This view of the parish church of Eckington gives a flavour of early Eckington.
Discoveries to date.
People have been living and working in and around Eckington for thousands of years. The river and the fertile river valley made it ideal for farming and trading.
The land that makes up the parish of Eckington was included in the endowment of land granted to endow a Christian centre or monastery in nearby Pershore.
When Pershore Abbey was refounded as a Benedictine monastery King Edgar confirmed its endowment of land, this included Eckington.
The monastery was not long to benefit from its vast estates. The jealousies of secular lords and the disruptions caused by the Danish invasions meant that Pershore Abbey failed to keep a hold on much of its land, Eckington land included. In 1065 these lands were back in the hands of the King. Maybe the abbot thought they would be returned to the abbey by king but that was not to be. King Edward, the Confessor, intended that St Peter's, the abbey church of the monastery in Westminster, to be his mausoleum. The monks would need a substantial endowment to afford the costs of caring for such a significant building and then there were the religious duties to cost in on top. King Edward chose to give the land that had just come back into his possession to the Abbey at Westminster.
Westminster Abbey became the tenant in Chief of Eckington, they were the Lords of the Manor. The abbey's subtenants in Eckington were part of the abbey's great Manor of Binholme which had its administrative headquarters in Pershore.
The land in Eckington parish was divided into three parcels.
The parcel that ended up as part of Strensham manor
The parcel that ended up as the manor of Woollas Hall
The parcel that remained as part of the abbey's demense, and they later farmed out to tenants. The history of the ownership of these manors is complicated but can be followed the site of British History online.
Throughout the Middle Ages Eckington was in
The County of Worcestershire
The Hundred of Pershore
The Parish of Eckington
The Manor of Binholme.
The Abbot of Westminster was the Lord of the Manor
Nonetheless throughout the Middle Ages it seems that many people kept close ties with the Abbey at Pershore. Tithes from the Manor of Woollas Hall for some reason went to Pershore Abbey. Local people were involved in farming. Westminster Abbey held much of the land from the King. Their tenant were subject to the manorial court of the great Westminster manor of Binholme, the estate office and the market were in Pershore
Sir Richard Muchgros built a chapel dedicated to St. Catherine in the hamlet of Woollas The village has disappeared today and the chapel was in ruins by 1617. The has been the
subject of an archaeological dig and the report is interesting to read it implies that the chapel was built on an even earlier site - near an ancient holy well.
1540 The Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Like Pershore the abbey at Westminster was dissolved but unlike Pershore its special status as a Royal Peculiar meant that after the dissolution it was reconvened as the Collegiate Church of
St Peter Westminster under the jurisdiction of a Dean and Chapter subject to the Sovereign not an archbishop or a bishop. Westminster also kept it much of endowment.
Woollas Hall was built with stables and brewhouse.
A medicinal spring was found near the bridge.
Eckington Bridge was built
William George (and others) was growing and curing tobacco - he was fined £400.
The Age of the Railway - Victorian/Edwardian prosperity
While the workmen were excavating to build the railway they discovered Roman and possibly Iron Age (Celtic) artefacts.
The Bristol to Birmingham line was opened. The train stopped at Eckington station local market gardeners could now take advantage of a vast new market in the industrial towns to the north and the south.
748 people lived in Eckington in168 houses. The village had a railway station and a post office.
The railway station closed but fast trains still thundered throughout the village.
Eckington Parish includes a Conservation area. The Conservation Area is focussed on the core of the village around Church Street, Manor Road, Boon StreeT, Jarvis Street and Pass Street. This is the historic core of the village and includes a number of historic buildings many with thatched roofs. Look for quarried stone from Bredon Hill in boundary walls and surfaces.