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The British, Roman, and Saxon antiquities and folklore of Worcestershire online

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In the Preface to the First Edition of this work, published
in 1840, 1 stated that, in collecting the facts there detailed,
my principal object was to show the unsubstantial nature
of the doubts of Dr. Nash, and some other writers, as to
whether the Romans had stations to any extent in the
interior of the County of Worcester ; but that, in the pur-
suit of this subject, I was led to discoveries relating to
periods both prior and subsequent to the Roman occupation
of these islands.

Since the publication of that edition, many additional
facts have been added relative to the Antiquities of the
County, while various errors and doubtful etymologies have
been expunged.

In a few instances, the Border Antiquities of the neighbour-
ing counties have been noticed, principally in connection
with those of the County of Worcester.

Relics, of a date later than that indicated by the title page,
have in some cases been described ; these, however, were
generally found on the sites of earlier antiquities.

In conclusion, I beg to return my best thanks to all
those who have kindly rendered me their assistance during
the progress of these collections, particularly to .Tolm
Clifton, Esq., and the other gentlemen at the Consistory
Court of Worcester, for favouring me with the inspection

81 i )755


of the Apportionments of Kent Charge for the county under
the Tithe Commutation Act, amongst which documents I
made an extensive and laborious search for all names of
fields and places savouring of antiquity or peculiarity ; To
H. C. Hamilton, Esq., of Her Majesty's State Paper Office,
for much valuable assistance relative more particularly to
our Anglo-Saxon Antiquities; To the Worcestershire Na-
tural History Society, and to Dr. James Nash, Walter
Jones, Esq., John Amphlett, Esq., and Mr. Eaton, for
the loan of several ancient relics ; To the Archaeological
Institute of London, and to J. H. Parker, Esq., of Ox-
ford, for the use of some of their woodcuts ; and to the
Society of Antiquaries of London, for the use of their
copper-plate engraving of the Perdeswell Tore. The
remaining Illustrations were prepared for the sole purpose
of elucidating some of the descriptions contained in this


31, Hallifobd Street, Islington,
September 1852.

i *n*


After describing Worcester, from p. 1 to 54, the other places
in which ancient relics have been discovered are classed under
several supposed Itinera ; namely

Iter I.


From Worcester, southward, to Kempsey, Upton, Rip-
ple, and Twyning* ; then westward to Eldersfield,
Pendock, The Berrow, and Bromsberrow f ; then
north-westward to Castle Morton ; and by the
Midsummer Hill Camp and the Herefordshire
Beacon Camp, on Malvern Hills, north-eastward,
to Powick, and back to Worcester, . . . 54, 74

Iter II.

From Worcester, south-eastward, to Eckington, Ad
Antonam, Strensham, Norton in Bredon, Bredon
Hill (Kemerton)}, Bredon Hill (Conderton), Sedge-
barrow and Iccomb, or Icombe; then north-west-
ward to the Four Shire Stone, Dora, Badsey,
Church Honeybourne, Quintonj!, Offenham,
Cleeve Prior, Crowle, Bredicot, and back to
Worcester 74, 9*

* Twyning is in Gloucestershire, but nearly surrounded by Worcestershire.
+ This is in Gloucestershire, upon the borders of Worcestershire.
I Also in Gloucestershire, upon the border of Worcestershire.
This was a detached part of Worcestershire, but is annexed to Gloucester-
shire by the Reform Hill.
In Gloucestershire.



Iter III.
From Worcester, northward, by Elbury Hill Camp to
Droitwich, Ombersley, Salwarp, Stoke Prior,
Lincomb in Astley, Hartlebury, Bromsgrove,
Chaddesley Corbett, Belbroughton, Clent, Hagley,
Hales Owen, and Dudley ; then westward, to
Wassal Hill ; then northward, to Kenvaur Edge,
and south-westward to Over Arley* ; then south-
ward, to Ribbesford, Tickenhill, Soddington,
Mamble, Stockton, Lindridge, Holt, Wichenford,
Grimley, Bevere Island, and back to Worcester, . 98, 153

The chains of hills, with their antiquities, and the
remarkable places adjoining them, are described in the
following order :

Itek IV.

