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Guarlford History Group

The Guarlford Story

Early Chapels

Early places of worship in the Guarlford area were centred on the chapelries of Clevelode and Baldenhall. During the twelfth century, the monks of Malvern Priory cleared and colonized lands given by the Abbey at Westminster and eventually built chapels to serve the communities that had grown up on these lands. One such was Clevelode Chapel, which is believed to have been built before 1250. By 1560, it had fallen into disuse, and by 1674 it had been completely demolished. Some large stones from the chapel are still to be found on Chapel Hill, which lies to the north of Clevelode, outside the current parish boundary. Another chapel was St Leonard's, which was at the centre of what was the settlement of Baldenhall (where Hall Green is now). This chapel was certainly there in 1217, and it appears to have been served by the monks from Malvern Priory; but by the end of the thirteenth century it had its own priest who was paid four pounds per annum from the small tithes of Baldenhall. Like the chapel at Clevelode, it fell into disuse and decay and was demolished between 1558 and 1568. There is also record of a tithe barn by the 'Friars Elm', which was in what is now Hall Green. This barn was used to store produce from the Priory's demesne farms, such as Guarlford Court, and the tithe proceeds from the parish. It was from this barn in 1744 that the overseers of the poor distributed a bread charity. The barn still stood within living memory, but few traces now remain . . .