A Brief History of Ombersley, Worcestershire
The first recorded mention of the village was in 706 AD as 'Ambreslege' which is thought
to mean a clearing in the forest where buntings nest, but it was probably inhabited long before
that. Originally the land at Ombersley was one of the many manors belonging to Evesham Abbey.
The Parish also gave its name to an ancient forest which had originally formed part of the great forest of Wyre and the settlement grew in importance until it was large enough to need its own prison by 1203.
The forest was grubbed up in 1229 under a charter of Henry III to make way for agriculture.
The village has always been at an important crossroads.
Originally the roads were only packhorse routes which were used to take goods to the most important transport routes of the time which was the River Severn.
The salt produced in Droitwich was a very important commodity and so the packhorses took it to
the river at Holt to be transported deep into Wales.
The iron and stone bridge at Holt Fleet which spans the River Severn was only constructed in
Many of the buildings in the core of the village are of 16th to 18th Century date. The village
saw quite a bit of action during the civil war era. Its crops and livestock looted and alehouses
drunk dry by the Scottish Army(then supporting Cromwell and Parliment) as it passed through in 1645
on its way to Herefordshire.
One of the oldest houses in Ombersley
Six years later in August 1651, Ombersley was again the scene of a skirmish in the 'High Street'
as the Worcestershire Militia tried to slow down the advance of the Scottish Army(who now
supported King Charles II) in order to buy time for the people of Worcester to prepare their
defences, in the event, the people of Worcester decided to surrender, leading to the final battle
of Worcester on 3rd September 1651.
The Sandys family first became involved with the village when Edwin Sandys was chosen as the
new Bishop of Worcester in 1559 and took the lease of Ombersley Manor as an additional home
to the Bishops Palace at Hartlebury.
Their Loyalty to King Charles II duirng the civil war era is commemorated in the name of the
Crown & Sandys Hotel.
Lady Sandys and the parish raised funds to build a new church of St Andrews in 1825.
The Chancel of the original medieval church is still in the Church yard and is used as a mausoleum
for the Sandys family.