The chain of hills and adjacent places which run on
the western side of the county, from the south to
the north ; namely, the Malvern Hills, Bears
Wood, Old Storage, Alfrick, Ankerdine Hill,
Whitbournef, The Berrow Hill, Woodbury Hill,
and Abberley Hill, 153,210

Iter V.
The chain of Toot and other Hills, and adjacent places,
which run on the east side of Worcester, from
south to north ; namely, Cruckbarrow Hill ; Os-
waldslow, in White Ladies Aston; The Round Hill,
alias Cuggan Hill, in Spetchley ; Perry, or Pirie
Wood ; Trotshill, Troshill, or Tootshill ; Elbury
Hill ; Astwood ; Barrow Cop, in Perdeswell, and
Tutnall, in Claines; and also Toot Hills generally, 210, 238

The following are the lines, or supposed lines, of
the ancient roads, Vicinal-ways, Sail-ways, Ryckniold

* Kenvaur Edge and Over Arley are in Staffordshire.
t hi Herefordshire.



Street or Ridge-way, and Foss-way ; with notices of
the ancient camps and remarkable names of fields and
other places in such lines :


From Wall Hills, near Ledbury and Malvern Hills, to
Old Storage, Ankerdine, The Berrow, and Wood-
bury Hills, 238,255

Iter VII.

From Malvern Hills, partly through Worcestershire,

and partly through Herefordshire, to Teubury, &c. 255, 201

Iter VIII.

From Worcester, by Woodbury Hill, in Great Witley,

to Tenbury, &c 201,270

Iter IX.
From Droitwich to Stourbridge, .... 270, 275

Iter X.
From Wall Hills Camp, in Herefordshire, partly
through Worcestershire, and partly through Glou-
cestershire, to Gloucester, . . . . . 275, 277

Iter XI.

From Wall Hills Camp to the Herefordshire Beacon
Camp, on Little Malvern Hill, and then to the
Rycknield Street, at or near Tewkesbury, . . 277, 280

Iter XII.

From Wall Hills Camp to Towbury Hill Camp, in

Twyning Parish, Gloucestershire, . . . 2 SO, 282

Iter XIII.
From Wall Hills Camp to Upton, or the Saxons' Lode.
From tbe Herefordshire Beacon Camp to Hanley Quay.
From Great Malvern Hill to the Hind, . . . 282. ;28(i



Iter XIV.
Portway from Kenchester to Frome Hill and StifforcTs
Bridge, in Cradley, in Herefordshire, and through
Cowley Park and Powick to Worcester ; and from
thence to Ombersley, Hartlebury, and Wolverley,
to Over Arley, 286, 290

Iter XV.
The Western Trackway from Tewkesbury, through
Worcester, to the Trench Lane and Droitwich,
and from thence to Hadley Heath Camp, in
Ombersley, Wassal Hill Camp, in the Parish of
Kidderminster, to Over Arley, .... 290, 309

Iter XVI.

The Upper Salt-way from Droitwich to Edgbaston,

near Birmingham, ... . . 309, 316

Iter XVII.

The Lower Salt-way from Droitwich to Alcester ; then
southward by the Honeybournes, and through
Weston-sub-Edge, to the Cotswolds, at Middle
Hill ; and then to North Leach and Coin St.
Aldwins, &c 316,323


The Lower Deviation Salt- way from Droitwich, along
the Trench Lane, &c, to Pershore, Ashton-under-
Hill, North Leach, &c. 323, 329

Iter XIX.

The Rycknield Street or Ridge-way, and its Deviation

Lines, ........ 329, 354

Iter XX.
The Foss-way, . . 304. 358



Also, the following Chapters, namely :

Chapter I.
On the places called Wick, Wich, and Wiccia, . . 358, 363

Chapter II.

