 1535 it was
called a parish church, the stipendiary priest then receiving £5 yearly. (fn. 35) The advowson and rectory were
granted to William Sheldon in 1544 with the manor
and have followed its descent, a grant of the 'free
chapel' of Packwood to Edward Wymarke in 1588 (fn. 36)
never having taken effect. It was described in 1831 as
'a perpetual curacy in the peculiar jurisdiction of the
Manorial Court of Packwood'. (fn. 37) About 1850 it seems
to have become independent of Wasperton and now
ranks as a vicarage.
Arthur Walwyn Burdett by will
proved 23 March 1910 gave to the
minister and churchwardens of Packwood £180, the income to be applied towards the
upkeep of the churchyard. The endowment now
produces annually in dividends £4 5s. 6d.
The Johnson Memorial Charity. By a Declaration
of Trust dated 11 April 1893 it was directed that a sum
of £150 should be paid to the Official Trustees of
Charitable Funds and the income applied by the vicar
and churchwardens of Packwood for the relief of the
sick and convalescent poor of the parish. The dividends
amounting to £3 15s. 8d. annually are so applied.
Thomas Harborne by will dated 2 March 1710 gave
to the poor of Packwood the use or interest of £40 to
be paid to them in bread on 25 March yearly. The
endowment now consists of an annuity or rent-charge
of 40s. issuing out of land in Knowle and is applied for
the benefit of the poor of the parish. The charity is
administered by two trustees appointed by the Urban
District Council of Solihull.