Park Attwood, Worcestershire
She was immensely impressed by the ambience of the place, and the excellent multi-facetted healthcare offered, which included organic food grown on the Steiner farm nearby.
Last month it occurred to her that there might be a connection with the family of Thomas Attwood. Knowing that many people visit the site for articles with an historical content, she looked further afield. These findings are taken from several sources (listed at the end of this post), including:
Dr Nash (1724-1811), in his History of Worcester, says the Attwoods of Wolverley were the most ancient family in the county. The arms of the Attwoods are the same as those of the French De Bois, seen in Southwick Church. One of the family founded the Chantry of Trimpley, a berewick of Kidderminster in 1086 – “a ‘barley village’ detached portion of farmland that belonged to a medieval manor and was reserved for the lord’s own use”. At North Wood, Trimpley, a house with land was acquired by the Prior of Great Malvern about 1318 and a licence was granted in 1362 to John Attwood of Wolverley, the King’s yeoman, to enclose 600 acres in his demesne lands at Kidderminster and Wolverley.
The Legend of Attwood the Crusader. In “Rambles in Worcestershire”, Noakes, relates that Wolverley Court belonged to one of the Attwoods who went out as a Crusader. He was taken by the Saracens and kept so long in a dungeon that his lady at home, supposing him to be dead, was about to marry again, when the Knight, having made a vow to the Virgin to present a large portion of his lands to the Church of Worcester, was supernaturally liberated from his cell, whisked through the air, and deposited near his old home, now called Park Attwood, when, of course, he lost no time in forbidding the banns. The prisoner’s fetters are still preserved in the Court, as also the sculptured figure of the warrior which formerly lay in the old Church.
Land at Trimpley remained in the Attwood family until the end of the 16th century. In 1661 John Attwood had rights in a considerable estate in Wolverley and Park Attwood and was held by the Attwood family until the greater part was purchased about 1797 by Henry Chillingworth of Holt Castle. Thomas Hessin Charles, barrister-at-law, purchased the manor and lands of Park Attwood in 1912.
In 1938 the estate was sold and Park Attwood House became a hotel. A Planning inspectorate’s report said that Park Attwood had been requisitioned during the Second World War and a regiment of the Royal Corps of Signals was billeted there. The route to it was closed off and Kathleen Robinson remembers that the soldiers manned a searchlight station based in the Park Attwood – by then in use as a hotel.
In the Kidderminster Parish News 2010, we read that farmer Jack Powick bought Park Attwood from the ministry after the war. It took ten years to renovate it to become a renowned country club. Later, Park Attwood and its seven acres of peaceful gardens were sold and the house and grounds were renamed Park Attwood Clinic, an anthroposophical residential and out-patient facility.
He had been an anthroposophical physician for nearly 30 years, developing a special interest in the fields of mental health and child development and continued to practice there until 2003.
The latest news:
A Planning Inspectorate decision in 2011 upgraded the approach to the house, which had been a restricted byway. During the war, powers were available to the Secretary of State for Defence to permanently or temporarily stop public rights of way but there was no evidence of any such orders relating to this land. The Parish Council presented user evidence to show that the route had been used by people on horseback. It was recorded that in the late 1970s and the 1990s the users, and the Parish Council, believed that this was a public bridleway and there seems to have been no effective challenge to this view.
In 2005, Park Attwood Steiner Centre closed and the house became a centre for neurorehabilitation.
- British History Online: University of London & History of Parliament Trust
- “The Attwood Family, With Historic notes & pedigrees” By John Robinson. The book was published for private circulation in 1903,there are copies at the Birmingham Public library