HistoryCurdworth Parish Council was first established in 1894, however there is more history attached to Curdworth than this:
Anglo Saxon CurdworthCurdworth is the first recorded settlement of the Anglo-Saxons in the English Midlands by Creoda in about 585 AD. The name 'Curdworth' means 'Creoda's Clearing'. Creoda was born approximately 565 and was King of Mercia between 586-593. He was the first king of Mercia and his ancestry was made to show his relation to Woden, the chief Anglo-Saxon god. Creoda, it was said, was the son of Cynewald, son of Cnebba, son of Icel, son of Eomer, son of Angelthew, son of Offa, son of Wearmund, son of Whitley, son of Woden.
The English Civil WarIt is documented that this is where the English Civil War began in August 1642. The first skirmish between Roundheads and Cavaliers of the Civil War (1642-49) took place in the fields to the south of Curdworth, the Battle of Curdworth Bridge (Lichfield Road/Marsh Lane). Sir Richard Willys (cavalier/royalist) was sent to escort 2 troops of horse, one of dragoons, 500 foot soldiers and baggage from Kenilworth Castle to Tamworth Castle. The royalists left Kenilworth traveling via Berkswell, Meriden, Packington and Coleshill, Warwickshire. 1200 parliamentary troops plus Birmingham men tried to head off the royalists via Fillongley, Maxstoke and Coleshill.
Sir Richard Willys formed his men in battle formation north of Curdworth Bridge. He attacked the parliamentarians who were hemmed in by boggy ground south of the bridge. The parliamentarians retreated and Sir Richard Willys moved on to Tamworth Castle. 20 men were killed and buried by the south wall of the chancel of Curdworth Church.
The above is an extract from www.virtualbrum.co.uk/history/civilwar.htm where you can find out more.
Domesday CurdworthAccording to the Domesday Book Curdworth was one of the areas of land held by Thorkill of Warwick. Thorkill was the son of Ęthelwine of Warwick, Sheriff of Nottingham. Ęthelwine was an Englishman who survived the Norman Conquest, one of only two who retained their lands and status following the Norman invasion. He died in 1083 AD, three years before the Domesday Book was prepared in 1086AD. Curdworth was listed as being about four hundred and eighty acres, for arable use, plus sixteen acres of meadows with woodland about half a league long and as much wide. There was land for seven ploughs but only three ploughs to work the land. The land was worked by twelve villeins and five bordars with five ploughs and three slaves. The land was previously held, under Edward the Confessor, by Wulfwine, when it was worth forty shillings. Under the Domesday Book it was worth fifty shillings, nothing changes; taxes always go up!
CanalThe 200-year old Birmingham Fazeley Canal (constructed 1783-90) runs through the parish, flowing through the scenic Curdworth cutting a designated wildlife area, followed by an 80 metre tunnel and flight of locks. This canal was one of the first in the country to be reclaimed from industrial decay, and is now a delightful spot for walks and pleasure boating, with bluebells flowering on the banks and kingfishers darting across the water.
King George V Playing FieldsAdjacent to the churchyard in Curdworth is the King George V Playing Fields, which was originally a raised clay and pebble base for a Medieval Saxon Manor complex, which was attached to the church. This site and the moated Curdworth Hall, also a Saxon structure that was located at the top of Farthing Lane, were of great important in the area.
Curdworth HallThe remains of the moat by Curdworth Hall, associated with the Ardens, is now buried under the M42. This site is thought to have been the home of the Ardens before they moved to Park Hall in Castle Bromwich.
The Bomb HoleAt the edge of the playing fields is 'The Bomb Hole' as know by locals, which is actually a Mild Pit, where a Saxon fertiliser consisting of clay and calcium carbonate was extracted.
Buildings in Curdworth
- The Rectory, north-east of the churchyard, is a red brick house, said to date from about 1640. It has a timber-framed barn of two bays.
- 'The Nest', a farm-house south-east of the church, is built of brickwork of c. 1700, but has a barn west of it of late-17th-century brickwork: the roof has old king-post trusses and straight wind-braces to the purlins. It is reputed to be the rectorial tithe barn.
- West of it the fields are marked by excrescences said to mark the site of one of the earliest skirmishes in the 17th-century civil war.
- A farm-house on the east side of the village street, opposite the lane to the church, now tenements, is an L-shaped timber-framed building covered with roughcast cement. On the south side of it is a late-16th-century projecting chimney-stack with two star-shaped shafts of thin bricks.
- The Bull's Head Inn farther south is an altered brick house but has 17th-century ceiling beams. A cottage opposite, mostly of brick, has some 17th-century timber-framing. Another east of the farm-house is similar. Farther east are the remains of a medieval moat.
- Dunton Hall, ¾ mile east-north-east of the church, said to have been built c. 1680 by the 2nd Lord Leigh and to have been the home of Dr. Samuel Johnson's maternal grandparents, Cornelius and Anne Ford, is a large three-storied house of red brick and of rectangular plan. The windows have flat-arched heads with stone key blocks, and have sash frames. The staircase has turned balusters, &c., of the late 17th century. The house still retains the thirteen hearths mentioned in old tax records. A barn mostly of brick retains a little 17th-century timber-framing and roof, and there is also a brick pigeon house.
