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 - January

Jan   4th   The   Committee   that   has   charge   of   the   deliberations   respecting   a Parochial   Memorial   to   those   fallen   in   the   war,   is   not   to   be   envied.   There appears   to   be   two   chief   schools   of   thought   in   the   Parish:   the   first   favours endowing   the   Institute,   the   second   favours   something   of   the   monumental type.   The   trouble   is   a   great   number   of   the   Parish   favour   neither   idea   and content   themselves   by   waiting   to   knock   down   both   the   Aunt   Sallies   of   the Committee   without   constructing   one   of   their   own.   It   is   a   thousand   pities, because   in   a   matter   of   this   kind,   unity   of   thought   and   action   is   a   greater tribute   to   the   honoured   memory   of   our   heroes   than   we   may   erect   in   their honour. The   midnight   service   was   very   well   attended   by   ladies-   but   the   representatives of   the   other   sex   were   more   select   than   numerous.   It   was   a   pitchy   night   but calm.   Somebody   left   the   garden   gate   open:   and   in   the   wee   small   hours   one might   have   espied   a   well-known   resident   in   his   pyjamas   prowling   about   the garden   with   a   candle.   A   belated   worshiper   queried:   “Are   you   letting   the   New Year   in?”   and   the   exasperated   reply   was   yelled   out   “Pygmalion-come   and   help get   these------   hosses   out   of   my   cabbage”.   I   am   afraid   my   recent   note   about these wandering marauders has had but little effect. Jan   11th    -   The   whist   drive   last   Friday   evening   was   well   attended.   The   tickets had   been   limited   to   the   capacity   of   the   room,   so   there   was   no   uncomfortable crowding.   The   prize   winners   were   (Ladies)   Mrs   John   Cutler   and   Mr   Cartwright (Gentleman).    Trooper    J    Dickinson    (Worcester    Yeomanry)    and    Mr    J    T Williamson. Mrs Fitch won the prize for being top when the list was inverted!! I   saw   Captain   Acton   Pratt   in   the   village   one   day   last   week.   He   looks   fine   and well, in spite of his sojourn with the brutal Hun. My   letter   bag   this   week   contains   more   than   the   usual   number,   from   soldiers, and   the   contents   make   one   think   furiously.   Several   offer   up   thanksgivings   for Christmas   presents   received   through   Dennis   Fitch   and   ask   me   to   tell   him   what a   god-send   the   bit   of   money   was.   They   are   stoney   broke   because   it   takes   all their   spare   cash   to   buy   food   from   the   canteen   as   the   Army   ration   is   insufficient to   appease   their   appetites.   From   another   I   get   this   grouse:   -   “Back   here   from leave   three   weeks   and   I   can’t   get   a   drink   -   worse   than   the   trenches,   did   get   a tot   o’   rum   there   occasionally”.   I   suppose   this   is   the   same   genius   training   the Tommies   in   the   way   he   should   go,   that   has   trained   us   into   beer   greed,   and   our wives   into   compulsory   law   dodgers.   All   this   reminds   me:   -   Someone   in   the hours   of   am   was   heard   to   enquire   of   a   fellow   soldier.   “Had   any   breakfast   yet Bill?” and the heart-rending reply was “Not a spot!” Jan    18th     -    Demobilisation    is    proceeding    exceedingly    slowly    as    far    as Chaddesley   is   concerned.   At   present   have   only   met   two   discharged   men:   that is   discharged   under   demobilisation   arrangements.   Considering   how   much   the farmers   have   been   put   to   inconvenience   during   recent   years,   one   would   expect more   consideration   to   be   given   to   them   now   in   securing   the   release   of   their best men. It   is   now   more   than   two   months   since   the   Armistice   was   signed,   and   wives   and sweethearts    whose    loved    ones    are    out    in    the    East    are    beginning    to    ask anxiously   where   their   boys   expect   a   leave   home.   Many   Chaddesley   lads   have been out there three or four years without once seeing dear old England. “Hope   deferred   maketh   the   heart   grow   sick.”   Why   not   give   a   sea   trip   to   some of   those   who   have   never   left   these   shores   and   let   the   long-absent   ones   have   a view of home once more. The   meet   of   the   hounds   at   Bluntington   last   Saturday   morning   proved   a   popular gathering    and    the    youngsters    free    from    school    made    the    most    of    their opportunities.   The   meet   at   Woodcote   on   Monday   was   held   under   the   most depressing   weather   conditions,   and   I   saw   more   than   one   usual   enthusiast making rapidly for home quite early in the day. Jan   25th    -   Albert   Grove,   son   of   Mr   Arthur   Grove,   of   Harvington,   has   returned safely   from   his   captivity   in   Germany.   He   appears   to   have   been   unfortunate   in his   experiences,   as   he   suffered   much   from   the   lack   of   food   and   also   from   the ill-treatment   and   brutality   of   his   guards.   We   may   soon   hope   to   hear   of   the   day of   reckoning   being   fixed   for   these   black-listed   Huns.   Unless   they   are   brought   to book   Britain   will   look   ludicrous   in   the   eyes   of   the   civilised   world.   There   is   no news   yet   of   Eric   Hemming   -   I   hope   he   may   be   found   in   the   general   search which is now reported to be taking place throughout Germany. Back   from   France   (and   civilians   once   more)   I   have   noticed   two   about   this week,   viz:   -   Frank   Hemming   and   Charlie   Pain.   Frank   still   finds   some   difficulty with   his   injured   arm   but   he   has   resumed   his   old   employment   regardless   of that. Some   of   our   people   are   already   rehearsing   for   the   Peace   rejoicings.   Dances and   rumours   of   dances   fill   the   air:   music   and   whist   drives   are   increasing   in daily   popularity;   but   who   can   guess   when   the   date   will   be   that   such   rejoicings will   be   appropriate?   The   only   likely   prophets,   I   know,   suggest   some   date   in June   or   July.   Imagine   a   concert   and   whist   drive   in   The   Dog.   A   jollification   in the   open   air   would   be   far   more   popular.   The   village   world   days   have   changed remarkably   in   the   last   half   century.   In   my   childhood   had   we   dared   to   suggest   a concert   or   dance   on   the   threshold   of   Lent   the   earth   would   have   opened   her mouth and swallowed us up. Ah! Those good old days! (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