About Fernhill Heath
Fernhill Heath is located on the A38 main road on the north-side of the City of Worcester beginning at the A 449 Northern Link road bridge crossing the A38 on Rose Bank to Hindlip Lodge and is approximately 3 miles north of Worcester and 3 miles south of Droitwich. The population of Fernhill Heath is around 3,300 people.
The current parish was created in 1885 when the previous Parish of Claines was divided in two and covers around 3403 acres (5.3 sq miles) The Southern half of the old Parish was added to Worcester City under the Worcester Extension Act. Hamlets within the Parish include Bevere, Lower Town and Hawford.
History of the name Fernhill Heath – according to the book “A history of Fernhill Heath by G Lawley.
It wasn’t until a workhouse opened on the Droitwich Road just outside Worcester in 1813 that Vernal Heath, as it was then, began to develop. Within 30 years there were 90 houses alongside or behind the road through “Fearnhall Heath”. By 1900 the number had grown to nearly 200. Every decade since the 1920s new houses have been built and now there are well over 1,000 with a population approaching 5,000.
The present spelling of Fernhill Heath was adopted in 1938, when it was changed from Fearnhall Heath. There are two suggestions for this change;
- In 1852 the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton line opened and all trains to Worcester halted at Fearnhall Heath station for tickets to be checked. Sometimes this took a while and local people began calling the village “Infearnal Heath”. To stop this the name was tided up to Fernhill Heath and the railway company, which by then had become the Great Western, was persuaded to adopt it.
- The second suggestion is that the 1st Lady Hindlip, from the family of Hindlip Hall fame, disliked Fearnhall Heath and that’s why it was changed. Lord Hindlip, incidentally, was Henry Allsopp, a Derbyshire brewer before finding favour with Queen Victoria and gaining his title for services to his country, which included a spell
- as East Worcestershire MP.
In 1956 there was an interesting twist to the saga, when a member of North Claines parish council, which covers the village, proposed the name revert to the 18th century “Vernal Heath”. Pointing out, quite logically, “Fernhill Heath hasn’t got a hill and there isn’t any fern and there is something attractive about Vernal. Fernhill Heath is merely a postal address.” However, the proposal was withdrawn and so Fernhill Heath it has remained.