St John’s Church on the Hardwick Map

This is another look at the 1754 map of the Hardwick Manor in the parish of St John. This time we can see a small drawing of the church itself together with details of all the Manor lands nearby.


Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK)


The church of St John is shown by a little drawing in the middle of the picture. It is a fair portrait of the church, facing east with its tower at the west end. (Remember that ‘up’ on this map is west, not north.) At this time St John’s was a township independent of the City of Worcester.

Two large properties are also drawn as L-shaped buildings. To the left of the church is Mr Hopkins’ land. There is a well-known memorial in the church to the boy John Garmston Hopkins who died in 1871, very likely a member of the same family.

The building to the right of the church is said to be on “part of Mr Stillingfleet’s Farm.” Edward Stillingfleet had been Bishop of Worcester from 1689 to 1699, and his son James was Dean between 1726 and 1746. Was another family member still living here in 1754?

Land areas numbered from 13 to 18 are shown in this extract. The space marked 17 is shown to be Swan Pool approximately half an acre in size, in modern terms about a quarter the size of a football field, with a small island near one end of the Pool. The site is remembered today by the road named Swanpool Walk leading from the current Malvern Road to the supermarket.

Some roads have the same name as today and some are different. On the map Malvern Road is called Powick Road. Cotheridge Road is now Bromyard Road, but St Johns and Braunsford Road have kept their names until today. Land labelled as belonging to Bromwich Farm is now the site of Bromwich Road and Bromwich Lane. There is also a Boughton Avenue that runs today between Bromyard and Bransford Roads, commemorating Boughton Farm.


Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK)


This chart shows some of the land let out to Mr Moule. The Cherry Orchard and the Swan Pool are named, and some fields have barns in them. Number 19 The Sling is a long thin field, said to be named after the weapon of that shape.

The land is measured in the traditional units of Acres, Roods and Perches. The final total at the bottom of the list shows 82 Acres, 1 Rood and 28 Perches, which is just under 82½ Acres. There were four Roods to the Acre and forty Perches to the Rood. Those who remember yards, feet and inches may be interested to know that a perch is a 5½ yard square. The batting area of a cricket pitch is 4 perches. I can definitely see the advantage of square metres!

Tim O’Mara





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