The Parks, Aldington
THE PARKS (Aldington Map Parcel No C)
The area known as The Parks forms the most westerly part of the parish. It is today thought of to be an area bounded by the Broadway Brook on the north, the River Avon on the west, the Offenham Road on the east and the parish of Bengeworth on the south. The western-most part of The Parks (west of the track running between Red Gables and Parks Farm House) was originally known as Shrawnell Park and was a deer-park for the monks in Evesham. Following the dissolution of the monasteries, Sir Philip Hoby, a Herefordshire gentleman, scholar, courtier and diplomat, was rewarded for his services to the Crown with monastic spoils, including many of the possessions of Evesham Abbey; among these was Shrawnell Park for £30.
The Parks today consists of a farm, a number of smallholdings and nine residences, including the Riverside Hotel. Only the eastern-most portion of The Parks features on the Enclosure Map of 1807. All the land from Parks Farm House westwards was excluded. The Enclosure Act ("An Act for Inclosing Lands in the Hamlet of Aldington, in the Parish of Badsey, in the County of Worcester"), dated 1807, specifies the following: "It is hereby further enacted, that nothing in this Act shall extend, or be construed to extend, to a certain Messuage and old inclosed Farm, called The Parks, situate within the said Hamlet of Aldington, now in the Occupation of William Preedy, Gentleman, but that the same shall remain in the same situation as it did before the passing of this Act." On page 16 of the Act, in the penultimate paragraph, the following is specified: "And be it further enacted, that this Act shall not extend, or be construed to extend, to the Tythes which may be due or claimed, arising out of the said Messuage and inclosed Farm, called The Parks, situated in the said Hamlet of Aldington, but as to any such Tythes or Claim, the said Farm shall remain and be as though this Act had never passed."
The road to the Parks is shown on the 1807 Enclosure Map and was described thus: "One Private Carriage Road and Driftway of the breadth of twenty-five feet branching out of the Turnpike Road leading from Bengworth to Littleton on the West side thereof and passing thence in a Westward direction into through and over the Allotment herein Awarded to John Millard, John Benton and Ann Slatter as Lessees under the said Dean and Chapter aforesaid to a gate at the entrance into an Estate called the Parks, which Road is set out, allotted and Awarded as and for a Private Carriage Road and Driftway for the time being for the use of the several Owners and Occupiers of the Allotments through and over which the same passes and for the Owners and Occupiers of the said Estate called the Parks." This road ran from the current-day Offenham Road as far as the track between Red Gables and Parks Farm House. Its course has since been altered twice: firstly in the early 1850s when the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway was built, necessitating the construction of a skew bridge to carry the road over the railway line, and secondly in the 1980s when the section before the railway bridge was cut in two by the Evesham bypass necessitating its diversion to a junction point further south on the Offenham Road near to the entrance to Aldington Lodge.
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Applestore Cottage, Parks Farm House, Parks Farm, Poole Close House, Totterdown, Riverside Hotel, Applestore Cottage Totterdown (not included on the Enclosure Map)
At the time of the 1807 Enclosure Act, The Parks estate was occupied by William Preedy, having been owned by the Dinely family since the mid 18th century. John Procter bought the estate in 1818. He never married and, after his death in 1847, the estate passed in trust to his great-nephew, Procter Clark, who came to live on and manage the estate. After Procter Clark’s untimely death at the age of 26 in 1856, it passed to his elder brother, the Reverend Thomas Humphris Clark. Reverend Clark pursued his calling as a clergyman and a number of different tenant farmers looked after the estate. Clark also leased the land to the east and, when the opportunity arose in 1871, he bought the land from Christ Church and added it to The Parks estate. The original Parks estate was sold in the early 20th century to Henry Field. Henry Field died in 1908 and, in 1914, when the adjoining land (which was still owned by the Clark family) to the east was sold, the estate map shows that it was being held by trustees on behalf of his widow, Mrs Frances Mary Field. Over the following years the remaining estate was further broken up and sold off. The core farm then came into the ownership of Mr Frederick James Masters, and later still, after a further break-up, into the ownership of the present proprietors. The Riverside Hotel was previously known as Haven Court, and before that as the Parks Farm Cottages; over the years this property has been subjected to a number of transformations, but is thought to be mediaeval in origin. Applestore Cottage is attached to the Riverside Hotel, and is a conversion of one of the old Parks Farm Cottages. Totterdown was previously known as The Parks House and is thought to have been built at the beginning of the 19th century. Poole Close House was built in 1952. Parks Farm House is the most recent addition to the estate, being built in 1988.
