Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Worcestershire Places (1) : Hartlebury

Hartlebury is a village to the South of Kidderminster. The village has been in existence from Saxon times, in 817CE it was known as Heortlabyrig (Hill of the Deer) and was granted by Burghred, King of Mercia to the Bishop of Worcester in 850CE. The area remained a home for the Bishop until the 21st century. The fortified manor house Hartlebury Castle being the residence of the Bishop from the 13th century until 2007. The castle is now open to the public and includes the Worcestershire County Museum.

The church of St James is of a much later period than the castle, it was mostly built in 1836 though retains elements from earlier buildings. The tower is 16th century and there are some arches from the 14th.

Hartlebury is a stop on the railway line between Worcester and Birmingham via Kidderminster. It also used to have a line through to Shrewsbury via the Severn Valley, and indeed was the original starting point of the Severn Valley Railway.