Descriptive Notes

Hartlebury Castle has been home to the Bishops of Worcester for more than 1000 years. Worcestershire County Museum occupies the north wing, but there is uncertainty about the castle’s future with the news that the Bishops will no longer live at the castle after the retirement of Dr Peter Selby in September 2007. [www.hartlebury.org.uk/index.html - accessed 6th March 2008]


Ancient Parish [25]
The township of 'Hartlebury' in Lower Oswaldslow Hundred, included in Lower Halfshire Hundred, the hamlet Upper Mitton, which was a separate Civil Parish in 1866) [25]
Bishops Wood was a Chapel of Ease to Hartlebury. A building was licensed for service in 1882. In 1974 the title of the parish became Hartlebury with Bishops Wood. It later reverted to just Hartlebury.[5]


O.S. Ref: SO841709
2½ miles east of Stourport-on-Severn & 3½ miles south of Kidderminster

The principal hamlets are Crossway Green 1½ miles south; Norchard, 1 south and Waresley, ½ south; Chadwick, 1 mile S.W.; Titton, 1½ miles S.W. and Lincomb, 2 miles S.W. near the river Severn; and Charlton, 2 miles N.W. and Upper Mitton, 1½ miles N.W.; Torton and Low Hill, ½ mile north. [57]

Parish Church

St. James
Bishop's Wood (chapel of ease): St. Mary

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Peculiar of the incumbent [1] Archdeaconry & Diocese of Worcester [25]


Part in Lower Oswaldslow & part in Lower Halfshire, until 1866 when entirely in Lower Oswaldslow [11] [25] [28]

Poor Law Union

Droitwich [3] [25]

Parish Registers at Worcestershire Archives

[Contact details]

    Coverage Source
Microform Christenings 1540-1969 [5]
  Marriages 1540-1968 [5]
  Burials 1540-1969 [5]
  Banns 1754-1803 [5]
Transcripts General 1540-1754 [27]
Originals Banns 1803-1893 [12]

No Parish Registers for Bishops Wood are held at Worcestershire Archives . The original registers are still at the church.[5]

Bishops' Transcripts

Begin 1614 Worcestershire Archives [22]

International Genealogical Index (IGI)


Parish Registers Births / Christenings 1540-1842
  Marriages 1540-1886

Register Copies

Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1540-1812

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
St James Baptisms Marriages and Burials 1540-1768
St James Baptisms Marriages and Burials 1768-1812

At Society of Genealogists [68] :-
HARTLEBURY : Births 1657-60, Christenings 1540-1711, 1745-1812, Marriages 1540-1711, 1746-1812, banns 1654-59, Burials 1540-1711, 1745-1812 [Typescript.] Published Nd.

HARTLEBURY : Births 1657-60, Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1540-1812, banns 1654-59 [Microfiche.] Published Nd. Source Review.

HARTLEBURY (St. James): Christenings, Marriages & Burials 1540-53/54, 1560-1754, Christenings & Burials 1755-1969, Marriages 1755-1968, banns 1754-1944, vestry minutes & parish accounts 1667-1726 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City Genealogical Society of Utah 2004

At [FreeREG]
Free Internet searches of baptism, marriage and burial records, transcribed from parish and non-conformist registers of the U.K., are available at: http://www.freereg.org.uk/cgi/Search.pl

FreeREG is a new project. The database currently contains a few million records only, so you should not expect to find all your ancestors in the database.

The coverage for this parish currently stands at: Marriages: 1886-96, 1915-25 Burials: 1862-77

Further records may have been added since this posting


At Worcestershire Archives[12]
United Reform Congregational:
Originals: Marriages 1906-1975

Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents

At Worcestershire Archives[12]
Plan re provision of additional burial ground

War Memorials

For the names of those included on a war memorial at St. James's Church, Hartlebury see:

For the names of those included on a war memorial at St. James's Church, Hartlebury Churchyard see:

For a war memorial to Edward James Gibbons at St. James's Church see:

For a war memorial to Edward James Gibbons at St. James's Churchyard see:

For a war memorial to Gilbert Charles Dalrymple Fergusson at St. James's Church see:

