Colwall, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2002

COLWALL is a large parish, village, and railway station on the Worcester and Hereford branch of the Great Western railway. It is situated on the western side of the Malvern hills, about 4 miles N.E. of Ledbury, 32 S.W. of Malvern, I8 E, of Hereford, and joins the parish of Mathon, in Worcestershire; is in Radlow hundred, Ledbury union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and Coddington polling district. The population in 1861 was 1,628; in 1871, 1,349; inhabited houses, 293; families or separate occupiers, 343; area of parish, 3,511 a. 1r. 10p.; annual rateable value, £6;542. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Benjamin Bright, Esq., are lords of the manor of Colwall, and Major Thomas Griffith Peyton is lord of the manor of Barton. The principal landowners are Benjamin Bright, Esq., the Right Hon. Earl Somers, Charles Archibald Hewitt, Esq., Major Thomas Griffith Peyton, Stephen Ballard, Esq., C.E., and Miss E. Martin. The soil is various; subsoil, clay; chief produce, hops, wheat, beans, fruit, &c.

Colwall is in the diocese and arcbdeacoury of Hereford and rural deanery of South Froome; living, a rectory; value, £540, with residence and 63 acres of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Hereford; rector, Rev. George Musgrave Custance, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1867. The Rev. Alfred Barber, M.A., of St. Alban Hall, Oxford, is the curate. The church, dedicated to St. James, is an ancient edifice chiefly in the Norman and Early English styles of architecture. It consists of a nave with side aisle, chancel, and square castellated tower at the west end containing six bells. The chancel was entirely rebuilt in 1865-66 at a cost of £1,800, defrayed by the late rector and his family. It contains three beautiful memorial windows of stained glass, by Hardman & Co., of Birmingham, and has been made very ornate with encaustic tiles on the floor and within the altar rails. The reredos is enriched with the cross and other sacred emblems. The organ was the gift of the late rector; it occupies a chamber on the north side of the chancel, and was supplied by Mr. Nicholson, of Worcester. There is a very efficient surpliced choir.

The new chancel was consecrated March 22nd, 1866. The nave shows fourteenth-century decorated work, and is divided from its side aisle by four pointed arches resting on round pillars. It has been entirely reseated, at the expense of Benjamin Bright, Esq., but wants further restoration and adornment to agree with the chancel. The tower is in a good state of preservation, and is connected with the nave in a curious way, as if originally it had been separate from the church, as many Herefordshire towers are. In the south aisle is a mural slab in memory of a member of the Walwyn family of Rhudhale, date 1587, and under the tower is a flat stone of ancient date, with an incised cross. The font is Norman. Accommodation is provided for 330 worshippers, all the seats being free and unappropriated. There is daily service in the church, and weekly celebration of holy communion. The parish registers begin with the year 1558. "The Wyche" school church is a neat modern building, situate at a distant part of the parish, nearly at the top of Malvern hill. Divine service is held here three times on Sundays, and the holy communion is celebrated fortnightly.

There is an endowed grammar school for boys, founded by Humphrey Walwyn, Esq., of the Grocers' Company, A.D. 1612. The present building was erected in 1851. The Rev. Charles Black, B.A., of New College, Oxford, formerly assistant master of King Edward's school, Birmingham, has been recently appointed the headmaster, and Mr. William Miller is the senior assistant master. A school for girls was erected by subscription on Colwall green, and opened June 20th, 1866. The cost of building was about £700 - Mr. Woodyer, of Guildford, being architect both of school and chancel. There is a school for boys and girls at the Wyche. The Wesleyans have chapels at the Wyche and Colwall green; a Sunday school is held in connection with the latter. The charities belonging to the parish are of £30 yearly value. There is a library for the poor of the parish, supported by subscription. It has about 300 volumes, and the low charge of threepence per year entitles the parishioners to membership.

This parish is famous as the scene of many of the writings of Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning - the greatest female poet that England has produced. She was born in London, of wealthy parents, in 1809, and began her literary efforts almost contemporaneously with Tennyson. Her girlhood, nevertheless, was partly spent at Hope End, in this parish; and we find in her "Aurora Leigh", and in some of her minor pieces, reminiscences of this district, executed in a broad and admirable manner. This parish contains several handsome residences. Hope End, a new and elegant mansion, the seat of Charles Archibald Hewitt, Esq., J.P., D.L., has just been erected from the designs of Messrs. Habershon & Pite, architects, of 38 Bloomsbury square, London, W.C. the contractor being Mr. William Tongue, of Plumstead, S.E. The park is well wooded, and comprises about 900 acres. Old Colwall is in the occupation of William Edmund East, Esq.; Barton Court is the seat of Major Thomas Griffith Peyton, J.P. and D.L. for Herefordshire; The Winnings, the residence of Stephen Ballard, Esq., C.E.; Brand Lodge, that of ___ Hodson, Esq., M.D., The Quarry, that of Mrs. Devas; and The Lindens, that of Mrs. R.O. Carter.

