Upton Upon Severn

Descriptive Notes

Records show that there was a parish church in Upton before the building of a fourteenth century church. The medieval church, only the tower of which now remains, was sturdily built but it was considerably damaged at the time of the battle of Upton Bridge in 1651. By the middle of the eighteenth century the church was damaged and showing its age.

A new church was needed and in 1756 the church was demolished and a new one was built. At that time the old tower was retained but the spire was pulled down. The structure was not without its problems: the tower, without the spire, was not weather-proof and in 1770 Anthony Keck designed the cupola which was put on the tower.

In 1851 John Noake commented unfavourably on the church and he remarked the tower was "surmounted by a cupola which imparts to the whole the semblance of a colossal pepper box". This gave the "Pepperpot" its nickname.

In Upton there were to be two new churches. In 1870 the Hook Church (the Church of the Good Shepherd) was built ...this was to minister to the spiritual needs of those who lived too far from the parish church.

The parish church itself remained a problem. Arthur Blomfield, a church architect, surveyed it and reported that only the tower was worth preserving. He proposed "a handsome church" on the old site, retaining the tower. However, following an article in the Berrows Journal, and a "Requisition" to the churchwardens it was agreed that the church should be built on a site between the end of Old Street and the railway station. Blomfield said that the new site was good enough for "a perfectly convenient and effective church" and this was what he produced - the building which now stands. (It was consecrated on September 3rd 1879.)

(Notes based on an article by Simon Wilkinson at
http://www.upton.uk.net/history/church/parishchurches.pdf (accessed 22nd February 2008))

The old church was largely demolished in 1937 and in 1953 it was declared an Ancient Monument.


O.S. Ref: SO852403
10 miles south of Worcester along the A38 & 7 miles S.E. of Great Malvern. Hook Common came within Upton on Severn prior to 1870.

Parish Church

St. Peter & St. Paul
Hook Common: Church of the Good Shepherd (SO821405)

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Archdeaconry & Diocese of Worcester [1] [25]


Oswaldslow (until 1760), Upper Pershore (from 1760) [25]

Poor Law Union

Upton-upon-Severn [3] [25]

Adjoining Parishes

Hanley Castle; Ripple; Queenhill; Longdon; Welland [1]

Parish Registers at Worcestershire Archives

[Contact details]

    Coverage Source
Microform Christenings 1546-1945 [5]
  Marriages 1550-1972 [5]
  Burials 1551-1885 [5]
  Banns 1754-1818 [5]
Originals Marriages 1550-1988 [12]
  Banns 1823-1986 [12]

Parish Registers for Hook Common:

    Coverage Source
Microform Banns 1871-1958 [5]
Originals Marriages 1871-1993 [12]
  Burials 1905-94 [12]

Bishops' Transcripts

Begin 1701 Worcestershire Archives [22]

International Genealogical Index (IGI)


Parish Registers Births / Christenings 1546-1875
  Marriages 1814-1882

Register Copies

At Society of Genealogists [68]Christenings(Index) 1694-1812 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1977 Author: Genealogical Society of Utah (trans.) Marriages 1951-72 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1984


At Worcestershire Archives [30]
St. Joseph RC: Christenings 1853-1889 & 1888-1908 Marriages 1854 & 1866 Deaths 1854-1890 (gaps) & 1890-1979 (gaps) Confirmations 1850, 1855, 1881 & 1887-1948 (gaps) Conversions 1854-55 & 1866 Members of the Congregation 1906-1912 Receptions 1896-1912.

Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents

St.Peter & St.Paul (Old churchyard pre. 1879 only)

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
St.Peter & St.Paul (Old churchyard pre. 1879 only)

At Worcestershire Archives [51]
St.Peter & St.Paul (Old churchyard pre. 1879 only)

At Worcestershire Archives [52]
Upton upon Severn Burial Ground: Register of burials 1866-1996

At Society of Genealogists [59]
UPTON UPON SEVERN (St. Peter & St. Paul) : Monumental Inscriptions in the old churchyard 1734-1879: Worcestershire monumental inscriptions, vol. 4 [Typescript.] IN: Worcestershire monumental inscriptions, vol. 4 Published Birmingham : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, Nd. Author Lomas, H (transcription.) Source D: Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry.

War Memorials

For the names of those commemorated on a War Memorial at St. Peter and St Paul's Church see:

For the names of those included on a War Memorial at Upton on Severn Memorial Hall see:

For a War Memorial to Charles Roward Grice-Hutchinson at Hook Chapel of the Good Shepherd see:

For a WW1 Memorial at Hook Chapel of the Good Shepherd see:

For a WW2 Memorial at Hook Chapel of the Good Shepherd see:

For a War Memorial to Wyndham Alexander Smith at St. Peter and St Paul's Church see:

For a War Memorial to George James Taylor at St. Peter and St Paul's Church see:

For a War Memorial to George Tinson at St. Peter and St Paul's Church 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:
AtWorcestershire Archives [14] :
1891- 1901 Upton-upon-Severn Workhouse

Worcestershire 1851 census index HO 107/2043 : Upton on Severn registration district [Microfiche.] Published , 1997 Author Friend, A F (trans.) Society of Genealogists

Search Services (Fee paying) - BMSGH and Independent

Burial 1591-1851 Worcestershire Burial Index
Marriage see Worcestershire Marriage Index