For the names of those included on a war memorial at St. John's Church, Summerfield see:

For the names of those included on a war memorial to Hartlebury C of E School pupils (now in Hartlebury Village Hall)see:


Census Records

All the censuses between 1841 and 1901 are now available on a number of fee-paying (Subscription or PayAsYouGo) sites including Ancestry.co.uk, FindMyPast.co.uk, thegenealogist.co.uk and genesreunited.co.uk. 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 Ancestry.co.uk 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 freecen.org.uk 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:

1841-1901 at Worcestershire Archives [14]

Bishops Wood may be included in the Hartlebury returns

Search Services (Fee paying) - BMSGH and Independent

Burial1755-1840 Worcestershire Burial Index
Marriage see Worcestershire Marriage Index

Manorial Records

Worcestershire Archives [50]
Court papers 1764-1809; Court leet and court baron records 1727-1836; Court rolls 1394-1558, 1661-63, 1649-58, 1702 (gaps); Manor books 1781-1860, 18th cent.; Rent rolls 1605, 1611, 1616; Rental 1695-1702, 1759-69, 1769-c.1805; Stewards' accounts 1808-33; Surveys and particulars of property 17th-18th cents; Surveys, valuations, manor books, rent rolls etc 17th-19th cents; Compotus roll [1524-25]; Surveys and particulars of property 17th-19th cents

Parish Records on microform

At Worcestershire Archives [13]
Vestry meeting minutes & parish accounts 1667-1733
Amounts collected for briefs 1689-1739
Vestry minutes & parish accounts and rates 1734-8
List of officers 1700-1823/4
Bastardy bonds 1750-1850

Schools Records

The following school records are original documents. Note reference number and contact staff at Worcestershire Archives:
St Gilberts (Waresley House)
Admission and progress register - 1964 - 71 - Ref: BA 10590
Admission and progress registers with index - 1939 - 64, 1972 - 86 - Ref: BA 9948 / 7 (i) - 10 (i)
Discharge books - 1971 - 72 - Ref: BA 9948 / 10 (ii) (iii)

The records of schools and other educational establishments in this parish are detailed in a handlist available at Worcestershire Archives. The list refers to original documents so you will need to note the reference number and contact staff.

Other Sources

HARTLEBURY : vestry minute book, various parish accounts 1667-1838, briefs 1689-1739, overseers 1700-85, 1758-1823, churchwardens 1700-48, constables 1700-1811, supervisors 1700-85 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969 Society of Genealogists


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

HARTLEBURY, a parish comprising the hamlet of Upper Mitton, in the lower division of the hundred of HALFSHIRE, but chiefly in the lower division of the hundred of OSWALDSLOW, county of WORCESTER, 2 miles (E. by S.) from Stourport, and containing 1857 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Rector, rated in the king's books at £30, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Worcester. The church, dedicated to St. James, has considerable portions in the Norman style of architecture and some in the decorated style. The free grammar school is one of the five in the county having alternately the right of presentation to six scholarships in Worcester College, Oxford, founded by Sir Thomas Cookes, Bart: the exact period of its establishment is unknown, but it existed in 1400: in the 1st of Elizabeth it was by charter made a royal foundation, when twenty discreet men of the parish were constituted a body corporate, with a common seal, for the management of its funds, &c.; there are now, however, only seven trustees : its possessions consist of about one hundred and eighty-four acres of land, the rental of which is about £120: the head master and the under master have, in addition to their salary, each a good house, and liberty to take boarders. A school for twelve girls was founded and endowed with £200, by Mrs. Hannah Eyre, in 1726; and a Sunday school, under the patronage of the Bishop, was established in 1824, which is supported by voluntary contributions, and attended by about ninety children. Hartlebury castle has long been the residence of the diocesans, to whom it was given by Burthred, King of Mercia: the present is a neat brick mansion, erected about the time of the Restoration, the ancient castle having been taken by Colonel Morgan in 1646, and destroyed during the great rebellion.: The Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal passes through the northwestern part of the parish.

Last Updated: 20/10/2016