On the Bambury or Banbury Stone, in Kemerton Camp,
otherwise Bambury Camp, on Bredon Hill, and on
Ambrosiee Petrae in general, .... 363, 381

Chapter III.
On Logan Stones and Hole Stones, . . . 381, 383

Chapter IV.
On Hoar Stones, 383, 397

Chapter V.
On places called " Oldbury," 397, 399

Chapter VI.
On ancient spots called by the name of " Castle," . 399, 401

Chapter VII.
Observations on the ancient names of Fields, &c, . 401, 404

Chapter VIII.
Summary of the places called " Ridgeway," . . 404, 405

Chapter IX.
The like of places called " rortway", . . . 405, 406

Chapter X.
The like of places called " Street," .... 406, 407

Chapter XI.
The like of places called " Vineyard." . . . 407, 409


Chapter XII.

On " Folk-Lore ;" particularly on the Ignis fatnus, or

Will-o'-the-Wisp, and the Fairies, . . 409 to 470

The following are the principal contents of the
" Folk-Lore :"

Ignes fatui, as seen in December, 1839, and January,

1840, in Powick,
Hob, Hoberdy, Hobany, Hob-goblin, Robin

Knop, Knap, .

Puck, Hob, Robin Good-fellow, Poake-ledden,
Oseberrow, or Osebury Rock, in Lulsley, and the Fairies,
Inkberrow and Upton Snodsbury, Fairies
Hoberdy 's Lantern, Hob, Robin, Robert, Puck, and

Pooka, or Phooka,
Robin Hood, .

The Eternal Waggoner,
Elf, Eoten, or Oughton,

Wish or Wisked Hounds,
Tom Thumb, Patch, Grim, Sib, Tib, Licke, Lull, Hop,

Drip, Pip, Trip, Pinck, Pin, Tick, Tit, Wap, and


Pig-wiggen, Wiggen Ash, and Nornies,

Tinker's Cross, in Leigh,

Robinet, .


Bates-Bush, in Lulsley,

Black Jack,






4 42








Lulsley, Etymology of, ..... . 446

Alfrick, Fairies,

440, 447

Anglo-Saxon Elf, and Fairy Names,


Fairy Rings, ....


The Seven Whistlers,


The Devil's Dream, .


The Mysterious Black Cat,


Witchery Hole,


Old Coles, ....


Lady Lightfoot's Spectre, .


Devonshire Spectre,


Sir Thomas Boleyn's Spectre, .


Spunkies, ....


Kelpies, .....


As to what causes an hjnis fatuus,

468, 470




Relic or Antiquity. Place where found.

Angerona, one of the Roman \

Penates j

Roman and Anglo-Saxon Relics, ]
Castle Hill

Ancient British Coin

Roman Urn, Diglis

Ancient British barbed Spear-head

Diglis ....
The like. British Museum .
Anglo-Saxon Coin
Ruins of St. Clement's Church

Dane Skins, Worcester Cathedral


Plate I.

Wolstan's Seal
Roman Fibula




Ancient British Spear-head

Signet Thumb Ring, Saxons' Lode Upton

{Morton Folliot,
Castle Morton
Roman Urn ..... Powick

Basin, or Mortarium . . Eckington .

Plate II.

Anglo-Saxon Relics

f Norton in Bre-1^
I don . .)

Ancient Earring (2 cuts) . . Bredon Hill

Roman Urn Bredicot .

Curious Ring (2 cuts) . . . ,,



. 14

' 1




. 26

. 2!)

. 30

. 31

. 37

. 38

f 1 ]

- 50

Is J

. 52

. 1

. 54


. 55


- 56

i) )

. 60

. 02

. 71

. 73

i \






- 76


. 84

. 95


. !)6


Relic or Antiquity.

Place where found.




Roman Urn

Droitwich .

Plate IV.


,, ,, . . . .

Lineholt Com-



Ancient British Celt

mon, Ombers-
Lincomb in Ast-



5) ' '

ley . J


) !)H

V )>

Ribbesford .

5) *


?> J>

Holt .



Roman Fibula ....



Ancient British Celt




1 9

Stone Axe



Knife .

Bevere Isle



Barrow Hill, Tan Wood . !

Chaddesley Cor-

! .





Ancient British Hone, or Flaying
Knife (2 cuts) .

Lindridge .



Ancient British Urn (2 cuts) .

Beacon, Mal-
, veni Hill




Malvern Link .


