In the last issue were detailed three local sites where the only indication of former manor houses were the moats which once surrounded them. Now to look at another 3 sites where the houses have gone but no moats mark their former glory.
In Norman times Ralph Botiller built himself a castle for his manor of Oversley but it is very likely that this was a wooden construction; it was situated on a slight knoll between the River Arrow and the Roman road from Oversley to Wixford (0.S. Ref. SP 085 558). Probably the castle did not last very long, for the Botillers had estates elsewhere and after Ralf, Oversley was not their main seat. Close by is the site of Oversley Court, the manor house which undoubtedly replaced the castle. There is nothing there now, though not so long ago a barn marked the spot. Pottery keeps appearing on this site, Aerial photographs show up well the gardens which belonged to the Court. Until 1919 the manor, including the Court, was in possession of the Throckmortons.
Although quite close to Wixford, the site is actually in the parish of Salford Priors. The 0.S. reference is SP 084 540. Our only reference to Pophills as a manor is in 1591; it first bel onged to the Conways,then to a family called Rawlins. The house was destroyed in 1848, it is said because it was haunted. There are some farm buildings, timber framed, in a very sad condition close by the site. Local lore has it that Beauchamp Court farmhouse and Lloyds Bank, both in Alcester, incorporate parts of Pophills manor house.
There are only some of the old farm buildings left here now; but they are of interest, for they are constructed from Tudor bricks and it would be very sad indeed if they were allowed to disintegrate. Becketts run their hen farm here now and modern battery buildings have taken the place of the manor house. It was originally part of the demesne of Studley Priory and later was owned by William Sheldon of Beoley. The Jaffrays were lords of the manor of Lower Skilts in the 19th century and the house continued well into the 20th century. The 0.S. reference is SP 098 670.
Manor Houses of the Area Part 1
Alcester & District Local History Society
Summer 1985 Index