Overbury, formerly Ovreberie, is situated on the lower southern slopes of Bredon Hill, around a stream which has provided water for the houses and farms and power for the former mills over many centuries.
This small and pretty village with its Cotswold stone cottages and carefully tended gardens is essentially an “estate village” with its connections to Overbury Court.
The court has had a connection with the Holland-Martin family since 1723 when John Martin took up residence there. The present building was erected after the old Elizabethan manor house was burned down in 1738.
Almost all of the houses in the village are owned by the estate, which farms the surrounding land as well.
The village at one time had a number of thriving businesses which included a shop and six mills engaged in paper making, flour production and silk processing.
In the last century there was always plenty of work available on the estate, in farms, gardens and houses for all who lived here.
Before the First World War the village was cared for in a very real way by the Martin family. The children at Overbury Church of England School, built in 1877, were provided with clogs and cloaks, a good soup once a week in winter, and plenty of prizes to encourage excellence in class.
Village entertainment included plays, whist drives and dance in the village hall and ‘Pleasant Sunday Afternoons’ organised by Lady Martin when anyone could go to the village hall to hear a speaker or just have a chat.
St Faith’s Church is Norman in origin and its Lychgate is a memorial to those from Overbury and Conderton who died in the two world wars. An unusual feature of the church is its concealed dovecote. Hidden from view from both the outside and the inside, above the chancel there is room for 200 pigeons. It is thought that this originates from the time when the church owned the manor and as a result had the right to keep pigeons.
Overbury Flower Show was a great annual event, prizes including best kept pigsty.
Today much has changed, although there remains an estate which employs many of the villagers.
The school and church remain, but gone are the village pub, the Star Inn, the policeman and vicar, with church services shared with other villages.
The thriving cricket and bowls clubs contain few actual villagers. The annual street market is well supported.
The fabric of the village is still well cared for by the estate and the place has a tidy appearance.
As machines have replaced people in both domestic and farm work, so fewer people are employed by the estate and occasionally a cottage becomes available to an outsider.
The village has been able to break away from the feudal atmosphere and support a wide cross-section of the community.