Legend of St. Werstan (4 cuts) :

1. St. Werstan's Vision

Malvern Church .


2. Dedication of the Chapel built


by St. Werstan .


3. The Grant of Edward the Con-



fessor ....


4. The Martyrdom of St. Werstan .


Bedford Bridge and Gate-house,

L . . .

Plate V.


Banyan's Prison


Bunyaus Signet Ring (2 cuts)


Ancient British Tore

Perdeswell .

Plate VI.


Camp .

fBredon Hill, Ke-

L merton .



The Bambury Stone



Ambrosiae Petrae Coin .


The like


Sist of Subsmbm,

The late Most Noble the Marquis of Northampton,
The Right Honourable Lord Viscount Southwell.
The Right Honourable Lord Foley.
The Honourable General Lygon, M.P.
Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart.

Thomas Adams, Esq., Islington.

.1. Allcroft, Esq., Lower Wick, Worcester.

Miss Amelia Ann Allies, Worcester.

Frederic Allies, Esq., St. John's, Worcester.

Robert Allies, Esq., Hill House, Worcester.

William Bland, Esq., Hartlip Place, Sittingbourne, Kent.

Henry John Brown, Esq., Wilmington Squarp, London.

John Bruce, Esq., Treasurer of the Society of Antiquaries, London.

Professor Buckman, F.L.S. and E.G.S., Cirencester.

Colonel T. H. Bund, Great Malvern.

Solomon Cole, Esq., Worcester.

John Cramphorn, Esq., Bellevue Terrace, South Sea, Portsmouth.

Edward Dalton, Esq., D.C.L. and F.S.A., Dunkirk House, near Nailsworth,

Mr. Frederick N. Gosling, Worcester.
William Grane, Esq., Bedford Row, London.
William James Grane, Esq., Bedford Row, London.
J. M. Gutch, Esq., Common Hill, Worcester.

J. O. Halliwell, Esq., F.R.S. and F.S.A., Avenue Lodge, Brixton Hill.
Rev. George Hodson, M.A , F.S.A., Henwick, Worcester.
Edward Holland, Esq., Dumbleton.
Thomas Jee, Esq., Peckleton Hall, Leicestershire.
Lockhart Johnstone, Esq., Worcester.
John Jones, Esq., Leigh, Worcestershire.
B. (i. Kent, Esq., Levant Lodge, Upton.

Andrew Lawson, Esq., Aldborough Manor, Borough Bridge, Yorkshire.
Mrs. Leach, The Newarke, Leicester.
Samuel Lewis, Esq., Finsbury Place, London.
Mr. Mansell, Gloucester.

Mrs. Montague Marriott, Montpelier Square, Brompton.
William Mence, Esq., Ronkswood, Worcester.
.lames Nash, Esq., M.D., Worcester.
The Rev. John Pearson, Rectory, Suckley.
Mr. George Robinson, The Fir Trees, Redditch.
Daniel Rowland, Esq., Grosvenor Place, London.
The Rev. Edward W. Stillingneet, Hotham, near Howden, Yorkshire.
William Swainson, Esq., Walworth.
William Jackson Taylor, Esq., Forest Hill. Surrey.
Mrs. Thomas, White Ladies, Worcester.
Boyes Thornton, Esq., Peckham.

Chliiles Tucker, Esq., F.S.A., Suffolk Street, Pall Mall East.
Albert Way, Esq., Wonhaiii Park, Reigate, Surrey. ('J copies.)
The Rev Joseph Webster, Rectory, Hindlip.
Joseph Wontner, Esq., Clapton.


It is stated in Grose's " Antiquities*" that "Worcester
is generally allowed to have been the Braviniumf of the
Romans, mentioned in the twelfth journey of Antoninus,
twenty-four miles from Magna, now Kenchesterj, in Hereford-
shire, and twenty-seven from Uriconium, now Wrottesley, in
Staffordshire." But it is only of late years that any satis-
factory evidence has been brought to light relative to the Roman
occupation of the place.

The following collections made upon the subject will, it is
trusted, be found valuable, both as they respect the history of
the City and County of Worcester, and also as adding to the
general store of information relative to the olden times.

