Some old village photos


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 Local History

In AD 781 Offa, King of Mercia, granted 17 hides of land in Hampton to the Bishop of Worcester (the name “Hampton” is derived from the word “Ham”, meaning land by the river). The parish then became known as “Bishop’s Hampton”, a name it retained until 1549, and seen for many years thereafter in deeds (or in Latin as Hampton Episcopi).

In 1182 a two-field system of cultivation was in operation at Bishop’s Hampton: the names of the common fields were Overfelde and Netherfelde, and they were situated to the southwest of the village, bordered by the river (hence the name of “Old Pasture Farm”). Each tenant of Hampton and Hatton (situated between the present-day Hatton Rock and Hatton Bank farms) was required to work three strips of land, for four days each week, with all his household except his wife and his shepherd. Sheep farming was of major importance at this time: there were 400 sheep in the parish in the 12th century, rising to 540 in the 13th century, considerably more than the number of tenants! Sheep were kept on the Heath, to the north of the Hatton-Hampton Road, and south of the Snitterfield Road, which was in existence at this time.

Passage over the river was achieved using ancient fords. The ford at Bishop’s Hampton was located just in front of Avonford Cottage. There were two fords across the river to Wasperton, located to the east and south-east of Grovefield Farm. The ford to Alveston was located at Sal’s Grave (below Hatton Rock), reputedly a witch’s burial site. The presence of a mill was noted in 1086, and the building of a medieval church in Hampton is believed to have takenplace in the 13th century. By 1480 the village of Hatton was depopulated and enclosed for agricultural land use.

In 1549 the manor and associated lands in Hampton were sold by the Bishop of Worcester to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. A few years later, the accession to the throne of Queen Mary and her determination to re-introduce Roman Catholicism to England led to the persecution of Protestant subjects, including Dudley, who was executed in 1555. On 12th June 1557 Queen Mary granted the lease of the manor to Thomas Lucy of Charlecote. The manor subsequently remained in the Lucy estate, and the village became known as Hampton Lucy.

During the Civil War, a protestant army was briefly billeted in Charlecote and Hampton Lucy in 1642, leading to the plundering of the church and village for firewood. The nearby battle of Edge Hill on 23rd October 1642 was the opening battle of the Civil War, resulting in a victory for the Royalist army.

Thatched Cottages in Snitterfield StreetA number of timbered cottages were built in the village in the 17th century, notably an attractive row of cottages in Snitterfield Street (no longer present), which are frequently pictured in old photographs of the village. Also the thatched cottages in Church Street probably date from this period, and the original schoolhouse, which was built in 1636, and the Rectory.


An inventory of the Lucy estate in 1712 lists a number of cottages and messuages (small house), the “Red Lion Inn” (proprietor Edward Lawrence), and Hampton Mill. Lands in “the common field” and in “Cow Close” (situated directly south of the village) were also mentioned. Agriculture is the primary occupation of villagers, crops being wheat, barley, peas, vetches, oats and hay. In 1736 a map of the Lucy estate was drawn on parchment by James Fish. The layout of the village is similar to the present-day layout, but at the corner of Snitterfield Street, a road continued around in a loop to join the Stratford Road. There are two (wooden) bridges marked: one on the site of the present bridge, and a bridge in front of Avonford Cottage, and the Old Yarrs, a plot of land underneath Scar Bank.

As the 18th century progressed, a certain amount of diversification away from agriculture took place in the village, and a limited number of trades emerged. The first recorded blacksmith, Samuel Hawkes, operated in the village from 1720-1759. The original blacksmith’s shop was on the site now occupied by Yew Tree Cottage in Snitterfield Street, but was destroyed by fire in 1784. A new forge was subsequently built near the corner of Snitterfield Street, and a new house and bakehouse (the small building remaining by the roadside) built on the site of the blacksmith’s shop. The first recorded baker (1792) was Benjamin Barran. The first census in 1841 records a large number of agricultural labourers in the village, but also a variety of trades: 4 carpenters, 3 bricklayers, 2 blacksmiths, 3 tailors, 3 shoemakers, a grocer, a butcher and a dressmaker, as well as the school master and school mistress, and the miller.

Hampton Lucy - Old Church c.1822
A great deal of building work took place in Hampton Lucy in the 1820’s and 1830’s. The two major landmarks of Hampton Lucy, the church and the bridge, date from this time. St. Peter’s Church was re-built in 1826 on the site of the medieval church, funded by Rev. John Lucy, and designed by Thomas Rickman. The east end of the church was subsequently remodelled by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1858. The Iron Bridge over the Avon at Hampton LucyThe iron bridge, from Horseley Ironworks in Shropshire, was paid for by Rev. John Lucy in 1829, replacing “a ford and a wooden causeway for foot passengers”. At about this time the houses in Church Street Thatched Cottages in Church Streetnear the church were built, and the cottages in Snitterfield Street were re-furbished by George Lucy.




The village remained much the same in layout throughout the early 20th century. Wellesbourne airfield was used during the 2nd world war. The crash of a fully laden bomber into Scar Bank during the war resulted in a large explosion, blowing out most of the church windows: the fragments of glass were collected by hand, and the windows re-built after the war.
Aerial view of Hampton lucy ca1955


After 1945 many properties in the village were sold from the Lucy estate to local land-owners, resulting in the building of new houses in the village from 1950 onwards, and the demolition of the old cottages in Snitterfield Street during 1960-1970.


Copyright notice

This information was published in the Hampton Lucy village plan 2002 booklet, also known as  HALO (Hampton Lucy Overview).

The drawings are by Peter Robinson.

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