Clehonger, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2002

CLEHONGER is a picturesque village and parish situated on the S. bank of the river Wye, about 4 miles S.W. of Hereford, 14 N.W. of Ross, and, 18 E. of Hay; is in Webtree hundred, Hereford union, petty sessional division, county court district, and polling district. The population in 1861 was 451; in 1871, 505; inhabited houses, 100; families or separate occupiers, 115; area of parish, 1,886 acres; annual rateable value, £4,008. Francis Richard Wegg-Prosser, Esq., is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is gravel; subsoil, marl; chief crops, wheat, barley, roots, and fruit. Clehonger living is a vicarage in the diocese, archdeaconry, and rural deanery of Hereford; value, £160, with ½ an acre of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Hereford; vicar, Rev. Edward John Holloway, M.A., of Caius College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1875.

The parish church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient Gothic structure, with tower containing four bells. It has nave, chancel, porch, and several interesting monuments. In the Aubrey chapel is a recumbent effigy, in complete armour, of Sir William Pembridge, one of the first knights of the Order of the Garter, temp. Edward III.; and another of a lady, supposed to be a member of the same family. The effigies lie on a raised tomb, about 3 feet high. In this chapel also lie the remains of Herbert Aubrey, A.D. 1671, and his wife Elizabeth, A.D. 1676, with monuments to Dr. Richard Prosser, prebendary and archdeacon of Durham, 1839, and Frances, relict of the late William Parry, Esq., and sister of the Venerable Archdeacon Prosser. In the nave is a monument to the memory of Harcourt Aubrey, 1779; Elizabeth, his wife, 1780; and Richard, their son, 1803; also to Herbert Aubrey, 1758.

In the south aisle is a monument to the memory of John Matthews, Esq., late proprietor of Belmont, who was one of the representatives of the county of Hereford in Parliament in 1802 and 1806, and for nearly twenty years chairman of the quarter sessions. He was father of the talented author of the "Diary of an Invalid", Henry Matthews, Esq., of Ceylon. His eldest daughter, Elizabeth Matthews, in conjunction with the late Thomas Andrew Knight, Esq., of Downton castle, brought out the work called "Pomona; or, The Apple Trees of Herefordshire"; the fruit is painted by Miss Matthews. The burial-place of this family is on the north side of the churchyard, in the boundary wall of which a stone slab is fixed, with the inscription:-


In the chancel is a handsome stained glass window by Hardman, presented by F.R. Wegg-Prosser, Esq. Here is a national school for boys and girls, supported by Lady Harriet Wegg-Prosser. It has a certificated master, and is under Government inspection. The number of children on the books is about 80. The Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral of Newport and Menevia was erected in 1856, chiefly at the expense of Francis Richard Wegg-Prosser, Esq. It is dedicated to St. Michael and all the Holy Angels, and was consecrated in 1860. It is a stone building, in the Decorated style of architecture, and consists of lofty nave and aisles, with elaborate, N. porch, N. and S. transepts, central tower, with choir aisles and side chapels; a new sanctuary has been more recently added, and the choir enlarged. The interior is wholly faced with Bath stone, and the carvings are remarkable for their richness and delicacy; the E. window, of five lights, is filled with stained glass of great brilliancy, by Hardman & Co. of Birmingham; the W. window is very peculiar, consisting of five lights beneath a large and elaborate Catherine wheel.

Attached to the edifice is a handsome and very extensive collegiate and monastic establishment of the ancient and learned order of St. Benedict, built in the Gothic style of architecture from the designs of the late E. Welby Pugin, Esq. The cost of the monastery was defrayed entirely by the monks, who also built a portion of the church. There is a Roman Catholic school for boys and girls, erected and supported by F.R. Wegg-Prosser, Esq. The Right Rev. Thomas Joseph Brown, D.D., of the Manor house, Lower Bullinghope, is the Roman Catholic Bishop of this diocese (Newport and Menevia), having for his coadjutor the Right Rev. Dr. Hedley, O.S.B., Bishop of Caesaropolos. This is the only diocese in England which is governed by a bishop and chapter of monks.

