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March 3, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

History of Worfield, Shropshire

A History of Worfield has been recently published by Jane Smith, a local historian living not far from the Apley Estate & Apley Farm Shop.

Her painstaking & seriously impressive research is now available in this book, for the benefit of us all. For me, it links up with some of the work I do (when I make the time!) on the Apley Estate archives.

Jane kindly sent me this summary of her work & her book:

For over forty years I lived on a small farm of 70 acres in Worfield Parish, Shropshire, right on the border between Staffordshire and Shropshire. Trying to make a living on such a small acreage was a challenge to say the least and it wasn’t until I retired from farming that I was able to return to an early interest in local history. Last Autumn, ten years’ research was brought together in a book simply entitled, Worfield,’ and subtitled, ‘The History of a Shropshire Parish from Earliest Times.’

I was determined to write a book which would show the development of the area through the ages. Sometimes too few records have survived to make such a chronological story possible but in Worfield almost the opposite is the case; one is almost drowned in the quantity of material which has survived. A veritable treasure trove of metal detected finds reveal some of the earliest history and more written records have survived than one could absorb in a lifetime. One set of such records are Manor Court Rolls which are held in the Shropshire Record Office. Manor Courts were held every three weeks and dealt with petty offences, property transfers, licences to brew, and much more. The record of court proceedings was written on parchment and literally rolled up, hence the name of these documents.These are precious pieces of social history and there is almost a complete run of them from 1327 until the nineteenth century. There is just one rather large stumbling block: Until the nineteenth century they were written in Medieval Latin, in handwriting which is very hard for us to decipher today.

There will be another book on the history of Worfield and the translation of the court rolls continues on a daily basis. Until they can be put into printed form, they will be put online at but other projects beckon as well. Accidents on the River Severn in the Nineteenth Century would follow on nicely from Accidents in Wolverhampton in the Nineteenth Century (published 2014) but I am also drawn to working on Wool Merchants in this area of East Shropshire and West Staffordshire in medieval times. No wonder the children and grandchildren sometimes feel neglected!”

Click HERE to buy your copy.

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