Much Birch, Herefordshire

Extract from Littlebury's Directory and Gazetteer of Herefordshire, 1876-7
with Private and Commercial Residents

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2002

MUCH BIRCH is a neat village and parish, distant about 6 miles S. from Hereford, and 8 N.W. from Ross, situated on the road to those towns via Harewood. It is in the upper division of Wormelow hundred, Harewood End petty sessional division, Hereford union and county court district, and is a polling place for county elections. The population in 1861 was 496; in 1871, 572; inhabited houses, 123; families or separate occupiers, 145; area of parish, 1,287a. 2r. 31p.; annual rateable value, £2,138. The Governors of Guy's Hospital (who are lords of the manor), Mr. Williams, and James Richard Wallace Hall, Esq., are the principal landowners. The soil is fertile, producing wheat, barley, roots, and fruit. Much Birch is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Archenfield; living, a vicarage; value, £81, with 4 acres of glebe; patrons, the representatives of the late T.G. Symons, Esq.; vicar, Rev. John Tedman, M.A., of St. Alban Hall, Oxford, who was instituted in 1876. The earliest register is dated 1599.

The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome stone edifice, with nave, chancel, and castellated tower containing two bells. A new vestry was built and the chancel restored in 1869, at a cost of £60. The stone was given by the Rev. D. Capper. In the churchyard are two very fine yew-trees; one of them has a large elder-tree growing out of it. There are a few small charities belonging to the parish. The national school was erected in 1865, on a site given by the late T.G. Symons, Esq. The cost of building was about £300, defrayed entirely by subscription. A residence for the master was added in 1872, at a cost of £290. The average attendance of boys and girls is about 90. Birch House is the residence of George Vernon Bankes, Esq. Aconbury hill, a bold and extensive eminence, is partly in this parish; it is covered with wood, and commands an extensive view over the surrounding country, and exhibits vestiges of a Roman camp, the rampart on the east side of which is very conspicuous.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- James Morgan, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Ross at 9 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5 p.m. Harewood End and Hoarwithy are the nearest money order offices. Hereford is the nearest telegraph office. Post town, Ross. The wall letter-box, near Ash farm, is cleared at 5 p.m. on week-days only.
Parish Church (St. Mary's).- Rev. John Tedman, M.A., Vicar; George Vernon Bankes, Esq., and Mr. John West, Churchwardens; Charles Stapleton, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. James Phillipps, Master; Mrs. Catherine Phillipps, Mistress.
Assistant Overseer.- Mr. Joseph Cooke.
PRIVATE RESIDENTS.
Bankes Geo. Vernon, Esq., Birch house
Brooking Dr. C., Birch lodge
Charles Mr. John, Rock cottage
Price Mrs., and Price Captain, King's Thorn house
Tedman Rev. John, M.A. (vicar), Strickstenning
Thomas Mr., Wallace cottage
COMMERCIAL.
Beavan Mrs. Ann, shopkeeper
Brooking Dr. C., M.R.C.S., sur., Birch lo.
Clarke Joseph, blacksmith
Cooke Jos., blacksmith & assist. overseer
Embrey James, farmer, Ash farm
Evans Brothers, frmrs., Bigglestone fm.
Green William, carpenter
Gunter Joseph, mason
Harper John, farmer, Poolspring farm
Hopkins William, tailor
Lewis Mrs. Mary, shopkeeper
Matthews Edward, farmer and dealer
Matthews John, farmer and machinist
Meredith John, Axe and Cleaver Inn
Morgan James, boot and shoe maker, shopkeeper, and sub-postmaster
Morgan John, boot and shoe maker
Morris Thomas, tiler and plasterer
Mumby Thos., build. agent for the Govs. of Guy's hospital, King's Thorn cottage
Parry John, farmer
Phillipps James, schoolmaster, School ho.
Smith James, Wormelow Tump Inn
Stapleton Charles, parish clerk
Stratton Frederick, shopkeeper
Thomas George, mason
Watkins William, shopkeeper
West Daniel, farmer
West John, farmer, Much Birch court and Minster farm
Whitehorn Mary A. & Eliz., dressmakers
Willett William, farmer
Williams James, boot and shoe maker
Woodward Geo., baker and shopkeeper, King's Thorn

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in June 2002.

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