Orleton, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

ORLETON,
WITH THE HAMLET OF COMBERTON.

ORLETON is a large parish and picturesque village, situated on one of the main roads between Leominster and Ludlow, and about 12 miles S.W. of Wooferton station on the Shrewsbury and Hereford, and the Leominster and Tenbury, railways. It is distant 5½ miles S.S.W. of Ludlow, 5½ N. of Leominster, 7 W. of Tenbury, and 18 N. of Hereford; is in Wolphy hundred, Leominster union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and Brimfield polling district. The population in 1861 was 600; in 1871, 591; inhabited houses, 135; families or separate occupiers, 136; area of parish, 2,603 acres; annual rateable value, £4,400. The parish is 3 miles long and 2¾ wide. William Blount, Esq. (who is lord of the manor), Charles W. Greenly, Esq., Mrs. Morton, Joseph Rogers, Esq., and Thomas Turford, Esq., are the principal landowners. The soil is clay and sand; subsoil, chiefly rock; products, wheat, barley, beans, roots, and fruit.

The manor of Orleton was given by William the Conqueror to Ranulph de Mortimer, whose descendant, King Edward IV., held it distinct from the crown lands, and had a particular seal, even after he was king, for the concerns of the Earldom of March, as appears from a charter of manumission, granted to a villain of this place, bearing date 20th August, eighth of Edward IV., the seal of which is preserved entire, bearing the arms of Mortimer and Burgh quarterly, supported by lions rampant, and surmounted by a crown; with this inscription "Sigillum Edwardi Quarti Dei Gra. Regis Angliæ, Franciæ Domini, Hibernie, Comitatus suæ Marchiæ". After Edward's death, this manor was annexed to the Crown, and was granted by James I. to George Hopton, from whom it passed through several families to the Blounts, of whom Thomas Blount, Esq., was the author of the "Fragmenta Antiquitatis, or, Ancient Tenures and Customs of Some Manors", republished by Mr. Josiah Beckwith in 1784.

He also wrote several other works, and made two folio volumes of MS. collections for a History of Herefordshire. He died in December, 1679, and was buried in Orleton church with others of his family. The manor is now in the possession of his descendant, William Blount, Esq. This parish was the birthplace of Adam de Orleton, who was promoted successively to the sees of Hereford, Worcester, and Winchester, on account of his great literary attainments. He was author of the following famous enigmatical line, the meaning of which is completely altered by punctuation:-

"Edwardum occidere, nolite; timere bonum est".
"Edwardum occidere, nolite timere; bonum est".

He was appointed ambassador to Philip, King of France, with whom he became a great favourite, and was by his interest with the Pope translated to the see of Winchester contrary to the wishes of his own sovereign. He died at his palace at Farnham, A.D. 1345, and was buried in Winchester cathedral. Orleton is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Leominster; living, a vicarage; value, £159, with residence and one acre of glebe; patrons, the Governors of Lucton school; vicar, Rev. William Edward Edwards, M.A., of Brasenose College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1853.

The church of St. George is a very ancient edifice, with nave, an old porch looking towards the north, a handsome old font, two very remarkable chests hewn out of the solid timber, piscina, and some remains of good stained glass. The nave was entirely restored in 1865 at a cost of £750 6s., of which £300 was raised by a rate. The seats were then made free, and accommodation provided for more than double the number of attendants. The chancel was rebuilt in 1867 at a cost of £376 12s. 6d., nearly the whole of which was given by the patrons. The tower contains three bells; the spire is covered with oak shingles; the base is in the Norman style, and the rest Early English. In the churchyard is a very ancient stone cross. The register dates from a very early period. The charities belonging to the parish amount to about £5 12s. yearly.

The national school, with residence for master attached, was erected in 1854-55, at a cost of £1,000. The average attendance of boys and girls is about 50; it is under government inspection. An evening school is held during the winter for adults, superintended by the vicar and schoolmaster. The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Plymouth Brethren, have places of worship here. The room belonging to the latter denomination was erected in 1864. Orleton Common was enclosed in the early part of the present century. From the summit of the hill a most extensive and magnificent view is obtained. In this parish is a remarkable landslip called "Palmer's Cairn". The village is conspicuous for its timber-framed houses, gables, &c. A very large fair is held yearly, on the 23rd and 24th of April, for the far-famed Hereford cattle.

