History – a taster

It would take many pages to tell even a fraction of the fascinating story of our villages, their people and buildings.  This site will aim to give you just a little taste of the past, and how it can still be seen all around us…………..

DEERHURST –  Saxon “Deorhyrst”, Doomsday Book “Derherste ” –  meaning a wood frequented by deer
APPERLEY  –  Old English “Apuldor-leah”  –  meaning apple tree wood

There have been finds of Roman remains at various places in the parish, including in the area around Deerhurst Church.  It is thought some finds may be linked to a military site and some to  a villa somewhere in the vicinity. 

Odda’s Chapel

At Deerhurst,  records show the existence of a monastery in the 9th Century and it is thought it may have been founded as early as 700AD.  It became a Benedictine priory and then a cell first of the Abbey of St. Denis, Paris, and later of Tewkesbury Abbey.  You  can find out more about the history of Deerhurst Church on this website or by visiting www.deerhurstfriends.co.uk
King Cnut  –  Deerhurst played an important role in 1016 when King Cnut of Denmark and King Edmund Ironside met at the Naight, made peace and divided England between them.
Odda’s Chapel (English Heritage) in Deerhurst is a Saxon  building which lay undiscovered for centuries, its walls hidden amidst the rambling rooms of the 17th century farmhouse  Abbot’s Court. It was discovered in 1885 by the local vicar Revd George Butterworth.  The chapel was built by Earl Odda (one of the most important men in England during the reign of Edward the Confessor)  for the soul of his brother Aelfric in honour of the Holy Trinity and it was dedicated in 1056.  Fore more information visit the English Heritage page for Odda’s Chapel.

The Manor of Deerhurst (also known as Plaistow) was owned at various times by Westminster Abbey, the Abbey of St. Denis in Paris, Eton College and Tewkesbury Abbey.  It belonged to the Earls of Coventry for over 350 years, and the Earl’s oldest son is still given the title “Viscount Deerhurst”.
The first reference to Apperley Manor was in 1212.  The Manor descended through the Bridges and Throckmorton families.  In 1816 a farm called Apperley Court and its estate was bought by the Misses Juliana and Charlotte Strickland from Yorkshire. 

The Stricklands bought up lands and properties in the area during the 19th Century so that by 1900 their estate had reached 1000 acres.  The family were typically Victorian in their philanthropy, supporting local charities, schools, almshouses and churches.  You can see a memorial to the Strickland family in Deerhurst Church.  Their crest contains a turkey because an ancestor is said to have sailed to America with John Cabot and on his return imported the furst turkeys into England.

For a little more Apperley & Deerhurst history see our pages on local trades & industries and on a few prominent local people.

If you would like to read about the infamous Deerhurst Dragon look on the page about Deerhurst Walton.


This book details the lives and deaths of the men named on the village war memorial, and many others from these small villages on the banks of   the Severn who served with the British armed forces 1914 – 18. It also provides   a general history of the first world war, along with maps, photos and extensive bibliographical notes. The story of these men is incorporated in a more general   social and military history of the period.
The book is available to purchase through Amazon UK :

Click on the link for information about historical research into the town of Tewkesbury and district and to find out about meetings of Tewkesbury Historical Society.

For lots of interesting information on the history and heritage of Deerhurst Parish visit www.apperleydeerhurstheritagealive.weebly.com