Suckley's history

A good introduction to the history of Suckley can be found in the Victoria County History.

The King's Manor of Suckley in Worcestershire written by Phyllis Williams in 1979 provides a comprehensive guide to Norman and Medieval Suckley.

More recently, Marnie Caine has worked on Suckley's history. You can read about some of her research into the 1840 tythe map here. Suckley's local history group is now active in gathering further information - watch for details of events.

The White House, Suckley. Photo: Keith Bramich, December 2000

Information about the history of the White House in Suckley appears in Julia Ionides' recent book Thomas Farnolls Pritchard of Shrewsbury - Architect and 'Inventor of Cast Iron Bridges' :

'The White House at Suckley, close to Gaines, had come into the possession of Thomas Freeman in 1742 and his family lived there for a further six generations. When Freeman's father died in 1764 he started to spend money on the building. Thomas's older sister, Betty, was married to Bartholomew Barnaby of Brockhampton so Pritchard, who worked at both Gaines and Brockhampton, would have been the obvious choice as architect for the work.

'The White House is a tall, three-storey house dating from the time of Queen Anne. The first thing that catches the eye is a particularly fine hood over the front door with a plasterwork Rococo cartouche and sprays of flowers; another, less ornate one, is over the garden entrance at the back of the house.

'The house contains several stylistic indications of Pritchard's involvement: the plasterwork over the fireplace in the dining room is so similar to plasterwork at Gaines that it would appear to be by Joseph Bromfield. The rather shallow arches beside the staircase are echoed at the Broad Gate House, Ludlow. There the modernisation seemed to have stopped and many interesting features from an earlier era were fortunately allowed to remain.'

The above is an extract from 'Thomas Farnolls Pritchard of Shrewsbury - Architect and "Inventor of Cast Iron Bridges"' by Julia Ionides, 1999, Dog Rose Press, Ludlow, England, reproduced here with the permission of the author and the publishers. For further information about this book, please contact The Dog Rose Press



Suchelei, Suchelie (xi cent.); Sugeleg, Succhelega, Succhel, Suckeleia, Sukkel (xii cent.); Sockleye, Sucley (xiv cent.); Sykeley (xv cent).

Suckley, with its former chapelries of Lulsley and Alfrick, is an extensive agricultural parish with a station * on the Bromyard branch of the Great Western railway. It lies at the northern extremity of the Malvern Hills, here known as the Suckley Hills, 500 ft. above the ordnance datum. To the south of Old Storridge Hill, at the Beck, a height of 600 ft. is reached. In the north the land falls to the valley of the Teme, which forms the northern boundary. The parish is also watered by Leigh Brook and its tributaries. Its total area is 5,183 acres, of which 1,648 are in Alfrick and 843 in Lulsley.

The soil is chiefly loam and clay, the subsoil in Lulsley and Alfrick is Keuper Marl, and in the west of Suckley Old Red Sandstone; on the Suckley and Storridge Hills there are outcrops of the Ludlow, Wenlock and Llandovery Beds. The chief crops are wheat, beans, peas and fruit, and there are about 250 acres of hop plantation.

No main road passes through Suckley, the principal roads being one from Knightsford Bridge to Cradley, which intersects the parish from north to south, and another from Bromyard to Leigh. Suckley village lies on the former road. It contains the church of St. John Baptist, the rectory # and school, and Lower Court, now a farm house, but formerly a manor belonging to the Coke family.

The above is an extract from Victoria County History, Worcestershire, volume 4, p. 354, reproduced by permission of the General Editor. The article contains a good deal about the past of Suckley, as well as about its early 20th century present.

Note *: Suckley Station was in Knightwick parish. The Bromyard branch line has since closed down.

Note #: The Rectory is now called The Old Rectory because Suckley now shares a rector with the neighbouring villages of Alfrick, Lulsley, Leigh and Bransford. The five villages form a benefice with a rectory at Leigh.

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