Ancient Parish [25]
Shropshire parish transferred in 1895 to Worcestershire. Abolished civilly in 1933 part to Bewdley Municipal Borough & Civil Parish, part to Kidderminster Foreign Civil Parish & part to Upper Arley Ancient Parish.

Dowles and Button Oak were in the Hereford Diocese but abolished ecclesiastically in 1940 to help create Ribbesford with Bewdley Ecclesiastical Parish in the Diocese of Worcester [25] [78]


O.S. Ref: SO779761
½ mile N.W. of Bewdley

Parish Church

St. Andrew, Button Oak
St Andrew's was the daughter church of Dowles Parish Church. The dedication (St Andrew) of the Dowles Church was transferred to Button Oak when it closed in 1956.

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Archdeaconry of Salop & Diocese of Hereford until 1876, Archdeaconry of Ludlow & Diocese of Hereford (1876-1919), Archdeaconry & Diocese of Worcester (1919-21), Archdeaconry of Dudley & Diocese of Worcester (1921 -*) [25]


Cleobury division of Stottesdon [44] and later Doddingtree [15] [11] [25] [28]

Poor Law Union

Kidderminster [3] [25]

Adjoining Parishes

Upper Arley (Staffordshire); Kidderminster; Bewdley; Kinlet (Shropshire) [1]

Parish Registers at Worcestershire Archives

[Contact details]

Coverage Source
Microform Christenings 1572-1972 [5]
Marriages 1575-1933 [5]
Burials 1574-1963 [5]
Transcripts General G1572-1643 [27]
Originals Banns 1871-1935 [12]

Bishops' Transcripts

Begin 1614 Hereford Record Office

Register Copies

At Society of Genealogists [68] :
DOWLES : Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1630, 1638, 1662-1855 (BTs) [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978 Source S: A J M Heselden DOWLES : Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1660-1845 (BTs) [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978

Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents

Dowles, Bewdley & Wribbenhall

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
Dowles, Bewdley & Wribbenhall

At Worcestershire Archives [51]
St. Andrew

At Society of Genealogists [59]
DOWLES (St. Andrew) : Monumental Inscriptions: Worcestershire monumental inscriptions, vol. 12 [Typescript.] IN: Worcestershire monumental inscriptions, vol. 12 Published Birmingham : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 1990 Author Bewdley Historical Research Group (transcription.) Source D: Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry

WRIBBENHALL : Christenings (extracts) 1622, 1628, Christenings 1723-54, 1763, 1796-1814, Burials (extracts) 1571-1631; Ribbesford church extracts: Christenings 1594, 1718, Burials 1598; Monumental Inscriptions in DOWLES church; index to Worcestershire fines 1649-1714, national schools, church plate, recent gifts to the church, the legend of Blackstone Rock, the "Devil's spadeful", some Wribbenhall families Published Kidderminster, 1902 Author Chesshire, R S P ed.

Census Records

All the censuses between 1841 and 1901 are now available on a number of fee-paying (Subscription or PayAsYouGo) sites including,, and The 1911 census is available in full or in part on some of these sites. We are unable to advise on the choice of site since researchers' personal preferences will be influenced by the content and search facilities offered by each site. Some sites offer a free trial.

Access to the library edition of is widely available at most record offices, including Worcestershire Archives, and some libraries. You are advised to book time on their computers before making a visit.

A free-to-view site is being developed at for the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 censuses. Coverage of Worcestershire parishes is rather sparse at this time.

Census returns can usually be viewed at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Family History Centres.

Some repositories offer census details on microform, disc or printed copy. These include:

1851-81,1901 at Worcestershire Archives [14]

1841 Shropshire Archives

At Society of Genealogists:
Worcestershire 1851 census index HO 107/2039 : Kiddermister registration district - Shropshire part [Microfiche.] -Published , 1998 - Author Friend, A F (trans.)

Worcestershire 1891 census returns: Kidderminster registration district RG 12/2311-2318 [Microfilm.] - Published London Public Record Office, 2003

Parish Records on microform

At Worcestershire Archives [13]
Churchwardens accounts 1790-1820
Constables accounts 1789-1822

Other Sources

Portrait of Dowles : Bewdley Historical Research Group occasional paper no. 3 IN: Bewdley Historical research Group occasional paper no. 3 Published Bewdley : Bewdley Historical Research Group, 2000 Author Barrett, N M Source D: Bewdley Historical Research Group. Society of Genealogists

A history of Bewdley with concise accounts of some neighbouring parishes - Published : William Reeves 2, 1883 - Author: Burton, John R - Society of Genealogists


An extract from the Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1831:

DOWLES, a parish in the hundred of STOTTESDEN, county of SALOP, 1¼ mile (N. by W.) from Bewdley, containing 61 inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Hereford, rated in the king's books at £4. William Burton and another were patrons in 1818. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew.

Last Updated: 23/07/2012