Amenities and history
It had a population of 497 in 2001 and retains public amenities such as a bus route, public house, post office, primary school, local shop selling local produce, and church.
The remaining public house is called "The Queens Head", after Queen Elizabeth I who is supposed to have stopped there. According to local legend Elizabeth I was presented with a hat on her arrival in the village on the road from Pershore, (a nearby town). The slope upwards out of the village at that point is still known as 'Besscaps'.
The remains of a stone cross are still present in the centre of the village. Its age is unknown and a significant portion remains underground.
The church of St Mary dates from the end of the 11th century, the chancel shows herringbone pattern stonework in the external walls, the font has a 15th-century octagonal bowl on a 13th-century square base decorated with stone-carved serpents and dragons and the church was much added to in succeeding centuries. It contains grand monuments to Thomas, 1st Earl of Coventry and 17th century effigies of members of the Savage family. The decline in local Christian worshippers has led to a reduced service schedule at the church.
The ruins of an important Norman and mediæval castle, from which the village derives its name, are located in the deer park, just over half a mile south on Bredon Hill. The castle is supposed to have been built for Robert Despenser in the years following the Norman Conquest. After his death (post 1098) it descended to his heirs, the powerful Beauchamp family. It remained their chief seat until William de Beauchamp inherited the earldom and castle of Warwick from his maternal uncle, William Maudit, 8th Earl of Warwick, in 1268. Thereafter, Elmley Castle remained a secondary property of the Earls of Warwick until it was surrendered to the Crown in 1487. In 1528 the castle seems to have been still habitable, for Walter Walshe was then appointed constable and keeper, and ten years later Urian Brereton succeeded to the office. In 1544, however, prior to the grant to Christopher Savage (d.1545), who had been an Esquire of the Body of King Henry VIII, a survey was made of the manor and castle of Elmley, and it was found that the castle, strongly situated upon a hill surrounded by a ditch and wall, was completely uncovered and in decay.
- Butler,A.T., Windsor Herald, editor, The Visitation of Worcestershire 1634,London, 1938, p.87.
- Page, W. ed. (1913). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Worcester, Vol. III, pp. 338–46.
- Leland, John (Hearne, T. ed.). (1745). The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Elmley Castle)
- Parish Website
- Village Hall Website
- Elmley Castle CofE First School Website
- Victoria County History text online
- 2001 census results
- Castle ruins (accessed July 2006)
- St Mary the Virgin church
- British History Online on Elmley Castle
- Old photos circa 1955
- Village Community Website
- photos of Elmley Castle and surrounding area on geograph