Parish History

The Parish of South Littleton is located midway between Evesham and Bidford on Avon. It is the largest of the 3 Littletons, the other 2 being North Littleton and Middle Littleton. It has some 1100 inhabitants and stretches from Newtown in the West almost as far as Buckle Street, or Ryknild Street, in the East, a distance of nearly 3 miles.

Among the amenities in the village are an Anglican Church a Quaker Chapel and The Littletons C E First School. There is also a large Recreation Ground which is home to a Children’s Play area, Littleton Bowling Club which has one of the best Bowling Greens in the County and the Tennis Club which boasts 4 state of the art hard courts with a very wide membership from throughout the vale. The headquarters of 1st Littleton Scouts is also on the Rec. There are allotments in Blacksmiths Lane consisting of 22 plots all of which are being worked whilst along Shinehill Lane towards Honeybourne there is a large and popular Riding School and Stables.

On the commercial front there are 4 small industrial estates and in the middle of the village in Main Street there is also a thriving Village General Store which includes a Post office next door to the Fish & Chip Shop. Long Lartin maximum security prison is situated 2 miles from the village centre in the east of the parish.

Human activity in this area dates from the Neolithic times but the first settlements were probably Romano-British. The Roman Roads have been accredited; the more important of these is Ryknild Street but another ran along the ridge above the Avon before turning east to join Ryknild Street. Three other settlements of Romano-British origin were at Ullington, Blakes Hill and Littleton Pastures and were probably occupied until the end of the 4th century.

After the Romans departed it seems that the area was abandoned. In the Domesday Book, however the Littletons are mentioned twice. "Littletune", which seems to be North Littleton, had 18 inhabitants farming land owned by Evesham Abbey. St Nicholas Church in Middle Littleton is probably of 12th century origin but was rebuilt in the 13th. The Tithe Barn in Middle, now the property of the National Trust dates from the early 14th century and is a truly magnificent farm building.

During the Middle Ages most of the dwelling houses would have been of simple construction and have not survived. The most impressive of the surviving houses in South Littleton is Hathaway House, now known as the Manor House, the Eastern part of which dates from c1588. It was extended between 1691 and 1697 for Francis Taylor, who was agent to the Earls of Coventry. It is reputed to be the largest brick dwelling in the Vale having been built with some 30,000 locally made bricks.

Village Pictures

Old PO
Manor House
Bridge at Farm Lane