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Worcestershire, Gloucestershire
Blockley - - 47112.jpg
Blockley village including Saints' Peter and Paul Church
Grid reference: SP1634
Location: 52°-0’58"N, 1°45’36"W
Population: 2,041  (2011[1])
Post town: Moreton-in-Marsh
Postcode: GL56
Dialling code: 01386
Local Government
Council: Cotswold

Blockley is a village and parish forming a detached part of Worcestershire, locally situate in Gloucestershire, about three miles north-west of Moreton-in-Marsh. The civil parish includes the hamlets of Draycott, Paxford and Aston Magna, and the deserted hamlets of Northwick and Upper Ditchford.

Blockley village is on Blockley Brook, a tributary of Knee Brook. Knee Brook forms the northeastern boundary of the parish and is a tributary of the River Stour.


In AD 855 King Burgred of Mercia granted a monastery at Blockley to Ealhhun, Bishop of Worcester for the price of 300 solidi.[2] In 1086 the Domesday Book recorded that the Bishop of Worcester held an estate of 38 hides at Blockley.[2] The Bishops of Worcester retained the estate until 1648, during the Civil War, when the Parliamentary Trustees sold it.[2] After the restoration of the monarchy the estate was restored to the Bishop of Worcester, whose successors held the manor until at least 1781.[2]


The Church of England parish church of St Peter and St Paul is late Norman,[3] built in about 1180.[2] The chancel is of three bays[3] but only one of the six Norman lancet windows, that at the east end of the north wall, survives unaltered.[2] At the end of the 13th century a two-storey extension was added on the north side of the chancel.[4] The upper floor is a chantry chapel [5] and the lower is a vestry.[2] In about 1310 the east window of the chancel was inserted and at least two of the windows in the south wall of the chancel were enlarged in the Decorated Gothic style.[2] At the end of the 14th century the north aisle was added, linked with the nave by an arcade of four bays.[2] The large Perpendicular Gothic window in the middle of the south wall of the chancel was inserted in the 15th century, replacing the Norman original.[2]

The south porch was added in 1630, the clerestorey was added to the nave in 1636 and the north arcade was probably rebuilt in the same century.[4] The bell tower was built in 1725, probably replacing an earlier one.[2] The west gallery was inserted in 1735.[2] The church was restored and the north porch added in 1871.[2] By 1854 the tower had a ring of six bells, of which the two oldest were cast in 1638 and the remainder in 1679, 1683, 1729 and 1854.[2] Since then the bells have been increased to a ring of eight.[6] The parish is now part of a single benefice with the parishes of Bourton-on-the-Hill and Paxford.[7]

The Baptist Chapel was built in 1835.[8]

Economic and social history

In 1715 the Vicar, the Rev. Dr Erasmus Sanders, had a new school built for the parish.[2] Blockley still has a Church of England primary school.[9]

Much of the parish was farmed under an open field system until 1772, when an Act of Parliament provided for the enclosure of the remaining common lands.[2]

Blockley railway station in 1962

The Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, built between 1845 and 1851, passes through the parish. Blockley railway station was more than a mile and a half north-east of the village and nearer to Paxford. British Railways closed Blockley railway station in 1966 but the railway remains open as part of the Cotswold Line. The nearest railway station still open is at Moreton-in-Marsh.

Blockley is home to Watsonian Squire, the largest UK manufacturer of sidecars and trailers for motorbikes. It has been based in the village since 1984.[10]


Blockley has two public houses: The Crown Inn and Hotel, a former coaching inn[11] and The Great Western Arms belonging to the Hook Norton Brewery.[12]



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