The Victoria history of the county of Worcester, England


In the preparation of this first volume of the Victoria History of Worcestershire the editors have had to contend against many difficulties. In the field of Natural History with which this volume is largely concerned the workers have been comparatively few, and their energies have been directed mostly in certain channels. While the popular orders of the flora and fauna have attracted a good deal of attention, those that are less interesting to the collector have been almost entirely unexplored. It has therefore been extremely difficult to preserve anything like a proper balance in the parts which go to make up the first section of this volume.

In the department of Archaeology also Worcestershire has been less fortunate than many other parts of the country. The absence of any very striking archaeological features such as would attract antiquaries from far and near has perhaps led to a greater neglect of its earliest history than the county deserves. There is every reason to believe that systematic excavation would reveal much of interest in the pre-Norman period of the county's history. But without an extensive use of the spade the early story of Worcestershire must remain scanty and conjectural.

With the Domesday Survey of 1086 we enter upon the period of written history, in which the county possesses many features of exceptional interest and importance. And here the editors venture to claim for this work a distinct advance on anything that has been done hitherto. With the exception of a translation and of the facsimile reproductions of the historian Nash and of the Ordnance Survey Office, the Worcester- shire section of Domesday Book has received no serious attention. It is doubtful indeed whether a purely local student would be well equipped for an adequate study of the Survey, which, to be understood, must be dealt with as a whole. The editors consider themselves fortunate therefore in having secured the services of Mr. J. Horace Round, who has made the great national document a life-study.

In the General Advertisement will be found a description of the aim and scope of this work. The succeeding three volumes, although containing certain general articles, will be mainly devoted to the history of the parishes and manors of the county. A detailed consideration of the work of past historians in this department, and of the methods and achievement of the present undertaking, will more suitably find a place in those volumes.


Table of Contents

Dedication v
The Advisory Council of the Victoria History vii
General Advertisement vii
The Worcestershire County Committee xiii
Contents xv
List of Illustrations xvii
Preface xix
Natural History

Geology 1
Palaeontology 27
Botany 33
Phanerogamia (Flowering plants) 45
Musci (Mosses) 62
Hepaticas (Liverworts) 66
Lichenes (Lichens) 67
Algae 69
Fungi 79
Climate 77
Mollusca (Snails, etc.) 81
Insecta (Insects) 83
Introduction to Insecta 83
Neuroptera (Dragonflies) 84
Trichoptera (Caddis-flies) 85
Hymenoptera, Aculeata (Bees) 86
Hymenoptera, Phytophaga (Sawflies, etc.) 90
Hymenoptera, Entomophaga 93
Coleoptera (Beetles) 96
Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) 100
Arachnida (Spiders) 125
Crustacea (Crabs, etc.) 126
Pisces (Fishes) 131
Reptilia (Reptiles) and Batrachia (Batrachians) 137
Aves (Birds) 139
Mammalia (Mammals) 171
Early Man 179
Romano-British Remains 199
Anglo-Saxon Remains 223
Introduction to the Worcestershire Domesday 235
The Text of the Worcestershire Domesday 282
Some Early Worcestershire Surveys 324
Index to the Domesday Survey 332


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The records of the ancient history of the earth are written in the various clays, sandstones, limestones, and other stony materials of which its solid surface is composed. These are classified for convenience into larger and smaller groups, according to their order of position, and the fossilized remains of plants and animals which they contain. Each group may comprise strata of very diverse mineral character, but the larger divisions mark the chief life epochs of which records more or less complete are preserved in all parts of the world, while the smaller groups indicate the more local conditions of natural history. Thus we refer to the Silurian period as one of the great epochs of geological history, and to the Woolhope Limestone or Ledbury Shales as one of the more or less local conditions in that great epoch.