In 780AD this village was known as North tun and in 989 Nortune – both mean north town. The only place it could really be called north of is Bredon, so it has become Bredon’s ‘North Town’ and now Bredon’s Norton.
Bredon’s Norton is in the parish of Bredon and has its own church but shares one rector.
The church, which dates back to the 12th Century, is not dedicated to a saint but is known as the chapel of ease to St Giles.
Bredon’s Norton is a picturesque village and, like the neighbouring hamlet of Westmancote, has cottages and houses of Cotswold stone and thatched black-and-white dwellings.
The 14th Century barn next to the Manor is alleged to have played host to William Shakespeare during his ‘barn-storming’ period.
The beautiful Manor dates from 1585 and in the first two decades of the 20th Century houses a very notable woman called Victoria Woodhull Martin, renowned for being the first woman to have run for President of the United States of America, standing for the newly-formed Equal Rights Party in 1872.
She ran a newspaper in which she promoted her suffragette views. She had surprisingly modern philosophies on free love, contraception, vegetarianism, legalised prostitution and easier divorce laws, which won her little appeal in the USA.
Just days before the 1872 presidential election, US federal marshals arrested Woodhull, her second husband Colonel James Blood and her sister Tennie C Claflin for sending obscene material through the mail.
She was eventually asked to leave the country, which is why she moved to England.
She subsequently married John Biddulph Martin and when he died in 1901 she moved to his country home in Bredon’s Norton. It is alleged she performed séances at the Manor.
It is said that she lent out part of the Manor so that young people could learn farming techniques and it is also said she turned her tithe barn into a village hall.
Although her feminist views were derided at the time, if Victorian Woodhull Martin had been born in the 1960s, for instance, she would have been regarded as a heroine.
She died at her residence in Bredon’s Norton in 1927.