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Bickenhill is an old Anglo Saxon settlement and its original name was Bichehelle (Bica’s Hill) named after the leader of the settlers. By 1086 it was owned by Edward the Confessor, and then by Turchil, also known as the Earl of Warwick who at that time was a major land owner. The village then had about sixty inhabitants. The descendants of Turchil, the Arden family, settled in the area and adopted the surname de Bickenhill, albeit under different spellings. The name developed into de Bickenhill in the 13th century.
In 1295, Alice de Langley gave herself the title Lady of Bickenhill. A manor then developed in Bickenhill and by the 15th century, there were two manors. The manors no longer existed by the end of the 16th century. By 1594 the Plague was in Bickenhill and during that year there were 24 burials; 1 in 12 of the population.
The area around the church was designated a conservation area in 1977 and most of older houses in the village are Georgian or Victorian. Several older farmhouses survive in the village, with later frontages but with fifteenth century beams remaining internally. The present Parish Church of St Peter dates from 1140 but little remains of that period.
Over the centuries many additions have been made, notably in around 1300 when the chancel was rebuilt, two lancer windows and a ‘leper’ window installed and a priest’s door inserted in its south wall. The church’s spire was struck by lightening in 1876 and rebuilt ten years later at a cost of £400. A huge sum of course in those days. Its most recent addition is the lighting on the tower to warn incoming aircraft of its presence.
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ST PETER'S CHURCH, BICKENHILL
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
SUMMER FAYRE 22ND JUNE 2019 at 2PM
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Post Code: B92 0DN - map produced from Streetmap.co.uk - copyright
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