Walm's well and Moorall's well are springs in this parish, which for a long series of years have enjoyed a high repute for curative properties. The Royal Malvern well is a new and very copious spring, not long since discovered, near the Wyche pass. On the summit of one of the highest ridges of the Malvern hills, and on the borders of Worcestershire, are the immense works of the Herefordshire Beacon, formerly one of the strongest and most important hill-fortresses in this island. The vast labour employed in its construction, its amazing belts of ramparts and trenches, its great extent, its well-chosen situation, which commands what was anciently the only pass through the Malvern hills, and which indeed is very nearly so even to the present hour; its singular irregularity of form and evident dissimilitude to the modes of fortification observed by the Danes, Saxons, and Romans - all combine to establish its origin, which must unquestionably be ascribed to the Britons.

The same reasons also evince that it was not constructed for mere temporary purposes, but rather for permanent security, as a place wherein an entire district might seek refuge, with all their possessions, whether of flocks or herds, in case of invasion, or any other sudden emergency. It is almost impossible for words to convey a complete idea of this immense strong-hold; the works are too vast, the heights too unequal, and the base of the eminence too extensive. The general shape of the hill, at least of that portion occupied by the works, approaches to an ellipsis; and the disposition of the banks and ditches correspond with that figure. The area of the centre and highest part is an irregular parallelogram, measuring about 60 yards in its longest diameter, and nearly 40 in its shortest; this is surrounded by a high and steep rampart of stones and earth, now covered with turf; and that again defended by a very deep ditch.

Considerably below this, on the acclivity of the hill, ranging towards the south-west, or rather south-west by south, is a very extensive outwork or bastion, of an oval form, containing a sufficient area for the stowage and even pasturage of horses and cattle. This is connected by means of a narrow slip of land; running beneath the south-east side of the upper ditch, with a similar kind of bastion or outwork, ranging eastward, and manifestly intended for similar purposes. Both these works are surrounded by a high rampart and deep ditch; and the enclosed areas have evidently been levelled by art as far as the natural shape of the eminence would permit. Still lower on the acclivity are successive ranges of ramparts and ditches, very steep, deep, and high, encircling the sides of the mountain, and rendering it nearly, if not utterly, inaccessible.