Orleton Court, the residence of Mrs. Hill, is a very curious old timber building. In removing the oak panellings a curious inscription was found written on the wall over the fireplace in the state bedroom - so called from its being supposed that Charles II. slept there after the battle of Worcester; it is as follows; "Honner Him In Heart That souffered on the crosse for Thee, and Worship Him". Also, in removing the staircase, a cannon-ball (three-pounder) was found lodged in the wall. Ashley Moor is the property and residence of Joseph Rogers, Esq. Comberton is a hamlet distant half a mile N.E. of the village, on the road to Wooferton railway station.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Frederick Brace, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Ludlow at 8.40 a.m.; despatched thereto at 4.30 p.m. Letters can be registered here. Brimfield is the nearest money order and telegraph office. Post town, Ludlow.
Parish Church (St. George's).- Rev. William Edward Edwards, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. Thomas Turford and John Phillips, Churchwardens; John Newman, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. William Roberts, Master.
Plymouth Brethren Meeting House.- Ministers various.
Primitive Methodist Chapel.- Ministers various.
Wesleyan Chapel.- Ministers various.
Steward of the Manor of Orleton.- John Lambe, Esq., 35 Bridge street, Hereford. (A court baron of this manor is held annually.)

ORLETON,
WITH THE HAMLET OF COMBERTON DIRECTORY.

PRIVATE RESIDENTS.
Edwards Rev. William Edward, M.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
Hall Mr. William, Marsh hall
Hill Mr. John, Orleton court
Hill Mrs., Orleton court
James Mrs. Susannah, Comberton
Mason Mr. Henry, Comberton
Rogers Joseph, Esq., Ashley Moor
Russell Mr. Henry Freeman
Turford Mr. Thomas
Yeld Mr, Richard H., Kitchen hill
COMMERCIAL.
Bishop Samuel, farmer, Overton farm
Bound W., sanitary inspector
Brace Frederick, grocer, provision dealer, and sub-postmaster, Post office
Brown Benjamin, blacksmith
Brown Mark, farmer, Comberton house
Cadwallader George, farmer, Townsend
Cole Francis Parker, farmer
Drew Alfred, boot and shoe maker
Evans Samuel, mason, builder, &c.
Faulkner Nathaniel, farmer and assistant overseer, Cullis croft
Fletcher Benjamin, farmer, Church ho.
George John, carpenter
Hall William, farmer and landowner, Marsh hall
Hards Richard, boot and shoe maker
Hawkins Benjamin, farmer
Hunt James, farmer, Little Spout house
Jones John, boot and shoe maker
Lawrence Charles, beer rtlr. & butcher
Leek William, farmer
Lloyd Edward, farmer, Portway
Mason Henry, farmer, Comberton
Matthews George, cider rtlr., The Folly
Newman John, blacksmith & parish clerk
Pearce John, Maidenhead Inn, & farmer
Phillips John, farmer and beer retailer, Comberton
Phillips Mrs. Sarah, farmer, Millbrook
Phillips William, carpenter, builder, and timber dealer, Millbrook
Powell Benjamin, carpenter and wheelwright, Millbrook
Preece Thomas, farmer, Orleton common
Price Janus, farmer & lndwnr., Spout ho.
Price Mortimer, mason
Proctor Robert, farmer, Orleton common
Radnor William, butcher and farmer, Tower hill
Roberts Wm., master of National school
Sanders Charles, farmer and landowner, The Bower
Sanders Philip, boot and shoe maker
Trumper John, carpenter and shopkeeper
Turford Thomas, farmer and landowner
Wall Mrs. Sarah, beer retailer, The Folly
Yeld Richard H., farmer, Kitchen hill

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in September 2003.

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