History of Ombersley and the Church

The ancient records for the Ombersley area concentrate on ownership of land. The earliest reference to the old name, Ambreslege, is to a grant of land to Abbot Ecgwine and the Abbey of Evesham in 706 AD by Ethelward. The 1300'th anniversary was commemorated by a special service held in the church in 2006.

Subsequently land was owned by the Church, frequently the Abbot of Evesham, and Lords of the manor. Some idea of medieval life is given by references to many local mills, powered by the numerous streams in the parish, and eel fisheries utilising local weirs. These activities were supplemented by agriculture. Rising rents suggested prosperity. Ambreslege is mentioned in the Domesday Book as having two priests.

A church was the first substantial building in the parish. There is a record of its transfer to the Abbot of Evesham from the Bishop of Worcester in 1207, and its dedication to Saint Andrew in 1269. Most of the building was demolished when the present church was constructed in 1825 but part of the old chancel was retained (with some 19th century modifications) as a mortuary chapel for the Sandys family.

Of other buildings still standing in the village the oldest date to the 15th century. This includes part of the King's Arms Inn opposite the church yard. Other buildings, including Ombersley Court, date from the 17th century.

The present church of Saint Andrew, replacing the old one, was completed in 1828. It is arguable one of the best built by Thomas Rickman. The construction copies 14th century style notably in its high vaulted ceiling. The bells from the old church were retained; three being recast and three original from the time of Charles I.

Much of this historical note is taken from the Ombersley entry of British History Online which itself quotes "A History of the County of Worcester Volume 3 (1913) pp 460-468"