Broadway in 1855

Billing’s Directory and Gazetteer of 1855 describes the village of Broadway, Worcestershire, as follows:

Broadway is a very large village and parish, situate about 6 miles S.E. from Evesham, in the Upper Division of the Hundreds of Pershore. The village is about a mile in length, and the houses built principally of stone. During the good old coaching days, Broadway was a place of considerable note, having been one of the “stages” on the road from Oxford to London1, but since the introduction of the “rail” into the country it has lost much of its briskness, and has settled down in to a very quiet place, many of the chief inns being closed. The population in 1851 was 1629 inhabitants, being 58 less than in 1841.

The Church, dedicated to St Eadburgha, is an antiquated stone building, with square turreted tower, standing nearly in the centre. This building is only used in the summer months, it being a considerable distance from the village, and a new modern edifice2 has been erected, at the bottom end of the village, of a modern and chaste design. Rev. Samuel Franklin, Vicar; Mr David Brown, Organist; Mr John Tustin3, Clerk. Service 11am and 3pm.

The Congregational Chapel is a neat stone erection, in the centre of the village, built in 1843. Rev. William Pike, Minister. Service 10.30am and 3pm.

The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is a small building, also situate in the centre of the village. No stated Minister. Service 11am and 3pm alternately.

On the left of the village, and a short distance from the main road, is a Catholic Chapel4, of a most unique and chaste design, adjoining which is a Monastery of Retreat, occupied by a certain number of devotees belonging to the Catholic persuasion. The edifice is erected in a similar style to the chapel, and possesses many architectural beauties in perfect unison with that building. Rev. John Bernard, Father of the Retreat.

There is a Free School, endowed in 1686 by Mr Thomas Hedges, for the education of twenty poor boys. Mr William Davis, Master.

The National School for boys and girls, is supported by contributions and the children’s payments. Sarah Ann Hegecock, Mistress. Average number of scholars – boys, 15; girls 25.

There is a School attached to the Catholic Chapel, wherein children are instructed by inmates of the Retreat.

The Police Station is at the top of the village. Richard Ball, Sergeant.

Post Office – Mr William Davis, Sub-Postmaster. Arrival 9am; despatch Worcester and the North 5.45pm; London 5pm.

Coach– Cheltenham, Stephens, Tues, Thurs, and Sat 8am.

Carriers – Cheltenham, Vizzard5 from own house, Thurs and Sat 7.30am. Evesham, Clarke6 from own house, Mon 9.40am. Stratford-on-Avon, Vizzard from own house, Fri 7.30am.

Notes:
1. On Monday 16th September 2019, David Ella will be giving an illustrated talk entitled ‘On the Way to London, old routes across the North Cotswolds and Vale of Evesham’ in the Lifford Memorial Hall starting at 7pm. All welcome.
2. St Michael and All Angels’ Church
3. John Tustin, Parish Clerk, farmer and Registrar of Births and Deaths, his son John was the village boot and shoe maker.
4. St Saviour’s, Leamington Road (previously known as Willersey Road).
5. Reuben Vizzard, carrier and shopkeeper.
6. Thomas Clarke, carrier and farmer.

Source:
1855 Billing’s Directory and Gazetteer

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

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