Avenbury, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2002


AVENBURY is a parish pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Froome, and intersected by the Bromyard and Ledbury turnpike road. It is distant 1½ miles S.E. of Bromyard, 11 N. of Ledbury, and 14 N.E. of Hereford; is in Broxash hundred, Bromyard union, county court district, polling district, and petty sessional division. The population in 1861 was 371; in 1871, 395; inhabited houses, 78; families or separate occupiers, 79; area of parish, 3,233 acres; annual rateable value, £3,982; soil, clayey; subsoil, red sandstone; chief crops, wheat, beans, hops, and apples. The representatives of the late Dean of St. Asaph are lords of the manor. William Barneby, Esq., James Sanders, Esq., and Rev. F.B. Hooper are the principal landowners. The living is a vicarage in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of North Froome; value, £100, with residence and 8 acres of glebe; patron, Rev. Arthur Childe; vicar, Rev. Robert Polwhele, of St. Bees College, who was instituted in 1866.

The church of St. Mary is an ancient Gothic structure, with nave, chancel, porch, and square tower containing three bells. This church, which a few years ago seemed to be sinking into a state of almost hopeless decay and ruin, has undergone considerable repairs and improvements within and without, under the superintendence of the vicar. The tower, "a splendid specimen of those massive square buildings with deeply splayed windows, which date from about the thirteenth century", has been cleaned and pointed, the roof carefully repaired, and the heavy stone tiles removed, and replaced by the best brown Broseley tiles. The walls of the church have been divested of the mortar and whitewash with which they had been disfigured and pointed throughout. The roof of nave on the north side has been stripped, repaired, and covered with new Broseley tiles hung on cleft oak laths, and the whole of the roof surmounted with ornamental cresting. Seven new lancet windows have been inserted in the north and south walls of the church, and one in the tower.

Various improvements have also been made in the interior of the church, the chief of them being the removal of the gallery, and the throwing open of the fine tower arch and window beyond. The rood screen (which bad been whitewashed) has been cleaned and repaired, a new altar-cloth, fittings for desk and pulpit, &c., supplied, also a good stove. The old pews have been carefully restored, and the other pews lowered and repaired. The earliest register is dated 1661. A school board has been recently formed for this parish, and a new school is about to be erected at Munderfield Row, to accommodate 50 children. There are a few small charities. Birchy Field, the property of Mrs. Kempson, and the residence of Henry, Howorth, Esq., is a freestone mansion in the modern English style, commanding a delightful view of the surrounding country. There is a detached part of. Avenbury joining the parish of Bredenbury. Munderfield Row is a hamlet on the Ledbury road, about 1¾ miles S.W.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Letters are received from Worcester via Bromyard, and arrive by messenger from the latter place about 8 a.m. Bromyard is the nearest money order and telegraph office. Letters should be addressed - Avenbury, Bromyard, Worcester.
Parish Church (St. Mary's).- Rev. Robert Polwhele, Vicar; Messrs. Richard Allies and Stephen Philpott, Churchwardens; Henry Partridge, Parish Clerk.
Avenbury School Board.- Henry Nicholls Knott, Esq., Bromyard, Clerk to the Board. Board School (boys and girls), Munderfield Row. ___ _____, Master.


Howorth Henry, Esq., Birchy field
Polwhele Rev. Robt. (vicar), The Vicarage
Allies Richard, farmer, Little Froome
Buckle Mr., farmer, Cusop
Corbett Joseph, farmer, hop grower, and cattle dealer, The Noakes farm
Corbett Richard, farmer, Rough Mintridge
Green Mrs. Sarah, cot. farmer, Wigghall
Gurney Thomas, wheelwright, carpenter, and shopkeeper, Munderfield row
Hayling Richard, farmer, Stocks farm
Holloway Benjn., farmer, Upper Hopton
Holloway William, farmer and hop grower, Hackley farm
Oliver Richard, farmer and hop grower, Avenbury court
Orgee Samuel, farmer, Northfields; and at Linton, Bromyard
Partridge Henry, miller, Froome mill
Perry James, farmer and hop grower, Sawbery hill farm
Philpott Stephen, landowner, farmer, hop grower, and cattle dealer, Brook house and Upper Venn farms
Pitt Peter, cider retailer, Munderfield row
Thomas Mr., farmer and hop grower, Munderfield farm
Todd Benjamin, farmer and hop grower, Burgess farm and Greeve farm
Watkins Jas., blacksmith, Munderfield row
Watkins Richd., blksmith., Munderfield row
Weeks Joseph Burrow, farmer and hop grower, The Kilns; res., Bromyard
Williams Mrs. Jane, farmer, Goodships
Yates George, farmer, Lower Venn
Yates William. farmer. The Heath

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in June 2002.

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