Overview of the development of Badsey & Aldington from the time of the enclosure acts

To accompany our index of roads and paths in Badsey and Aldington, here are some further notes and explanations.

Before the 19th century it is unlikely that the population of the parishes of Badsey and Aldington changed significantly, but the last two centuries have seen enormous changes. Between 1801 and 2001, the population of Badsey has risen nine-fold (from 284 to 2531), whilst that of Aldington has risen three-fold (from 83 to 232). Badsey has seen a more significant increase in population, growing three times faster than Aldington. Here are more details.

The Enclosure Maps (Aldington 1807, Badsey 1812) show who the landowners were in Badsey and Aldington 200 years ago and every house and field is plotted. At the time of the Badsey enclosure, there were only 12 substantial landowners in the parish, with 1090 acres between them out of the total 1200. The land was mainly given over to farming and all the housing was concentrated in the village centre. Home ownership today in the 1100 houses which make up the two parishes stands at 86% whereas 200 years ago, very few people would have owned their own homes.

In Badsey, after enclosure, farms began to be established in the more outlying parts of the parish: at Bowers Hill, Claybrook and Badsey Field. By the end of the 19th century, farming had given way to market gardening. Whereas in most parts of the country village folk were drifting towards the towns and cities in search of work, the reverse was true in Badsey. The last decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century saw the largest expansion of the village, which is reflected in the ribbon development along Bretforton Road, and new houses being built in areas such as Brewers Lane, Chapel Street and Willersey Road. In the 1920s and 1930s, council housing was built on the Synehurst estate to meet the needs of providing affordable housing for local people. In the post-war period, more council housing was built at Horsebridge Avenue (1940s), Green Leys (1950s) and lastly St James Close and Manor Close (1960s). Throughout the 20th century, a goodly number of private houses were built. In the first half of the century, this was mainly concerned with extending the line of development further along roads such as Bretforton Road and Badsey Fields Lane. In the second half of the century, whole new roads were developed: Banks Road, Oak Close, Binyon Close, The Poplars and Seward Road in the 1960s; Allsebrook Gardens in the 1970s; Fields Close, Hither Green, Manorside, The Drift and The Knapp in the 1980s; Church End, The Lankets and Packs Close in the 1990s; Seward Close in 2000.

It is difficult to surmise, but it seems that Aldington did not change as much in the post-enclosure environment as did Badsey. This may have been because the bulk of the land in the village was owned either by the Lord of the Manor or by Thomas Byrd. During the 19th century, there were a few cottages which were pulled down but, at the same time, a small amount of building was taking place. At the time of the 1841 census, there were 23 households in Aldington (19 in the main village, four at the Parks); by 1851 this had increased to 27. A turnpike house was built in the 1840s, two pairs of semi-detached cottages were built on Main Street in the 1850s, a pair of semi-detached cottages was built in Chapel Street in the 1870s, and a house was built on Badsey Road at the end of the 19th century. Development in the 20th century began with the building of eight Council houses in the Main Street in the 1920s. In the latter half of the 20th century, development has taken place at Chestnut Close, Manor Gardens and The Hop Gardens, and further housing along Main Street. The last new house to be built was in 2005 at the top of Main Street, but over the last decade there has begun to be a proliferation of mobile homes on the outskirts of the village.

By the end of the 19th century, with the increase in use of the postal service, houses tended to be given names in order for the postman to be able to identify the recipient. By the 1920s, with the building of the first council estate at Synehurst (on land which had originally been in Aldington but was now in Badsey) and eight houses at Hillside in Aldington, numbering of houses was introduced. Initially, the number 13 was used, but by the 1970s, the number 13 was always omitted when numbering a road. In the 1950s, numbering of houses along such well-established roads as High Street, Bretforton Road, Brewers Lane, etc, in Badsey was introduced, but in Aldington, the only roads with numbers are the three roads built in the 1970s.

For houses which have been built since 1948 (which accounts for well over half the houses in the village), it is possible to view planning applications and to see detailed plans at Wychavon Councilís offices in Pershore.

On 1st April 1949, Badsey increased in size when land at Blackminster, south of the railway line, was transferred from Offenham to Badsey. Until then, the boundary had been the brook, but now the boundary was the railway line. Blackminster today comprises a settlement of around 40 houses.

Badsey is a large working village in Worcestershire, England. Aldington is a smaller village in the same parish. The Badsey Society exists to promote the understanding and study of the villages and the surrounding area. The Enclosure Map Project traces the development of the villages since the publication of enclosure maps in 1807 and 1812. The Society is grateful for a grant received from the Local Heritage Initiative. Updated 1 December 2006. Email History@badsey.net.