Caprius, Red Gables, The Railway Line (Aldington Map A007)
Until the early 19th century, this land was part of the common fields of Aldington. In 1808, when the Aldington Enclosure Commissioners made their awards, this plot of land was allotted to the lessees of the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church: "To and for John Millard, John Benton and Ann Slatter, widow, who are intitled as Lessees under the said Dean and Chapter to all other their Great Tythes arising and continuing within the said Hamlet of Aldington for the remainder of a term of twenty-one years, All that piece or parcel of Land situate in the Furze Furlong, Broad Furze Leys, Aldington Common and places adjacent, containing fifty-five acres one rood and twenty-four perches, bounded on the South by the first and on the North by the second Allotment herein Awarded to the said William Chambers, on the East by the Littleton Turnpike Road, and on the West by the Parks aforesaid. The Fences for inclosing the said Allotment are those on the East against the said Turnpike Road." William Chambers, who was allotted the land to the north and the south, was tenant to Ann Slatter. From at least 1819, it was let to William and Henry Haywood and the under-tenant was Thomas Pratt. An 1826 valuation by Christ Church described it as "superior allotment in seven closes well fenced adjoining good road, no buildings". In 1840, the lease fee was increased by two and a half times any former renewal, and Benjamin and Henry Workman wrote to Dr John Bull, the Dean of Christ Church, on behalf of Messrs Haywood, stating, "There are no buildings on the land which, at no distant period, was overrun with gorse". Later that year, a barn was built by Charles Stockford who then leased the land; it was then let to Richard Baldwyn and in 1849 to John Clark. In the early 1850s, the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway was built across the middle of the land, effectively splitting it into two halves. Just over 6 acres of land was taken for the railway and an 1855 valuation shows that the estate now comprised 49a 1r 6p. The land described as west (which we would consider to be south) of the railway was divided into three fields and the land described as east (which we would consider to be north) of the railway was divided into five fields. All of the land east of the railway was occupied by John Clark’s son, Procter Clark (son of John Clark); Field 5, on which the present-day Caprius and Red Gables are situated, comprised 3a 2r 0p and was used as a seedbed. In 1857, John Clark’s eldest son, the Reverend Thomas Humphris Clark, took over the lease. Christ Church felt that as Clark owned The Parks, the neighbouring estate, he would be willing to buy their land. It was all arable except two acres and was well suited for garden ground, but had been valued by Francis Field as agricultural ground. Clark bought the land in 1871 for £6,000, then described as Aldington Leys but later in the century as Christ Church Ground (comprising eight arable fields and one pasture), and it became part of The Parks estate. In 1892, Reverend Clark sold the land south of the railway. Clark died in 1913 and the five fields north of the railway, together with the remainder of The Parks estate, were sold by auction at the King’s Head Hotel, Evesham, on 29th June 1914. The piece of land on which these houses are situated comprised Lot 2. Red Gables was built in the 1930s and Caprius in the 1960s.
Where they are available, links are provided to historical information about places and buildings. This index of roads and paths in Badsey and Aldington was compiled as part of the Badsey Society Enclosure Map Project. The house numbers and names are correct as at May 2006. Every care has been taken to provide accurate information, but if you are aware of any error, please contact us. If you wish to provide a history or memories of an individual house on this road, please email History@badsey.net.