Weston Under Penyard, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004

WESTON-UNDER-PENYARD is a large parish and pleasant village, situated on the road leading from Ross to Gloucester, and intersected by the Hereford, Ross, and Gloucester branch of the Great Western railway. It is distant 2¼ miles E.S.E. of Ross, 4 N.W. of Mitcheldean, 6 W.S.W. of Newent, 14 W.N.W. of Gloucester, and 16½ S.E. of Hereford; is in Greytree hundred, Ross union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and Linton polling district. The population in 1861 was 828; in 1871, 848; inhabited houses, 174; families or separate occupiers, 192; area of parish, 3,142 acres; annual rateable value, £7,902. The Right Hon. Lord Ashburton, who is lord of the manor, General Stubbs (of Lower Weston), Rev. Thomas Syer (of Ravensden, near Bedford), Rev. Henry Usborne (of Bitterne, near Southampton), Dr. Cambridge Cary Cocks (of Ross), Mrs. Nicholls, Mrs. Chellingworth, Osman Barrett, Esq., and John Partridge, Esq., are the principal landowners.

The soil is loamy; subsoil, rock; chief crops, wheat, barley, roots, &c. At the summit of the high and thickly-wooded hill, called Penyard, are the remains of Penyard castle. This fortress, originally but of small extent, is now reduced to comparative insignificance; most of the stonework has long since been removed, and employed in the erection of other buildings. The only part now honoured with the name of castle is the habitation of a woodward, who lives here in complete seclusion from the haunts of man. It formerly belonged to the Talbots, Earls of Shrewsbury, and after descending to De Grey, Duke of Kent, was sold at his demise in 1740, and now belongs to the Rev. Henry Usborne, B.A. Not far from the village of Weston is the site of a Roman station, called Rose or Bury hill, which is supposed by some writers to have been the Ariconium mentioned in the Itinerary of Antoninus, which Camden and other antiquaries have placed at Kenchester, but which Horsley, on unquestionable grounds, has fixed at Bury hill.

The area upon which the city stood, according to tradition, occupied three or four fields; now distinguishable only by the blackened soil. Among the antiquities found here were fibulæ, lares, lachrymatories, lamps, rings, fragments of tesselated pavements, together with an immense quantity of Roman coins and some British. Some pillars were also discovered, with stones having holes for the jambs of the doors, and a vault or two, in which was wheat, of a black colour, and in a cinereous state; and a few years since, in widening a road, several skeletons were likewise discovered here, as also the remains of a stone wall, apparently the front of a building; the stones were well worked, and of a considerable size. For a gentle eminence, Bury hill commands the view of an extensive range of country; to the south rise the rival hills of Penyard and Chase; and westward is the whole fertile tract of Herefordshire, bounded by the mountains of Monmouth and Brecon. Weston-sub-Penyard is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Ross; living, a rectory; value, £620, with residence and 2 acres of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Hereford; rector, Rev. Edward Burdett Hawkshaw, B.A., of Oriel College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1855.

The church of St. Lawrence is prettily situated on rising ground, and is an ancient stone edifice, with nave, chancel, north aisle, and square tower containing six bells. It was thoroughly restored in 1867 at a cost of £2,100, chiefly contributed by the munificence of one lady. The parts most interesting to the antiquary are four massive Norman pillars with capitals variously enriched by undulations and flowers. The shafts are circular and low, and their capitals square; round arches spring from them which meet in rude corbel beads of men and animals. The parish registers go back to the year 1568. There is a national school for boys and girls, with an average attendance of about 60. The Baptist chapel at Ryeford was erected in 1862. Ryeford is remarkable as having had a Dissenting chapel built there as early as 1662. There is a Wesleyan chapel at Bury hill. There are several handsome residences in this parish.