Belmont, the seat of Francis Richard Wegg-Prosser, Esq., J.P., D.L., is a handsome mansion of Bath stone. This elegant structure was built by the late John Matthews, Esq., from the designs of Mr. Wyatt, between the years 1788 and 1790. The interior is fitted up with much taste, and contains some valuable pictures. Its situation is delightful, being placed on a fine ascent close to the river Wye, which in this part glides by with a broad and pleasing stream; nature seems to have been very favourable to the spot, and art, where it was deemed necessary, has contributed to its embellishment. The prospects are rich and beautiful; they include a great extent of country, diversified by hills, finely wooded, and terminated on one side by the distant mountains of Radnorshire, and on the other by the Malvern hills of Worcestershire. F.R. Wegg-Prosser, Esq., has served the office of high sheriff, and was one of the representatives in Parliament for Herefordshire from 1847-52.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Letters arrive from Hereford by rural messenger about 8.30 am.; despatched thereto at 5.30 p.m. Hereford is the nearest money order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (All Saints').- Rev. Edward John Holloway, M.A., Vicar; Mr. Richard Prince, Churchwarden; William Bennett, Parish Clerk.
Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral (St. Michael and All Angels) and Monastery of St. Benedict.- Right Rev. Thomas Joseph Brown, D.D., Bishop of Newport and Menevia; Right Rev. Bishop Hedley, O.S.B., Coadjutor Bishop; Very Rev. Paul, W. Raynal, O.S.B., Cathedral Prior; Very Rev. Canon Woods, Professor of Dogmatic Theology; Very Rev. Canon Doyle, Professor of Sacred Eloquence; Very Rev. Canon Cummins, Lecturer in Theology; Very Rev. Canon Cody, Lecturer in Mental Philosophy; Very Rev. Canon Riley, Procurator. The following are non-resident Canons:- Right Rev. Abbot Gregory, Very Rev. C. Wilfrid Price, Very Rev. A. Paulinus Wilson, and Very Rev. C. Vincent Dolman.
Roman Catholic Schools (boys and girls), Belmont.- Mr. Martin Bernard O'Connor, Master; Mrs. Sarah O'Connor, Mistress.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. William Bennett, Master.
Primitive Methodist Chapel (erected 1861).- Ministers various.
Carriers to Hereford.- The Abbey Dore and Blakemere carriers pass through the parish every Wednesday and Saturday, to and from Hereford.
Cody Very Rev. Canon G.E., O.S.B. (lecturer in mental philosophy), The Monastery
Cummins Very Rev. Canon J.J., O.S.B. (lecturer in theology), The Monastery
Doyle Very Red. Canon F. Cuthbert, O.S.B. (professor of sacred eloquence), The Monastery
Holloway Rev. Edward John, M.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
Raynal Very Rev. Paul Wilfrid, O.S.B. (cathedral prior), The Monastery
Riley Very Rev. Canon James Romuald, O.S.B. (procurator), The Monastery
Strong Rev. Paul Hymen, Cage dale
Wegg-Prosser Francis Richard, Esq., B.A., J.P., D.L., Belmont; and Carlton club, London, S.W., and Stafford club, W.
Wegg-Prosser Lady Harriet, Belmont
Woods Very Rev. Wm. Romuald, O.S.B. (canon of the cathedral, and professor of dogmatic theology), The Monastery
Beavan Charles, miller, Cagebrook mill
Beavan Wm., miller, Abbey Sheepcote mill
Bennett Thos., farmer, Clehonger court
Bennett Wm., schoolmaster & parish clerk
Berrow Miss Martha, Seven Stars Inn
Blashill Robert, farmer, Bowling green
Cook John, market gardener, Gorsty com.
Docker Edward, farmer, Home farm
Downing Wm. John, farmer, Abbey farm
Evans William, miller, Tuck's mill
Farr Mrs. Hannah, shopkeeper, Gorsty common
Froggatt Chas., farmer & dealer, Ivy cot.
Hammonds Thos., cot. farmer, Gorsty com.
Holtom Mrs. Ann, farmer, Valletts
Lambert Thos., shoemaker, Goraty com.
Nash James, freeholder
O'Connor Martin Bernard, master of the Roman Catholic boys' school
Ovens Daniel, boot and shoe maker
Phillips Geo., blacksmith & cot. farmer
Powell Mrs. Mary, farmer, Shark house
Prince Richard, farmer, Lower farm
Stephens James, farmer, New house
Taylor Reuben, mason

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in September 2002.

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