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Tardebigge is a village in Worcestershire, Englandmarker.

The village is most famous for the Tardebigge Locksmarker, a flight of 30 canal locks that raise the Worcester and Birmingham Canalmarker over 220 feet (67 metres) over the Lickey Ridgemarker. It lies in the historic county of Worcestershire.


The etymology of the name is uncertain. Several theories exist on the origins, but they remain largely disputed. One such theory suggests that the name Tardebigge means ‘tower on the hill’.


Tardebigge was once a much greater township, which included much of Redditch, including the modern day town-centre. Its name was recorded twice in a will as Anglo-Saxon æt Tærdebicgan.

Records of the parish begin in the late 10th century. Tardebigge was bought by the Dean of Worcestermarker for his Church from King Ethelred the Unready. In the later Dark Ages there were battles fought between Ethelred's son Edmund Ironside and the Cnut the Dane.

The name Tærdebicga (whose dative case is Tærdebicgan) does not appear to have any likely meaning in Anglo-Saxon or Celtic or any other likely known language, and may be a stray survival from whatever aboriginal (perhaps Pre-Indo-European) language was spoken in Englandmarker before the Celts came.

In the 12th century, the parish was granted to Bordesley Abbeymarker, a Roman Catholic monastery. For three hundred years the area remained in the Church's possession. In 1538 the Roman Catholic Church was disestablished by King Henry VIII, and the area became the possession of The Crown, until under an arrangement with Henry, the possessions of Bordesley Abbey passed to Andrew Lord Windsor, and therefore to the stewardship of the Earl of Plymouth at adjacent Hewell Grangemarker. The land was gradually managed and sold off by the Earl; it was not until the mid 19th century that the parish of Tardebigge began to dissolve and the modern boundaries began to appear.

The area was well known for the manufacture of bricks during the 18th and 19th century. There is little industry in the village remaining, apart from minor canal narrow boat repairing works.

The area become predominately a fruit growing area until the end of the 20th century with the famous Tardebigge orchards supplying produce to the Birmingham conurbation. Most of these orchards were grubbed up in the 1970s and 1980's with the last orchard being removed in 2000, when cheaper imported fruit replaced the home grown produce. The only orchard planted recently is the small orchard of Tardebigge Cider.

Tardebigge Cider is a craft Cider maker based in Tutnall, about one mile from the Church. Cidermaker, Steve Cooper planted a Mixed orchard of traditional apple varieties of about 100 trees in 1995. The varieties are primarily Dabinett, Michelin and Harry Masters Jersey with a few culinary varities included along with some pears, Moorcroft and Worcester Black. The fruit from these trees and other worcestershire fruit go to make about 1000-1500 gallons of high quality cider which is only sold locally.

See also


  1. Tardebigge church website

External links

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