In the year 1829, upon excavations being made to lay the
basement of the house in the centre of Britannia Square, in
Worcester, the foundation of a circular tower or fort of sandstone
was found, about thirty feet in diameter ; while in the rubbish
upwards of fifty Roman copper coins were discovered j|, some of
Constantius, others of Constantine the Great, Decentius,

* Vol. vi., Supp.

+ This agrees with Stukeley's account. Gale says Rushbury, Horsley says
Ludlow, and others say Lentwardine.

J This agrees with Horsley's account. Gale and Stukeley say Magna means
Old Radnor, and that Ariconium means Kenchester.

Gale, Stukeley, and Horsley say Wroxeter, in Shropshire.

|| It is also said that silver coins were found there, of Julia Mamaea, Julian,
and Constans ; but as these were casually brought to me, I cannot vouch so
well for them.

Claudius Gothicus, and Magnentius; but the greater part too
decayed to be deciphered*. This tower or fort was, most
probably, one of those which Tacitus states that the Roman
Propraetor, Ostorius Scapula, constructed on the Severn, in the
reign of the Emperor Claudius the First ; they were erected on
the east bank, to check the Britons on the other side of the
river. John Ross, a writer on antiquities, who flourished in the
reign of Edward the Fourth, has reported Constantius Caesar as
the founder of Worcester, on the credit of an old British
chronicle he met with ; and Andrew Yarranton, in his work
entitled " England's Improvement by Sea and Land," &c. (the
first part of which was published in 1677, and the second in
1698), states in the second, part, page 162, as quoted by Dr.
Nashf, inter alia, as follows : " He says he found out a vast
quantity of Roman cinders near the walls of the city of
Worcester ; and within one hundred yards of such walls there
was dug up one of the hearths of the Roman foot-blasts, it
being then firm and in order, and w 7 as seven foot deep in the
earth ; and by the side of the work there was found out a pot
of Roman coine, to the quantity of a peck, some of which
w T as presented to Sir Dugdale, and part thereof is in the King's
closet ; by all which circumstances it clearly appears that the
Romans made iron in England, and as far up the river Severn
as the city of Worcester, where as yet there are vast quantities

Dr. Nash (in the absence of further evidence) strongly
expressed his opinion that these were not Roman relics ; but in
the corrections and additions to the second volume of his "History,"
page 97, he relaxed a little upon the point, and stated that " In
June 1797 an underground drain was made, the whole length
of the Broad Street, Worcester, and about the middle of the
street from the Cross, near the house of Mr. Morton, cabinet
maker, not far from the Bell Inn, was found a bed of iron

* Harvey Berrow Tymbs, Esq., presented these coins to the Museum of
the Worcestershire Natural History Society.

f Vide Vol. ii. of Nash's "History of Worcestershire ; " Appendix,
p. cviii.

cinders, which extended up Mr Morton's yard, and probably
on to the walls of the city, near which was a considerable iron
foundery in the time of the Saxons, or perhaps, as some think,
of the Eomans. About two or three hundred yards from the
city wall, up the river, is a place called Cinder Point, where a
great quantity of the like scoriae are found. The specimen
I have is very rich in metal. The cinders at Mr. Morton's
and the Bell Inn were found to extend about forty yards in
breadth ; and at another place, near the Cross, opposite Mr.
Wilson's, about ten yards."

I have several times examined the stratum of iron scoriae and
clinkers at Cinder Point, on the east bank of the Severn, in a
place called Pitchcroft, and find that the bed is extensive, and
the clinkers very rich in metal. I have no doubt that this is the
place referred to by Yarranton. The stratum lies by the river
side about six feet deep, beneath the alluvial soil, and was most
probably the rough and half-smelted ore thrown aside in the time
of the Romans, they having, it is said, only foot-blasts to smelt
the ironstone.

