TARDEBIGG (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the union of Bromsgrove, partly in the Alcester division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, but chiefly in the Upper division of the hundred of Halfshire, Droitwich and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 3 miles (E. S. E.) from Bromsgrove ; containing, with the chapelry of Redditch, and the townships of Tutnall with Cobley, Bentley-Pauncefoot, and Webheath, 4877 inhabitants. This parish, of which the name signifies “the big tower,” or “tower on the hill,” is on the road from Bromsgrove to Alcester, and comprises 10,832 acres, of a very fertile, but heavy clayey soil, of which 3000 acres are woodland, and the remainder arable and meadow in about equal portions. Hewell, the seat of the Hon. Robert Henry Clive, is situated here in a demesne highly embellished, in which is a lake of 30 acres ; and Foxlydiate House, the property and residence of William Hemming, Esq., has neat pleasure-grounds and gardens attached. The Birmingham and Worcester canal and the Birmingham and Gloucester railway run through the parish. Fairs are held oh the first Monday in August and the third Monday in September, for cattle.
The Living is a vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £8, and in the patronage of Mr. and Lady Harriet Clive, to whom the impropriation also belongs : the great tithes have been commuted for £1254, and the vicarial for £600, with a glebe of 41½ acres, and a house. The church, rebuilt in 1776, is an elegant structure in the Grecian style, with a very beautiful spire, and contains a monument to Sir Thomas Cookes, Bart., a former proprietor, and founder of Worcester College, Oxford, and another by Chantrey to the late Earl of Plymouth, whose remains are interred in the family vault beneath : this edifice, and the chapel at Redditch, were built of excellent stone raised here. In the churchyard, from which a panoramic prospect is obtained, are schools, prettily situated, with residence for the master and mistress, rebuilt in 1843, at the expense of Lady Harriet Clive, and partly supported by her ladyship. At Tardebigg is the site of Bordesley Abbey, supposed to have been originally founded by Maud, daughter of Henry I., and of which the revenue was valued at the Dissolution at £392. 8. 6.; the site and remains were granted by Henry VIII. in exchange to Lord Windsor, one of the ancestors of the late Earl of Plymouth. The remains of an old chapel dedicated to St. Stephen, were discovered a few years ago, at Bentley-Pauncefoot, which seems to have been anciently a distinct chapelry.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.