St Nicholas Parish ChurchThe parish church of St Nicholas consists of a chancel, nave, south porch, and west tower and stands on a rise to the west of the main street of the village.
The chancel and nave were built soon after the middle of the 12th century. They retain some original windows; remains of both nave doorways also survive. They were only a little to the west of midway in the walls, and in the 14th century they were walled up and new doorways inserted in the westernmost bays. The chancel arch is a good example of the period; it is of narrow span, and to increase the view of the high altar from the nave a 15th-century window or squint was inserted south of it and there was also a narrow oblique squint north of the arch, now replaced by a copy of the other. The original nave was only about two-thirds of the present length; it was increased late in the 15th century and the west tower was built. The south porch was added probably at the same time, but was rebuilt above the base in 1800, when the church was in disrepair and much bad restoration was done. The 12th-century windows were blocked, others were deprived of their mullions and fitted with iron casements; lowpitched roofs covered with slates were substituted for the medieval roofs. In 1895 the church was again restored, the windows being restored or opened out and new roofs of higher pitch constructed. The interesting carved font-bowl was then discovered buried below the floor and restored to use. There are three bells: the first of 1663 by John Martin of Worcester, the second of 1756 by Thomas Eayre; the third is of c. 1500 inscribed in Lombardic capitals: SANCTA MARIA VIRGO INTERCEDE PRO TOTO MUNDO. The communion plate includes a silver paten of 1685.
The registers date from 1653. They contain the marriage (6 June 1715) of the famous High Church preacher Dr. Sacheverell with Mary Sacheverell of Sutton Coldfield.
At the south-east corner of the churchyard is a medieval cross-shaft with a modern head and set in a modern base.
Curdworth BridgeA bridge carrying the Coleshill and Lichfield road across the River Tame has existed from early times, and Dugdale records a tradition that the then existing bridge at Curdworth was built by John Harman alias Vesey, Bishop of Exeter (1465?-1554). (fn. 4) The bridge was in bad repair in 1637, and in an Order of the Quarter Sessions of the Michaelmas Term of that year a similar origin is attributed to it. (fn. 5) From the remains now visible it seems to have been similar to Vesey's bridge still standing in the adjacent parish of Water Orton. The present bridge was erected during the middle of the 19th century about 50 yards east of the site of the old one.
A little pub historyThere has been a building on the site of The White Horse pub since Georgian times, when the pub was regularly frequented by blacksmiths, farmers and even other publicans. One one family, the Lucas, ran the White Horse from 1845 until the early 20th century.
ManorsIn 1086 Turchil of Warwick held of the king 4 hides in CURDWORTH, and 1 hide in MINWORTH. Turchil's possessions mostly passed to the Earls of Warwick, but Curdworth was probably among the fees of his descendant Hugh de Arderne, as he gave to the Canons of St. Mary de Pré of Leicester inter alia lands in Curdworth to the value of 10s.
Below is an extract from a book about the local area which gives a flavour of the village. 'Curdworth has made the transition from ancient to modern by forming a merger of the two and, in their case, with some measure of success. Old buildings, hallowed by the weathering of centuries, mingle with the commuter homes, the village atmosphere is enhanced by trees and greenery of every kind to soften the outline of bricks and mortar.
Architecturally, Curdworth is dominated by the mellow sandstone edifice of its parish church, (the earliest part of) which is 800 years old. Extensively restored in late Victorian times, the interior has several features of interest for the visitor. On the north wall of the nave an unknown artist, centuries ago, painted the deep splays of the window and embellished them with various figures, including Madonna and Child. Not surprisingly, the colour has faded, for this is believed to be one of the oldest examples of wall painting in England.
Curdworth has no "Bard of Avon" to draw the crowds. But it does have its association with Dr Samuel Johnson, a figure second only to Shakespeare in England's literary story. A memorial in the floor of the nave of Curdworth Church records that Cornelius and Anne Ford, who lie buried in the churchyard, and their young daughter, Sarah, the "dear honoured Mother" of Dr Johnson, once lived in Dunton Hall in Curdworth.
At the other end of the village lies another pocket of history. Here, amid old barns and outhouses, is the site of Curdworth Hall, a moated house which disappeared long ago. Traces of the moat can still be discerned, a reminder that at Curdworth almost a thousand years ago, was an embattled frontier between Saxon and Dane.'
Taken from "Walmley and its surroundings" by Douglas V. Jones
AcknolwegmentsWith thanks to www.british-history.ac.uk, Wikipedia, Warwickshires Communities and Vitalbrum.co.uk and ewgreen.org.uk
Disclaimer : To be best of its knowledge, Curdworth Parish Council understands the information presented to be accurate, and accepts no responsibility for incorrect information.