The duck pond at Long Itchington has survived against all odds, unlike so many of our village ponds and has many a tale to tell; some we know and some we don’t! A fence keeps the swans and cygnets safe today, but once the busy main road took its toll on their lives each year.
For years the pond kept a large secret hidden in its muddy bottom. After the First World War, a German howitzer stood on the village green, but it was not a popular memorial. One night it disappeared from sight into the pond and there it stayed until dredged out for metal in the Second World War.
Overlooking the pond, passing visitors cannot fail to notice the Tudor House, an imposing timber framed property of 16th century origins. The five symmetrical gables extending the whole length of the house were added in the 17th century. Once an Elizabethan Inn, it later became a farmhouse and for many years was used to store fleeces on the top floor.
Few men of famous names lived in Long Itchington, the Lords of the Manor, Odingsels, being quietly in residence until early 16th century. The last one, John de Odingsels, got into debt and Robert Dudley, the Queen’s favourite, bought the Manor and in the summer of 1575, Queen Elizabeth I visited Long Itchington at Dudley’s expense for entertainment and hunting in the ancient forest at Bascote.
But few villages can boast the birthplace of a Saint. About 1010, Wulfstan was born in Long Itchington, where the Archbishop of York had granted a hide of land to his father. He entered the Benedictine Priory at Worcester and eventually became Bishop of Worcester. Wulfstan was loyal to William the Conqueror but retained an independence from which arose the Legend of St Wulfstan, until he became the only Saxon Bishop remaining. He died in 1095 and was canonised in 1203.
South of the village is a former cement works and across from the entrance is Model Village, which was built to house the workers.
Today the village contains six public houses and two shops including a post office, and the community centre is part of the primary school.