The supposed fort of Ostorius before mentioned stood exactly
opposite to Cinder Point, at the distance of about 500 yards, on a
ridge of ground, just out of flood's- way, on the same side of the
river, and would at all times guard the iron works. A few years
ago, I saw a similar bed of scoriae and clinkers in the bank of a
lane between English Bicknor Church and the river Wye, in
Gloucestershire. This was pointed out to me by the Rev.
Edward Feild, then Rector of that parish, and now Bishop of
Newfoundland ; and also a mound in an adjacent pasture, from
whence several years back a great quantity of clinkers were dug
out, and taken to the iron works at the Forest of Dean, to be
melted up again with iron ore, as such clinkers (like those at
Cinder Point) are very rich in metal, and were considered greatly
to improve the general mass ; but it is said that on account of a
new mode in smelting, they are not now used*. These ancient
works in Bicknor appear to have been flanked, overlooked, and

* See an interesting Recount of the sites of Roman iron works in the above-
mentioned districts, by Thomas Wright, Esq., F.S.A., in the "Gentleman's
Magnzine," January IS52, p. 33, &c.

defended by a tower or fort, which stood at the top of the
rising ground by the churchyard, and the site of which is still
plainly visible. I was informed by the late Sir Samuel Eush
Meyrick that the like scoriae and clinkers are to be seen in the
grounds adjacent to Goodrich Court.

Mr. Spriggs, of this city, has shown me a coin of Nero, dug
up in his presence, in Broad Street, near the top of the street
called Doldy, when the drain, referred to by Dr. Nash, was made
there in 1797. This coin was struck in commemoration of the
closing of the temple of Janus, in Nero's reign, which was the
sixth time. On the obverse it has the portrait of the Emperor,
with the inscription, NERO CLAVD. CAESAR AVG. GER.
P.M. TR. P. IMP. P.P. ; and the reverse contains the temple of
Janus, and the inscription, PACE P.R. TERRA MARIQVE
PARTA IANVM CLVSIT. S.C. This coin is very interesting,
as it shows that Tacitus was wrong in his statement that the
temple of Janus was not shut after the time of Augustus till the
reign of Vespasian*. Paten notices a similar coin in page 113
of his work on Roman Coins, and remarks that although he was
satisfied that the temple was shut by Nero, as the coin indicates,
yet that the then state of the world did not justify it, and that
was the reason why Tacitus and Orosius did not notice the fact.

I have coins of Probus, Gratian, and Carausius, which were
found a few years back in an excavated mass of soil upon which
some old tenements stood in Doldy. In the " Stranger's Guide
to Worcester," published in 1828, under the name of Ambrose
Florence, the above ancient part of the town is noticed in page
13, as follows : " In the corporation book called ' Liber Legum,'
made in the reign of Henry VII., it is ordered that all ' Walshe
catell ' coming to be sold be brought to Dolday ; " and in
page 11, it is observed that " General Roy, in his 'Military
Antiquities of the Romans in Britain,' says, ' If, however,
Worcester was really a Roman town, which is no way im-
probable, it seems to be that which Richard, in his Choro-
graphy, assigns to the Dobuni, under the name of Branogena;
but winch, in his map, he calls Brangonum. This last is
evidently the same with the name Wrangon, given to Wor-

* Vide " Universal History," Vol. xiv., pp. 34.

cester by the Welsh ; whence the Saxons changed it to Wrangon
ceaster* ; and thence by corruption came its present name.'"
And, in page 12, that " Nennius, an ancient British writer, gives
a catalogue of the cities of Britain, the sixth of which is Cair
Guoranegon, which is almost universally allowed by antiquaries
to be our city; and, indeed, it is so called in the ancient
British language at the present day."

Upon the demolition of the old Saint Clement's Church in this
city, Roman coins were found in the rubbish on digging up part
of the ancient city wall which stood on the river side of that
church ; and one of Domitian was discovered in the excavations
for the new houses at Lark Hill Crescent, near Perry Woodf ;
one of Valerian, an urbs Iloma, and a silver one, I think of
Septimus Severus, upon digging the foundations of Dr. James
Nash's house, in the High Street ; and one of Maximian in the
excavations for the new Saint Michael's Church, in College

Coins have also from time to time been found at Dunn's
Gardens ; at The White Ladies, and at various other parts in and
about the City, as follows :

A coin of Tetricus, discovered in the year 1843, as excavations

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