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Abberley DSC00296.JPG
Abberley is located in Worcestershire
Location within Worcestershire
OS grid referenceSO745675
• London112 miles (180 km)
Civil parish
  • Abberley
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtWR6
Dialling code01299
PoliceWest Mercia
FireHereford and Worcester
AmbulanceWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°18′00″N 2°22′00″W / 52.3°N 2.366667°W / 52.3; -2.366667Coordinates: 52°18′00″N 2°22′00″W / 52.3°N 2.366667°W / 52.3; -2.366667

Abberley is a village and civil parish in north west Worcestershire, England.

It is situated on the northern slopes of Abberley Hill (height 283 metres (928 ft)), between the River Severn and River Teme. The village had a population of 830 in 2001.[1]


Abberley lies halfway between Worcester and Tenbury, at the junction with the road from Worcester to Cleobury Mortimer. The parish was described in 1905 as being "about six miles in length, and nowhere more than one mile in breadth".[2] At the 2001 census, it had the youngest population of any Worcestershire village.[3]

The village[edit]

Abberley is a village of three distinct parts. The oldest part, known as The Village, clusters round the 12th century and 13th century parish church of St. Michael. To the west, and divided from the Village by farmland and the Cleobury road, is The Common, where the largest part of the population lives, new housing is being added, and there is a village shop cum post office. Between the Village and the Common, on the Cleobury road, are the Parochial VC primary school[4] and the Village Hall.[5]

Overlooking the village is the third part of Abberley, The Hill, with scattered farms, houses and cottages across the steep slopes of Abberley Hill.

On the far side of Abberley Hill from the village, to the south of the Worcester-Tenbury road, lies Abberley Hall. Abberley Hill forms part of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark. The Hill lies on the path of the Worcestershire Way,[6] a well-used long-distance hiking trail.

Abberley has two churches, a primary school, a modern village hall, and nearby a country hotel and restaurant, The Elms.

Abberley Clock Tower

Abberley is home to Abberley Hall School, a preparatory school set in the grounds of Abberley Hall, which also contain the Abberley Clock Tower, the setting for the children's book by Gene Kemp, The Clock Tower Ghost.[7]


The name Abberley probably relates to the 6th century Saxon chief Eobald, by way of Eobaldelega, then Eobaldsleigh.[8] According to The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names, Abberley is derived from 'Eadbald's wood or clearing' (Eadbald + lēah).[9] Abberley is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086–7 as Edboldelege, when it was held by Ralph de Tosny,[10] and was later recorded as Albodeslega in c.1150, Abbedeslegh in 1216, Ab(b)ot(t)eley(e) in 1346-1485 and Aberley in 1480.[9]

In 1405 Abberley Hill was at the centre of a protracted stand-off between two major armies, that of Henry IV camped on Abberley Hill itself and the primarily Welsh army of Owain Glyndŵr (Owen Glendower) camped on nearby Woodbury Hill. Eventually, cut off from their supply line, the Welsh withdrew, never again to penetrate so far into England.

Abberley was in the upper division of Doddingtree Hundred.[11]

On 10 March 1803 Colonel Henry Bromley inherited the Manorship of Abberley. As he had no son, on his death in 1836, the manor was put up for sale by his executors and bought by John Lewis Moilliet of Geneva. He built a new house, Abberley Hall, but he died in 1845 before it was completed.[12]

Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 Abberley Parish ceased to be responsible for maintaining the poor in its parish. This responsibility was transferred to Martley Poor Law Union.[13]


St. Mary's Church

A little to the north, across the Green (developed as a Millennium project) from the village, is the large Victorian St. Mary's church, built between 1850 and 1852. It was designed by John Jenkins Cole and enlarged by the same architect in 1877 following a fire in January 1873.[14]

It was built to replace St. Michael's church when the latter fell into disrepair, though the chancel of St. Michael's was later restored and is still used for some services.



  1. ^ "Worcestershire County Council : 2001 Census Worcestershire County Population Report" (PDF). Worcestershire County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  2. ^ Moilliet, J Lewis Abberley Manor, Worcestershire 1905 Elliot Stock, London p1
  3. ^ Aslet, Clive (3 June 2006). "Telegraph Property 3 June 2006 : Village voice: history written in stone". London: Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  4. ^ "Abberley Parochial VC Primary School : Web site". Abberley Parochial VC Primary School. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  5. ^ Sheila Mawby. "Abberley Village Hall : Web site". Abberley Village Hall. Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  6. ^ "The Worcestershire Way". Worcestershire County Council. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
  7. ^ "The Clock Tower Ghost : Book details". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  8. ^ "Parishes: Abberley', A History of the County of Worcester: volume 4 (1924)". British History Online. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  9. ^ a b Watts, Victor (2007). The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names. Cambridge University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0521168557.
  10. ^ Williams, Ann; G H Martin (2003). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin. pp. 486, 1303. ISBN 978-0-14-143994-5.
  11. ^ Worcestershire Family History Guidebook, Vanessa Morgan, 2011, p20 The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire.
  12. ^ Victoria County History History of the County of Worcester: volume 4 1924 Accessed 20.10.2014
  13. ^ Worcestershire Family History Guidebook, Vanessa Morgan, 2011, p68 The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire.
  14. ^ St Michael's Church, Abberley Abberley Parish News September 2010 p36

'Parishes: Abberley', A History of the County of Worcester: volume 4 (1924), pp. 220–24. Date accessed: 23 August 2007

External links[edit]