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Great Witley

Great Witley is a village and civil parish (with Hillhampton), in the Malvern Hills District in the northwest of the county of Worcestershire, England. It is situated around ten miles to the north west of the city of Worcester.There has been a settlement in the area since before the Norman Conquest.Great Witley was in the lower division of Doddingtree Hundred.Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 Great Witley Parish ceased to be responsible for maintaining the poor in its parish. This responsibility was transferred to Martley Poor Law Union.The village is home to Witley Court, a Jacobean country house extended on a number of occasions throughout its history, but which became derelict after a spectacular fire in 1937. The mansion, formerly one of the finest in the Midlands, is now in the care of English Heritage, who describe it as their number one ruin. They have restored the extensive gardens leaving the impressive skeletal ruin of the building overlooking them in a poignant and thought provoking way.Nearby is Woodbury Hill commanding extensive views south to the Malvern Hills and over the River Teme valley to the west. On the summit is an Iron Age hillfort. Owain Glyndŵr's army of Welsh and French camped here for eight days in the summer of 1405 facing an army of King Henry IV at Abberley Hill. Skirmishes took place but neither large force initiated full-scale battle and the Welsh withdrew under nightfall back to Wales. The location was also used as a meeting place during the English Civil War by Clubmen from the local farms and cottages.
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