Shelsley means "clearing on a slope" from Old English scelf "shelf (of land)" and leāh "wood, clearing". The name was recorded as Scillislege in 948.

Charles Nott, the Parson of Shelsley, was a leader of the Clubmen who in 1645 drew up the Woodbury Declaration, which listed the grievances that local people had at the behaviour of Royalist forces in the area.

Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 the Shelsleys Parish ceased to be responsible for maintaining the poor in its parish. This responsibility was transferred to Martley Poor Law Union.

Shelsley Beauchamp is where Oliver Cromwell stood on the ridge at Pudford and shelled Homme Castle, (today a farm house), and it's said that canon balls have been found in the river. Nearby is a round motte which could be pre-Roman, but there is little left of the old castle.

The Church of All Saints is probably 14th century, although only the original tower now remains. The bells, cast by John Rudhall of Gloucester were brought to Shelsley Beauchamp by way of the river. In 1405, with the help of France, the Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyndwr invaded England. He met the English forces few miles north of Worcester. In Shelsley Beauchamp the two armies faced each other; the English on Abberley Hill and the combined Welsh/French forces on Woodbury Hill.


abberley hills 01


The armies never engaged in battle, but a few small skirmishes took place and the stand-off lasted eight days before Glyndwr retreated, put off by the continuous rain. With their supply routes blocked, the Welsh began to starve. Henry stood down his army and the Welsh headed home.


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