Great Comberton has a village hall and a church and has a vibrant and friendly community (but no pub or shop - sorry).
This page gives some general information about the village history, the Parish, its surroundings, local walks and natural history.
Great Comberton is a small village lying on a gently sloping river terrace at the foot of Bredon Hill, above the River Avon in Worcestershire.The parish stretches from the summit of Bredon Hill to the Avon and covers 965 acres (390 hectares) of grassland and arable farm land on a calcerous clay loam.
The area was inhabited from prehistoric times, with Iron Age and Roman remains found locally. The origins of the village are likely between the 7th and 9th century AD, a period when scattered and ephemeral farmsteads were coalescing into compact villages surrounded by open fields laid out in strips and farmed communally under a feudal lord. This type of landscape, often described as Champion, is characteristic of a band of land broadly from Dorset to the Wash, contrasting with the scattered settlements and older enclosures of the north-west and south-east.
In 972 King Edgar's Charter describes the boundaries of Pershore Abbey lands and these include Cumbrincgtune, which consisted of 10 manses. The village appears in the Doomsday Book, but we cannot deduce either the area of the parish or the population from the information it lists. The earliest mention of the church is in 1268 but the structure seems to have been almost completely rebuilt in the 14th century, however, the nave has leaning walls which are Norman at the bottom. The church tower houses a set of six bells, some dating back to the 1600s and some cast locally in Evesham. The tower also houses the church clock, which is still working after 150 years, chiming out the hours and which is annually maintained by the same Derby company which made it.
The churchyard contains an enormous English Yew which is probably between 700 - 900 years old.
Great Comberton was notable in having one of the biggest dovecots in England (no longer extant). It was a red brick, square tower with a four-gabled roof and 1425 nesting holes and had been pictured in the Royal Academy. It used to stand near the road in the grounds of Kent Farm.
Parish Council News
FIBRE TO THE HOME INITIATIVE
We are delighted to report that Worcestershire has been selected to be one of the first counties to benefit from the new ‘Project Gigabit’ – the Government’s objective to cover at least 85% of UK premises with gigabit broadband infrastructure, once the initial pilots have been completed.
Although it is great news for Worcestershire, our communities are not guaranteed to benefit from this deployment. Securing gigabit broadband service, otherwise known as full fibre to each premises, we believe to be an excellent opportunity to “future proof” our homes. Download speeds that seem adequate now, may well prove inadequate in the future and the grant scheme currently favours Worcestershire rural homes.
Where we are now
We have more than 50% of households in all the villages interested in FTTP (Fibre To The Premises). By joining villages together we gain from collective savings and upgrading our area becomes a more viable option for the broadband companies so we have been working on costs as a group of 5-8 villages, possibly including: Little Comberton, Great Comberton, Elmley Castle, Bricklehampton, Cropthorne, Fladbury, Wick and Eckington.
We have initial estimates from Openreach and a Worcester based company called Airband.
Using all the Government vouchers we are entitled to, we still fall well short of Openreach’s estimated costs meaning that we would need everyone to make a financial contribution. As this is outside what we proposed we do not think going any further with Openreach is an option.
However, Airband is able to provide the infrastructure and installation within our financial constraints so we need to share with you the pros and cons of their offer so we know whether to proceed or not.
Airband is a growing Worcester based company who has been in the wireless broadband business for some years and has now expanded into the FTTP market. The company has successfully installed FTTP networks in Kempsey, Welland & Stock Green to name the few projects in Worcestershire. It, along with a number of other growing companies elsewhere in the country, is an approved provider and would use elements of BT/Openreach’s infrastructure to overlay the FTTP alongside our existing phone cables. Our existing BT/Openreach phones and internet access across the old wires would remain unchanged. After the new contract period, if any villagers were not satisfied with the quality of service, they would be able to return to their previous setup and internet service provider (ISP).
