Alvechurch is a civil parish of Bromsgrove district, in the northeast of the county of Worcestershire. Lying in the valley of the River Arrow, the nearest city is Birmingham, 11miles to the north, with the closest towns being Redditch, 5miles to the south and Bromsgrove, 6miles to the west.
Alvechurch means The Church of the Lady Aelfgiva, possibly a relative of King Althelstan. King Offa gave the land forming the parish to the local church in the late 8th century. The parish is mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the 13th century the Bishop of Worcester built a palace and created a Deer Park in the village, during this period a weekly market and an annual fair was established. The Bishop’s Palace was pulled down in the 17th century, the only remnants being part of the moat and a yew tree which formerly stood in the palace grounds.
Half the population died of the Black Death in the 14th century and local tradition has it that the bodies are buried on the outskirts of the village in Pestilence Lane.
From the 19th century to the mid twentieth century there was a brick factory in the hamlet of Withybed on the edge of the village; other local industries included nail and needle making. Dellow cars were made in Alvechurch between 1949 and 1956.
The village has a number of medieval half-timbered buildings, as well as a plethora of Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian buildings, many being listed.
The church of St Lawrence dates back to 1239. It is situated on high ground and was probably the site of an earlier Mercian church, although nothing remains of the earlier wooden buildings. There are also many newer residential buildings with a primary and secondary school and a range of local amenities, including a number of roadside and canal side popular pubs.
The M42 motorway runs across the north side of the village; the nearest junction is north of the village at Hopwood junction2.
Alvechurch Railway Station was built in 1859 and is a cross-city line. It serves local trains to Birmingham, Lichfield and Redditch.
The village is accessible by Narrow boat along a rural canal. Alvechurch Marina is on the Birmingham and Worcester Canal (built 1789) is just across a hedgerow from the station.
The A441 passes through the village but now a relief road by-passes the village, helping to reduce traffic and pollution.
ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND ALVECHURCH
Alvechurch Riding School, Seecham Equestrian Riding Centre, Beoley Equestrian Centre
Alvechurch Fishery, Alcott Farm Fishery, Lower Park Fisheries
Alvechurch Morris Men
Alvechurch Dramatic Society
Alvechurch Village Society
Barnt Green Sailing Club
Hopwood Garden Centre
SPORT IN AND AROUND ALVECHURCH
Alvechurch Football Club
Alvechurch & Hopwood Cricket Club, Barnt Green Cricket Club
Five Ways Old Edwardians Rugby Club, Kings Norton Rugby Club
Kings Norton Golf Club, Blackwell Golf Club
FAMOUS VILLAGE PEOPLE
Fay Weldon – Author of (The Life and Loves of a She-Devil)
Godfrey Baseley – Creator of (The Archers)
Lord Digby Jones – Lived in the village, his parents owned a shop in the village
Rockin’ Berries – The 1960’s pop group practised in the village hall
Ian Williams – National Hunt & Flat Race Horse Trainer (Dominion Racing Stables)
Mary Stewart (Baroness Stewart of Alvechurch) – Life Peer, Politician & Educator
J R R Tolkien – Author of (Lord of the Rings) Alvechurch inspired scenes in his books