Chaddesley’s Origins

The village of Chaddesley Corbett is an ancient settlement with a prehistoric buriel mound and traces of a Roman road. Originally known as Chaddesley the name is thought to mean "Ceadda's clearing in the wood" and is first mentioned in a Saxon Charter of 816 when the land was given to the Bishop of Worcester in return for hospitality to the King of Mercia and his men. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as belonging to a Saxon Noblewoman - and had two priests,  several corn mills, a population as large as Kidderminster and two saltpans in Droitwich for it's own use. After the Norman Conquest the Manor of Chaddesley was owned by the Corbett family who added their name to it’s title.  Later, church lands passed to the Earldom of Warwick and, eventually, to the Throckmortons of Coughton Court.


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Chaddesley - One Hundred Years Ago - December

December    7th    Bert    Wilkes    and    Arthur    Wheeler    who    till    recently    were prisoners   of   war   in   Germany   both   arrived   at   their   homes   last   Sunday   morning. Bert   Wilkes   was   captured   on   August   27th   1914   and   consequently   has   had   a long   and   bitter   experience   among   the   accursed   race.   Both   the   captives   bear unmistakeable   traces   of   the   hardships   they   have   suffered;   and   after   seeing Bert    Wilkes    I    feel    that    my    loathing    of    the    German    is    intensified    to    an unbearable   degree.   There   is,   unfortunately,   no   news   of   Jack   Healey   or   Eric Hemming up to the time of writing these notes. We   were   congratulating   ourselves   a   few   weeks   ago   on   lightly   escaping   the   Flu scourge,   but   we   now   have   a   rude   awakening.   The   malady   has   spread   through the   parish   with   great   rapidity   and   whole   families   are   affected.   I   creditably informed   that   nearly   half   the   schoolchildren   from   the   village   schools   are   absent with “bad colds” etc. Information   has   reached   me   that   Joe   Hunt   has   been   awarded   the   Military Medal   for   coolness   and   bravery   while   under   shell   fire.   I   can   well   believe   he deserved   it   so   can   all   his   old   companions   at   football.   What   a   cool   customer   he was   in   a   rough   game   and   how   easily   he   could   prove   that   roughness   was   a game two could play at. A   well-attended   meeting   was   held   in   the   school   on   Wednesday   evening,   the object   being   to   receive   suggestions   for   raising   a   memorial   to   soldiers   and sailors   from   Chaddesley   that   have   given   their   lives   for   their   country   in   the Great   War.   The   vicar   presided.   Mr   Duff   summarised   the   various   suggestions that   appeared   to   be   circulating,   viz:-   monuments,   stained   glass,   provision   for dependants,   village   lighting   etc,   all   of   which   had   either   some   fatal   objection   or were   already   provided   for   otherwise.   A   proposal   to   endow   a   Workman’s   Club and   Institute   was   most   favourably   received   and   a   letter   from   the   Rev   W Wykes-Finch    was    read    offering    to    hand    over    the    Institute    building    at Brockencote    to    properly    constituted    Trustees    should    the    suggestion    be adopted.   A   strong   committee   was   elected   to   examine   all   the   suggestions   and report   to   a   future   parish   meeting.   Meanwhile   donations   towards   the   memorial can   be   forwarded   to   the   pro-tem   treasurer,   Mr   R.   G.Duff.   It   should   be   born   in mind   by   critics   that   although   we   have   lost   at   least   25   lads   in   the   war,   only   four of them were married and only two left children dependants. The   influenza   epidemic   still   continues   to   claim   fresh   victims   among   us,   but   I believe   it   is   not   quite   so   violent   here   as   it   was   last   week.   A   considerable number   of   the   sufferers   are   beginning   to   re-appear   at   their   work   or   school most   of   them   looking   the   worse   for   wear   and   in   need   of   a   Convalescent   Home. I   should   fancy   the   disease   has   been   a   milder   type   of   Chaddesley   or   else   our constitutions   are   healthier   and   more   robust   than   the   town   dwellers:   because we have had scarcely any deaths locally that can be attributed to the disease. December   21st    The   last   few   days   have   brought   gladness   into   several   homes where   sadness   had   dwell   all   too   long.   The   prisoners   at   war   are   gradually arriving,   and   there   have   already   been   several   joyful   reunions.   During   the   week John   Dickinson,   John   Henley’s   and   Tom   Hivens   have   all   arrived.   John   Dickinson suffered   many   privations,   during   his   long   sojourn   with   the   Turks,   and   looked very   thin   and   weak   when   he   arrived,   but   he   has   recovered   wonderfully   during his   few   days’   residence   in   England   again.   His   varied   experiences   would   fill   a book. On   Tuesday   evening   the   bell-ringers   rang   the   usual   muffled   peal   in   memory   of the   late   John   Giles,   of   Bradford   House.   This   is   in   accordance   with   his   request to the ringers. Captain   Gilbert   is   anxious   for   a   re-opening   of   the   cricket   campaign.   He   feels   it will   be   a   grave   mistake   to   let   the   boys   come   home   and   discover   the   old   club dormant.   The   raising   of   funds   is   a   prime   necessity,   and   all   lovers   of   cricket should communicate their wishes to Mr. Gilbert as soon as possible. December   28th    Christmas   passed   of   very   quietly;   in   fact,   too   quietly   The impression   on   my   mind   was   that   someone   was   sitting   on   the   safety   valve. There   was   a   good   attendance   at   the   Church   Services   we   sang   “Peace   on   Earth” as   usual,   while   incipient   rebellion   and   discontent   rumbled   in   undercurrents around.   I   heard   several   people   remark,   “Thank   God   the   lads   have   not   come back   to   this   sort   of   a   Merry   Xmas.”   But   when   they   do,   what   then?   The   carol singers   rather   overdid   “The   Watching   Shepherds”   and   brought   them   into   ill favour.   Hence   domestic   strife!   One   gentleman   raved   from   his   easy   chair   to   the effect   that   he   was   completely   satiated   with   that   infernal   strain,   and   proceeded to   the   back   door   intending   to   forcibly   stop   it.   His   horror   almost   exceeded   his humiliation   on   discovering   that   the   hymn   ascended   from   his   wife   and   his   sister- in-law who sat at the kitchen fire hatching mischief. The    Governors    of    the    Poors    Land    Charity    distributed    the    usual    doles    on Saturday last. There were about 100 recipients. (A selection copied from Kidderminster Shuttle by CC Local History Society)

Contemporary History

Chaddesley Woods in Chaddesley Corbett became a Nature Reserve in 1973 through the generosity of Mr. John Cadbury. The reserve consists of 53 hectares of native oak woodland and 47 hectares of recent plantations of  young hardwoods and softwoods - which were added to show how wild life conservation can be intergrated with modern commercial management. A "Jubilee Walk" was introduced in 1977 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.  The walk is marked by yellow arrows - which indicate public rights of way - and by white arrows which indicate courtesy paths. There are Voluntary Wardens for the woods and the area is managed by the Nature Conservancy Council. The Woods are a special feature of the area and attract many visitors all through the year. Car parking by the roadside. Guard against thefts.
Chaddesley Corbett