Footpath: Hither Green to Brewers Lane (The Green)
Photos taken 2006.
BRETFORTON ROAD AND HITHER GREEN TO OLD POST OFFICE LANE AND BREWERS LANE
Grid Reference: 074437 to 074433
This footpath, known as "The Green", follows the course of what was, until 1815, the main road from Badsey to Evesham, known as Evesham Road. At the time of the Badsey Enclosure, it was described as follows: "One public Carriage Road and Highway of the width of forty feet marked No 2 on the said map leading in a Southwardly direction out of the said Turnpike Road over the Leys and from thence in a Westwardly direction of the width of thirty-five feet until it enters the Village of Badsey." It begins at Bretforton Road (B4035) next to 1 Hither Green. At one time it headed due south but, since the building of Hither Green in 1984, it takes a more winding route before heading south again to Old Post Office Lane and Brewers Lane.
Here is a description of a walk along the path today. [LINK TO BE MADE AVAILABLE IN DUE COURSE.] The following paragraphs give an historical description of ownership of the land over which the path passes.
East Side - North of Old Post Office Lane (Badsey Map G070, G071 and G074)
The land to the east of the track was mainly an old enclosure called Hither Green Ground (7a 3r 35p) owned by Thomas Byrd. It remained in the Byrd family until the early 20th century, when it was bought by Frederick Cockerton Stewart. The Hither Green estate of six houses was built near the Bretforton Road in 1984. The area of land behind these houses was the subject of a controversial planning application made in January 2006 to have a touring caravan park on the site, but the application was subsequently withdrawn. To the west of the main road (to the east of the present path), parish cottages were located. These were demolished in the 1950s. At the corner where the old road swung westwards, there was another small old enclosure, a house and garden (0a 0r 27p) owned by Richard Richardson (Blenheim Cottage).
West Side - North of Old Post Office Lane (Badsey Map G073 and W011)
The present-day footpath goes over land (to the west of the old road) which, at the time of enclosure, was owned by Samuel Jelfs who had a house on 0a 0r 17p. Samuel Jelfs had been in the habit of using a footpath over the common land just south of his property, but this area of land was allotted to Edward Wilson, Lord of the Manor of Badsey, as his manorial allotment. As compensation, Samuel Jelfs was awarded a very small parcel of land: "Unto and for Samuel Jelfs and his Heirs in lieu of a certain footpath claimed by him for the cottage and garden in his own occupation leading from his said cottage unto through and over Badsey Leys and through the Homestead of Elizabeth Ballard and which hath been stopped by two Magistrates on view thereof, All that Allotment or parcel of Land containing sixteen perches being part of Badsey Leys, bounded on the South by the Manorial Allotment herein awarded to the said Edward Wilson, on the West by an old Inclosure belonging to the said Edward Wilson, on the North by the Turnpike Road, and on all other sides thereof by old Inclosures belonging to the said Samuel Jelfs, And the said Commissioners do hereby declare that the said Allotment is a full compensation and satisfaction to the said Samuel Jelfs as a full equivalent for the loss of the said Foot Road. And the said Commissioners order and direct that the Mounds and Fences against the said Manorial Allotment and against the said Road shall be made and for ever hereafter kept in repair by and at the expense of the said Samuel Jelfs and the owners and occupiers of the said Allotment for the time being." The present-day footpath runs parallel to the back gardens of houses in Green Leys built in the 1950s.
West Side, north of Old Post Office Lane (Badsey Map W013 and G034)
In 1815, when the Badsey Enclosure Commissioners made their awards, Edward Wilson, Lord of the Manor, was allotted the following: "Unto the Lord or Lords of the Manor of Badsey and his or their Heirs, All that Allotment or parcel of Land situate upon the Leys containing one acre and ten perches and bounded on the North by an Allotment herein after awarded to Samuel Jelfs, on the East by the said Evesham Road and on all other sides thereof by old Inclosures belonging to the Reverend Thomas Williams, Thomas Byrd and Edward Wilson, which said Allotment is in the agreement of the said Commissioners equal in value to one fifteenth part Roads excepted of the Waste Lands within the said Manor and is in lieu full bar of and satisfaction for his or their right of soil in the said Common and Waste Grounds within the said Manor." Just to the south was an old enclosure which belonged to the Reverend Thomas Williams, called Nightingale’s Orchard (0a 2r 26p). Most of the estate of the Reverend Williams passed by inheritance to the Allies family and was then subsequently sold to Joseph Woodward in 1864. However, when Woodward sold the estate in 1866, this did not form part of the sale, so it had obviously been sold at an earlier date.
East Side, south of Old Post Office Lane (Badsey Map W009)
Whilst no footpath is specifically mentioned, this was part of the common fields of Badsey, and so for centuries people would have walked across the land. In 1815, when the Badsey Enclosure Commissioners made their awards, this plot of land was awarded to John Procter as his first allotment: "Unto John Procter and his Heirs in lieu of the Commonable part of his estate and right of Common thereunto belonging purchased by him of and from Thomas Burrowes and Susannah his wife … All that Allotment or parcel of Land situate in Badsey Green containing two acres, bounded on the East by an old Inclosure belonging to the said John Procter, on the South by the private carriage Road marked Number 9, on the West by old Inclosures belonging to the said Thomas Byrd, William Smith and others and on the North by the Evesham Road and an Allotment herein awarded to the said William Wilson." Whilst the Commissioners allotted this to John Procter in 1815, by 1831 it was in the ownership of Joseph Jones who sold this pasture land, along with neighbouring Townside Close at auction on 15th August. It was bought by siblings Sarah, William and Mary Byrd. The land passed by inheritance to their nephew, William Byrd (1841-1902). William Byrd got into financial difficulties and appeared in a debtors’ court in 1880; an Abstract of Title dated 1890 shows that William Smith, the Trustee, was entitled to all William Byrd’s land-holdings, and began to sell off the land. This field, now combined with the neighbouring plot to the east, was described as a Hovel Ground or Green of 6a 0r 11p and was used as pasture. It was bought by William Hurd Adams. By the end of the century, two detached houses had been built close to the junction with Old Post Office Lane and a terrace of cottages had been built near the end of the footpath on Brewers Lane.
West Side, south of Old Post Office Lane (Badsey Map G035, G040, G041, G044)
To the west of the footpath there were old enclosures belonging to William Wilson, Elizabeth Mason, William Smith and Thomas Byrd. Until the early 20th century there was a big pair of iron gates by (always kept shut) near the end of the path. There was another identical pair close to The Poplars. This probably signifies the existence of a long drive from The Poplars, owned by the Byrd family, with a way out to the farmland. It went over land known as Stable and Dovecote Close and had a stone pillar and iron railings against The Green.
Where they are available, links are provided to historical information about places and buildings. This index of roads and paths in Badsey and Aldington was compiled as part of the Badsey Society Enclosure Map Project. The house numbers and names are correct as at May 2006. Every care has been taken to provide accurate information, but if you are aware of any error, please contact us. If you wish to provide a history or memories of an individual house on this road, please email History@badsey.net.