The views from the summit of this majestic work include a vast extent of country; and Herefordshire from this height assumes a very distinct character to that of the contiguous districts of Worcester and Gloucester. It appears to be composed of an immense continuation of oblong, conical, and irregular hills, principally covered with fine timber, the deep shadows of whose luxuriant foliage project over the most beautiful vales, abounding with orchards, corn-fields, and hop-grounds. The distance in the west is finely marked by the range of the Black mountains and the hills of Radnorshire. The prospects to the east and south-east are yet more extensive, including a very large proportion of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, which appears spread out before the sight, variegated by all the charms of nature and cultivation. The Herefordshire Beacon itself is most eminently conspicuous for many miles round, and forms an object of uncommon grandeur.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Post office, Colwall green; Richard Watts, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Great Malvern at 8.20 a.m.; despatched thereto at 4.50 p.m. Great Malvern, Malvern Wells, and Ledbury are the nearest money order offices. Postal telegrams may be sent from Colwall railway station. Post town, Great Malvern.
Parish Church (St. James's).- Rev. George Musgrave Custance, M.A., Rector; Rev. Alfred Barber, M.A., Curate; Messrs. John Lloyd and George Henry Shepherd, Churchwardens; Thomas Matthews, Sexton.
The Wyche School Church (licensed by the Lord Bishop for divine worship).- The Rector or his Curate officiates.
Grammar School, Colwall green.- Rev. Charles Black, B.A., Head Master; Messrs. Wm. Miller and Frederick Chapman, Assistant Masters.
Girls' Church of England School, Colwall green.- Miss A. Tibbits, Mistress.
Wyche School (boys and girls).- Miss M. Paxton, Mistress.
Wesleyan Chapel, Colwall green.- Ministers various.
Wesleyan Chapel, The Wyche.- Ministers various.
Sunday School (in connection with the Wesleyan Chapel), Colwall green.
Colwall Library, Colwall green.- Miss Charlotte Richards, Librarian.
Police Station, Colwall stone.- E. Cope, Constable in charge.
Railway Station (Worcester and Hereford branch of Great Western Railway - West Midland Section).- J. Leworthy, Station Master.
Carrier to Worcester.- William Ireland, from Colwall green, every Saturday; stops at the Hope and Anchor Inn, Newport street, Worcester, returning therefrom about 4 p.m. the same day.
Ballard Mr. Robert, Lower Grove's end
Ballard Stephen, Esq., M. Inst. C.E., The Winnings
Baylis Mrs. Elizabeth, Colwall cottage
Black Rev. Charles, B.A. (head master of the Grammar school), Colwall green
Carter Mrs. Robert O., The Lindens
Custance Rev. George Musgrave, M.A. (rector), The Rectory
d'Hoghton Richard, Esq., New court
Devas Mrs., The Quarry
East William Edmund, Esq., Old Colwall
Hewitt Charles Archibald, Esq., J.P., D.L., Hope end
Hodson ___, Esq., M.D., Brand lodge
Lewis Mr. John Workman, Glenwood
Mansel Miss Rosabelle, Gazely
Meats Mr. John, Colwall court
Miller Mr. William, Colwall green
Peyton Major Thomas Griffith, M.A. (Oxon.), J.P., D.L., Barton court
Pullen Mrs., The Mount
Raper The Misses, Hoe court
Urry Mrs., Colwall green
Alford William, mason, The Wyche
Allen Herbert, farmer, The Knell
Allen Robert, beer retailer and cottage farmer, Colwall stone
Bailey Alfred, shoemaker, Colwall green
Bailey James, Herefordshire House Inn, and shopkeeper, The Wyche
Bailey James, farmer, Hoe Court farm
Ballard Stephen, civil engineer and railway contractor, The Winnings
Beard William, wheelwright and beer retailer (Crown)
Beaven Edwd. Wm., farmer, Nether path
Bowers Charles, beer retailer (Chase), The Wyche
Bray Mrs. Esther, Wellington Inn, Chances Pitch
Cale Robert, farmer, Lugs mill farm
Carter Mrs. Robert O., preparatory school for young gentlemen, The Lindens
Chapman Frederick, assistant master at Grammar school, Evendine
Cope E., police constable, Colwall stone
Croft Thomas; carpenter, Colwall green
Dallow Richard, wheelwright
Eden Thos.,farmer and hop gr., Brook hill
Harding Thomas, farmer,Colwall mill fm.
Harford John, wheelwright, Colwall gr.
Herring Thomas, farmer, Colwall green
Hill John, shopkeeper, Pink
Hooper George, shopkeeper, wheelwright, and carpenter, Evendine
HORTON HENRY, practical manufacturer of rich-covers, improved waggon and
cart oil-sheets, tents, marquees, tarpaulings, ropes, lines, twines, halters, sacks,hop-sacking, cider-cloths, sheep-netting, &c.; also agent
for manures, &c., Colwall ropery, Field's end; and stand in Corn exchange, Ledbury (see advertisement)
Horton Mrs. Henry, grocer and provision dealer, Field's end
Ireland William, carrier, Colwall green
Izard H., farmer and hop gr., Brockbury
Jackson John, paperhanger and plasterer, The Wyche
King Alexander, farmer, Sly house farm
King Henry, farmer, Colwall park
Leighton Miss, lodging ho., Teynham lo.
Leworthy J., station master, Railway sta.
Lloyd H., farm bailiff for Stephen Ballard, Esq., C.E., New farm buildings
Maddox John, farmer, Cowl barn
Maisey John, shopkeeper and lodging house, Victoria ho., the Wyche pass
Manton Matthew, boot and shoe maker and shopkeeper, Evendine
Matthews Thomas, parish sexton
Matthews John, far. and hop gr., Old castle
Meats John, coal, salt, and building material merchant; agent for Griffin &
Morris' celebrated manures, Colwall court; depôts at Colwall and Ledbury railway stations
Miller William, second master of Grammar school, teacher of phonography, and
correspondent for the Hereford Journal and Worcestershire Advertiser, Colwall green
Moore Mynett, blacksmith, Colwall green
Morgan John, farmer, Malt house
Nash Edmund, Horse and Groom Inn, shopkeeper and miller, Upper mill
Nash John, coal dealer, Railway station
Orgee Henry, coal merchant, Colwall stone; depôt at Railway station
Paxton Miss, schoolmistress, The Wyche
Pedlingham Charles, beer retailer (The Terrace), Colwall green
Pitt Richard, farmer, Lower house
Pockett Peter, British Camp Inn, Wynd's point
Powell Thomas, shopkeeper and thatcher, Tan house
Pygass Richard, carpenter, Colwall green
Rogers Henry, blacksmith and cottage farmer, Colwall stone
Sanders John, carpenter
Shepherd George Henry, farmer, auctioneer, &c.; land agent for Benjamin
Bright, Esq., Stone farm; office, Homend street, Ledbury
Shepherd William, farmer, Brook farm
Smith Thomas, cooper, Pateys
Smith William Henry, farmer, Moorcroft
Spilsbury Hy., blacksm., Chances pitch
Tarren John, fly proprietor, Groatsfield
Tibbits Miss, schoolmistress, Colwall gr.
Trubshoe George, baker and shopkeeper
Turberville Henry, farmer and hopgrower, The Cummins
Turberville Wm., salesman for Mr. John Meats, coal merchant, &c., Railway sta.
Watkins William, shopkeeper and blacksmith, Colwall green
Watts Richard, grocer and sub-postmaster, Post office, Colwall green
Wharton William, shopkeeper and mason, The Wyche
Wilkins George, farmer, Barton farm
Wilkins James, mason, The Wyche
Yeomans Richard, mason, The Wyche

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in September 2002.

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