Manorial Records

Worcestershire Archives [50]
Agreement relating to payment of salmon mott 1697; Appointment of gamekeeper, draft deputation of gamekeeper and notice relating to poachers 1808, 1813, 1828; Court rolls [1603]-24, 1640; Account rolls [1429-30], [1441-2]; Survey 1616; Rentals 1715-59; Lists of jurors, views of frankpledge, lists of tenants, lists of inhabitants, presentments, warrants, orders, copies of court roll, extracts from court rolls, rentals, chief rents, receipts, accounts etc 18th-19th cents.; Court rolls 1383, 1495, 1505, 1507, 1508, 1542, 1589, 1625-6, 1630-38; Estreats 1542, 1636; Presentments 1637, 1638; Presentments and other papers 17th-18th cents.; Presentments of the jury 1758

Parish Records on microform

at Worcestershire Archives [13]
Vestry Meetings minute book and Churchwardens accounts 1831-68; Vestry Meeting minute book 1869-1913
Overseers of the poor account book 1682-1731
Board of Health & other minutes 1831-71
Rate book 19th cent
Directory of residents 20th cent
Charity school account book and other papers 1777-1850
Orders of parish meetings 1800
Churchwardens accounts books 1894-1924
Hook Common PCC minutes 1901-21, 1951-60
Churchwardens accounts with vestry meeting minutes 1758-1832
Overseers of the poor account book 1760-93
Signed minutes of the Committee for the rebuilding of the parish church 1875-80

Schools Records

The following school records are original documents. Note reference number and contact staff at Worcestershire Archives:
Upton-upon-Severn CE Primary School
Log books, signed minutes, letters, admission registers and other papers - 1847-1947 - Ref: BA 8558/1-6

Hill County Secondary School, The
Log books. Note: The above log books also contain headmasters reports, newspaper cuttings, concert programmes, correspondence, examination and sports results etc. - 1966-80 - Ref: BA 11563/2(ii), 3(i)(ii)

Upton-upon-Severn Boys' Evening Continuation School
Log book - 1894-1911, 1927 - Ref: BA 8558/6(i)

Upton-upon-Severn Boys' School
Log book - 1898-1928 - Ref: BA 8558/5(ii)
Log book - 1897-1901 - Ref: BA 8558/6(ii)

Upton-upon-Severn Girls' School
Log books - 1863-1927 - Ref: BA 8558/4(ii)-5(i)

Upton-upon-Severn Infants' School
Admission register - 1890-1901 - Ref: BA 8558/2
Log books - 1863-1947 - Ref: BA 8558/3-4(i)

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

A number of local history books relating to the Malvern area are listed by the Malvern Family History Society on their website. More details can be found at (www.mfhs.org.uk). The list includes:
UPTON. Author Pamela Hurle. ISBN 0 85033 687 2

See an interesting website by Sheila Mason at:


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

UPTON upon SEVERN, a market town and parish in the lower division of the hundred of PERSHORE, county of WORCESTER, 10 miles (S.) from Worcester, and 109 (N.W. by W.) from London, containing 2319 inhabitants. According to Dr. Stukeley, this was the Upoessa of Ravennas; and the opinion that it was once a Roman station has received confirmation from the discovery of some ancient armour in the neighbourhood.

A bridge, consisting of six arches, was erected, pursuant to act of parliament, in the reign of James I, which was broken down, and a battery placed in the churchyard, to prevent the approach of Cromwell and his forces; but the plan was ineffectual, and the parliamentary forces entered the town.

Upton is situated on the right bank of the river Severn, which is here navigable for vessels of one hundred tons burden, and is crossed by a bridge erected in 1606 : it is neatly built, and the streets are well paved. There is a subscription library.

The surrounding country is in a state of high cultivation, and the prospects are varied and picturesque. A considerable quantity of cider, brought from Hereford and other places, is shipped here for conveyance to different parts of England: there is a harbour for barges, and a wharf on the river, for the convenience of loading and discharging.

The market is on Thursday: a plan for the erection of a handsome market-house, to include an assembly-room and apartments for the meetings of the magistrates, has been agreed upon, and the subscription for defraying the expense of its erection nearly completed; an act will be applied for this present session of parliament (1831), soon after which the building will be commenced. Fairs are held April 2nd, June 2nd, July 10th, and the Thursday before the 2nd of October.

A manorial court is held occasionally, and petty sessions once a fortnight.

The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester, rated in the king's books at £27, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Worcester. The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a handsome structure, completed in 1758: the ancient tower was once surmounted by a spire, which, from an apprehension of insecurity, was taken down, and a wooden cupola substituted. There is a place of worship for Baptists.

A charity school for instructing fifteen girls was endowed, in 1718, by Richard and Anne Smith, with property of the present value of £28 per annum, which was augmented by a bequest of £5 per annum in 1824, from Miss Sarah Husband : a boys'school was added to it, in 1797, by means of a bequest from George King, of property secured in the purchase of £100 three per cents, and £100 four per cent consols; and these are now incorporated into two National schools, which are further supported by voluntary contributions : about one hundred and sixty children are educated. Dr. John Dee, a celebrated astrologer in the reign of Elizabeth, was a native of this town: the Rev. J.Davison, B.D., author of some highly esteemed theological works, is the present incumbent.

Last Updated: 03/11/2016