Bewdley Worcestershire Self Catering Cottages Holiday UK, Walking Great Witley And Abberley, England Walks
Bewdley Worcestershire Self Catering Cottages Holiday UK, Walking Great Witley And Abberley, England Walks was an interesting 7.5 miles hike and included sections of the Worcestershire Way.
We did this hike on the 2nd day of a Worcestershire cottage holiday in the Heart Of England during June 2011.
We went by car from our Bewdley self catering holiday cottage to the starting location which was the car park at Great Witley Surgery at the junction of the A443 (Worcester Road) and B4197 (Martley Road).
Below I have described some of the points of interest during the walk.
For a more detailed description of this Great Witley & Abberley Day Walk go here.
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Bewdley Self Catering Cottages Holiday – Great Witley & Abberley Video
This video slideshow shows a summary of Bewdley Worcestershire Self Catering Cottages Holiday UK, Walking Great Witley And Abberley, England Walks.
Bewdley Self Catering Cottages Holiday – Great Witley & Abberley Info
Great Witley is a small village in the district of the Malvern Hills, positioned at the junction of the A451 and the A445 in the north west of the county of Worcestershire in the “Heart Of England”. There has been some form of settlement in the vicinity since prior to the times of the Norman Conquest. Great Witley also has The Hundred House Hotel. At one time it functioned as a place for gathering agricultural tithes from the local districts, also historically called “hundred (division)s”. A mile south east stands Witley Court manor house with the impressive Great Witley Church adjacent.
A mile south east of Great Witley is Witley Court, a Jacobean country manor house. It was initially constructed during the 17th Century, it was rebuilt on a regal scale in 1860 by the first Earl of Dudley. Unfortunately, in 1937 it was gutted by a spectacular fire and became derelict. English Heritage now manage the ruin and gardens, and portraying it as their top ruin. The gardens have been extensively restored to convey the former splendour of this vast palace. However, the manor house remains as a somewhat gloomy but impressive empty skeletal ruin overlooking the gardens in a sad and inspiring way.
Great Witley Church
Adjacent to Witley Court is Great Witley Church or the church of “Saint Michael and All Angels”. It was constructed in 1735 in the style of Rococo for the first Lord Foley. It is considered amongst the finest Italian Baroque churches in Britain. One cannot deny that it is a beautiful church with a very decorative and vibrant interior. The ceiling is rich in gilding and has several paintings by Antonio Bellucci.
Abberley is a village which lies about 1.5 miles north of Great Witley and is mentioned in the 1086-87 Domesday Book under the name “Edboldelege”. Abberley is most likely related to “Eobald” who was a 6th-century Saxon chieftain via “Eobaldelega” and then via “Eobaldsleigh”. Abberley comprises of three separate parts. We visited the oldest part which is called “The Village” with St Michael’s Church and “The Manor Arms”. Further west, on the other side of the B4204 road and some farmland is the part known as “The Common”. The Common has a village shop/post office and is where the major part of the population reside; with new housing being built. At the northern end of The Common on the eastern side of the B4204 road, between The Common and The Village is the Village Hall and the Parochial VC primary school.
Abberley Church – St Michael’s
St Michael’s Church was constructed in the 12th century in a typical squat Norman style and had a tower at its west end. By Victorian times, after centuries of neglect, St Michaels was considered to be beyond repair. So in 1850, a short distance away, St Mary’s Church was constructed to replace St Michael’s. After continued deterioration, in 1963 St Michaels was partly restored, with further work undertaken since then. The present day church has 2 doorways and the west end foundation which originate from the 12th-century church. It also has a restored chapel from the 14th-century which was an extension.
Abberley Hall & Abberley Hall School
Abberley Hall is a country house which lies to the south west of Abberley and to the north west of Great Witley. The original building was described as Abberley Lodge located within a medieval park. It was probably a tower as it was referred to as the ‘castle’ at Abberley during the 16th century by Leland. The current day Victorian country house is called Abberley Hall. It has been built in a fabulous Graeco-Italianate style and dates from 1846-49 when Samuel Daukes designed it for J. L. Moilliet who was a Birmingham banker and iron-founder. From 1916 Abberley Hall was taken over by a school and is now called Abberley Hall School. The building is now listed as Grade II* and English Heritage list the gardens as Grade II.
Abberley Hall Clock Tower
Abberley Hall has a 161 feet high ornate Victorian clock tower as part of the estate which is very prominent, being visible from six counties. It was commissioned in 1882, work commenced on 29th June 1883 and it was completed on October 1st, 1884 at a total cost of £7980. The tower has three lower rooms; a clock room and a sewing room together with two flushing toilets. Note that the tower is part of a private estate and not open to visitors except on open days.
Abberley Hill lies between Abberley to the north and Great Witley to the south and rise to almost 305 metres above the surrounding countryside. Abberley Hill was the scene of an extended confrontation between two major medieval armies in 1405; those of Henry IV, and the joint Welsh/French army commanded by Owen Glendower. The Welsh eventually withdrew when their supply line was cut off and they never managed to infiltrate this far into England again.