For the second post in our ‘History of…’ series, we revisit Bransford of the past and journey right through to the present day with you ahead of Local and Community History Month in May.
Situated close to the River Teme, our spa hotel in Worcestershire lies within the gorgeous village and civil parish of Bransford, located at the foot of the beautiful Malvern Hills. From our picturesque surroundings here at the Bank House to the people who live in the village, we adore this corner of the UK for how it stands today, but wanted to find out a bit more about its rich and varied history through time.
Here’s what we found out about the history of our local area to help get you excited ahead of your stay.
The origins of the name, ‘Bransford’ have never been explicitly recorded, however, we do know the village has religious roots and was once home to Wulstan de Bransford, the Bishop of Worcester, from 1338–49, which gives us some clue as to its namesake. For some time, possibly due to these religious roots, Bransford was a place of refuge, up until the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 when the parish ceased to be responsible for maintaining the poor in its community and the responsibility was transferred to Martley Poor Law Union. This was a time of great change for the local area.
Throughout the 1870s, Bransford grew busier but remained known as ‘…a chapelry in Leigh parish, Worcestershire’. It wasn’t until 1894 that Bransford was separated from Leigh as an ecclesiastical parish and became a civil parish of its own right.
By 1881, Bransford was somewhat booming; there was a clothing factory by the Teme, as well as a snuff mill. However, when the clothing factory and snuff-mill (which later became a corn-mill) shut down, the people of Bransford turned to agriculture to make a living- unsurprising, considering the 2,366 acres of arable land and 1,062 separate acres of land in Bransford at the time. By 1881, at least 46 people were engaged in this type of land work, although they were more than likely all men as the women of Bransford would have been found working in domestic and dress services instead.
Once the Industrial Revolution had swept across the United Kingdom, the face of employment changed in Bransford and work moved from agriculture, mining and domestic services to those still standing today: from human health and social work to education and hospitality.
In 2017, Bransford is still just as beautiful as it was many moons ago. The main church, a small Norman building called St John the Baptist, still stands and is lit by candle light; Gilbert’s Farm is still a sight to behold and is popular with locals, and the green pastures surrounding the village are as gorgeous today as they once were. Until 1965, there was also a Great Western Railway station on the Bransford Road, however this was shut down, possibly due to lack of need, bringing a little peace and quiet to the area.
Bransford is now, of course, home to the Bank House, one of the most exclusive spa hotels in Worcestershire. If you would like to visit the wonderful village of Bransford and stay at our gorgeous hotel, view our availability and enquire today.