Rudhall, the property of Lord Ashburton, is at present occupied by Miss Mortimer. This ancient manor-house is situated in a sheltered hollow just on the borders of the four parishes of Weston-under-Penyard, Ross, Brampton Abbotts, and Upton Bishop. It formerly had a chapel, but all traces of it have disappeared. The most interesting remains of the old house are an elaborate Perpendicular door, bearing on a scroll the legend In Dno. confido, and two series of three gables, each with beautifully carved barge-boards, which uniting form two sides of a square. Lower Weston House, the residence of Henry Minett, Esq., is a genuine Elizabethan mansion, entirely constructed of stone, grey with age. The west front with its three gables is highly picturesque. It was built soon after the year 1600 by the Nourses, from Oxfordshire. At Lower Weston is also the modern residence of Major-General Stubbs; Woodfield House is occupied by Jacob Chivers, Esq.; Wharton Lodge, by Mrs. Nicholls; Weston Lodge, by Henry Forster Burmester, Esq.; and Frogmore House is at present unoccupied. Ryeford, Pont's Hill, Kingston, Lower Weston, Mitchfield, and Wharton, are places in this parish.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- John Longford, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by mail-cart from Ross at 6.30 a.m.; despatched thereto at 7.10 p.m. Money orders are granted and paid, and savings bank business transacted from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. Ross is the nearest telegraph office and post town. The Wall Letter-Box, Pont's hill, is cleared at 6.15 p.m. on week-days only.
Parish Church (St. Lawrence's).- Rev. Edward Burdett Hawkshaw, B.A., Rector; Major-General Stubbs and Mr. Henry Burgum, Churchwardens; Henry James, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. William E. Hancock, Master.
Baptist Chapel, Ryeford.- Ministers various.
Wesleyan Chapel, Bury hill.- Ministers various.
Assistant Overseer.- Mr. William Edwards, Weston cross.
PRIVATE RESIDENTS.
Bennett Mr. A., Upper Weston
Burmester Hy. Forster, Esq., Weston lo.
Chivers Jacob, Esq., Woodfield house
Hawkshaw Rev. Edward Burdett, B.A., J.P. (rector of Weston-under-Penyard, and chaplain to the Earl of Erne), The Rectory
Hill Mrs., Street house
Meredith Mr. James, Sandy way
Minett Henry, Esq., Lower Weston house
Mortimer Miss Julia F., Rudhall
Nicholls Mrs., Wharton lodge
Pechell Captain Chas., R.N., Hunsdon ho.
Porter Mr. Richard, White hall
Rudge Mrs. Ann, Elm cottage
Sorel-Cameron H. Wallace, Esq., Belvidere
Stubbs Major-General, Lower Weston
Stubbs The Misses, Lower Weston
Trusted Mrs., Parkfield
Williams John, Esq., Ryeford villa
Williams Mrs., Grove cottage
COMMERCIAL.
Apperly Edward, farmer, Woodfield and Hown Hall farms
Bennet A., farmer, Upper Weston
Bennett William, farmer, Wharton farm
Billingham Charles, tailor, Ryeford
Burgum Hy., farmer, Kingston Court fm.
Clarke John, farmer, Wallow farm
Davies Charles, shopkeeper, Fir Tree cot.
Edwards, Weston cross
Drew John, basket maker, Ryeford
Edwards William, assistant overseer, Weston cross
Everard Ambrose, farmer, Rudge farm
Gammon James, miller, Foxall mill
HALL THE MISSES, ladies' boarding and day school, Rose cottage
Hancock William E., schoolmaster
Harris John, woodward, Penyard lodge
Hart Alfred William, coal dealer and haulier, Ryeford
Havard Jn., carpenter, &c., Mitchfield cot.
James Henry, mason and parish clerk
Leary Emma, draper, grocer, and provision dealer, Pont's hill
Longford John, sub-postmaster, Post office
Marfell William, farmer, Bollitree castle
Probyn Geo., wholesale poulterer, Marsh
Read Richard, Weston Cross Inn
Robbins Joshua, boot and shoe maker
Robbins Thomas, beer retailer (Villa Inn), Pont's hill
Smith William & Son, builders and wheelwrights, Sandy way
Steward Thomas, butcher and farmer
Warr Thos., carpenter & machine maker
Webb Mrs. Ann, farmer, Hill farm
Webb Edwin, farmer, Meadow farm
Wigmore W., farmer, Sandy Way farm
Williams William, boot and shoe maker
Wintle Alfred John, miller, maltster, and corn merchant, Bill mill

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in July 2004.

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