The Pros & Cons with Airband
Using Airband is within our budget so there would be no personal costs for the network build, cabling, hardware in our homes and installation or monthly landline charges. So long as we have sufficient homes it would undertake the collection of the Government vouchers on behalf of customers during the initial contract period. Airband would hope to start work towards the end of this year and then install to homes in early 2022. We would all have to sign an ISP contract with Airband and terminate our current internet services. Airband has indicated it will offer up to £250 to help customers terminate their current ISP contracts if necessary.
Airband is a small developing company and currently does not have agreements with any other companies to offer ISP services, although they are in the process of bringing other service providers to sell over their network, as this is one of Government’s requirements. At the time of signing any agreement we would not know of any future competitive packages. The Government voucher scheme stated that all recipients would have to sign up with their new ISP for at least 1 year. The shortest package Airband currently offer will be 18 months (currently 24 months). Details of its current packages seem comparable with other companies and are shown below.
We have just been given the following by Airband as packages they will be offering going forward:
There are still a number of unanswered questions that we need Airband to address and will obviously share their responses as soon as they become clear. Airband have offered to meet all the village coordinators to answer questions soon.
Before we progress with more comprehensive negotiations, including detailed surveys to ensure Airband cover all homes, including properties that fall outside village boundaries, we need to know if the majority wish us to progress with Airband? We are happy, and Worcestershire Broadband team does not have any concerns with progressing with Airband, to move on with the project towards the next stage of a finalised quote. We will be asking for an opportunity for villagers to meet with Airband where we would receive and share all finalised details before we ask anyone to sign individual contracts. However, we would ask any residents who DO NOT wish to be included to email us to remove them from our lists. In the event that significant villagers withdraw then we will let you know and will probably have to end the project.
Please email Suzanne Hamilton at Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to withdraw from the scheme. If I do not hear from you I will assume you wish me to continue working with the other village coordinators and Worcestershire Broadband team to start more detailed negotiations with Airband.
Following our recent update I am pleased to inform you that we now have a viable option to bring Ultrafast Broadband to everyone – everywhere within our villages – subject to a survey, individual commitment and achieving sufficient numbers.
Some of the coordinators met with Airband of Worcester recently (The Proposed Provider) to test their credentials and ability as an unknown provider compared to Openreach. The Community Ambassador for Welland, near Malvern was present to share their experience with Airband having taken this journey recently.
Firstly, let's remind ourselves why we are doing this:
To enable us to get a firm quote, I have registered an expression of interest on your behalf with Airband.
This is what it says, it is not contracting you to anything other than an open dialogue.
To direct any initial questions you have to Airband email email@example.com and quote “Pershore Villages Cluster” we will also be arranging a community meeting with Airband so you will have plenty of opportunities to have your questions answered.
Meanwhile take a look here https://www.airband.co.uk/support/faqs/
Normally hedgehogs should be deep into their hibernation until the Spring. However, they can wake up from time to time and although unusual its not impossible to see them moving around in our gardens.
Pete and Sally Allen have reported seeing a good-sized, though restless hog in their garden caught on their camera footage in the wee small hours of 22nd Jan. Is this the earliest any have been seen in the village ?
https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk The British Hedgehog Preservation Society - National information about hedgehogs.
https://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/hedgehogs Worcester Wildlife Trust - local information on helping hedgehogs and where to find help for injured and ill hedgehogs.
https://bighedgehogmap.org/holes-for-hedgehogs-home/map-hedgehog-sighting Hedgehog Street - Record your sightings of hedgehogs to help understand where hedgehogs are living in the UK.
Also here are the contact details for Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for anyone looking for help for injured wildlife.
Its www.valewildlife.org.uk Tel 01386 882288.
Pete and Sally Allen also provided some other sightings from their garden.
"We saw a couple of Redpolls in our garden" (Winter migrants usually)
We saw several Bumblebees feeding on our Lonicera Standishii bush which was in full flower and smelling wonderful on Christmas Eve. Rob and Kirstie Harrison, Stowe Cottage.
Please let us know if you have any similar or more unusal sightings you would like to share.
First hog of the year award to Pete and Sally, Orchard House