Cradley, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2002


CRADLEY, divided into east and west, is a romantic and beautiful parish on the eastern border of this county, being nearly surrounded by Worcestershire. It is distant about 4 miles N.W. of Great Malvern, 8 N.E. of Ledbury, the same distance S.E. of Bromyard, 17 E. by N. of Hereford, and 4 N. of Colwall station on the Worcester and Hereford railway; is in Radlow hundred, Bromyard union and petty sessional division, Malvern county court district, and is a polling place and district of itself. The population in 1861 was 1,830; in 1871, 1,853; inhabited houses, 421; families or separate occupiers, 450; area of parish, 5,868a. 1r. 16p.; annual rateable value, £9,758 13s. 9d. The executors of the late Richard Yapp, Esq., who are lords of the manor, Thomas Henry Little, Esq., of Birchwood, John Shapland, Esq., of Hill house, E.B. Luxmore, Esq., C.W. Webb, Esq., of Dennis hall, Stourbridge, Right Hon. Earl Beauchamp, of Madresfield court, Joseph Fetherstonhaugh, Esq., of Hopton court, and the executors of the late Rev. W.E. Wall, are the principal landowners.

The soil is chiefly heavy land, strong clay and marl; hops are cultivated, with wheat, beans, roots, and fruit. Limestone is found in great quantities and of good quality; the quarries at Whitman's hill are well known. The Worcestershire and Herefordshire Beacons are objects of interest. Cradley is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of South Froome; living, a rectory; value, £1,173, with residence and 120 acres of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Hereford; rector, Rev. Edward Renn Hampden, M.A., of Christ Church College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1854, and is also prebendary of Putson Minore in Hereford cathedral. The Rev. Charles Sedley Hagreen, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, is the curate.

The church, dedicated to St. James, is in the Norman and Early English styles of architecture, and has a square castellated tower containing six bells. It was rebuilt in 1869-70 at a total cost of £3,666, defrayed by subscription. The chancel cost upwards of £1,200. The east window is of stained glass by Hardman, of Birmingham, erected in 1872 as a memorial to the late Thomas Webb, Esq., of this parish, by his sons and daughters; cost, £300. The south window is also of stained glass, the gift of the late Joseph Shapland, Esq. A new organ, by Nicholson of Worcester, was placed in the church in 1874; it cost £340, and was the gift of the rector. In the churchyard is a fine old yew tree of several hundred years' growth. The earliest register is dated 1625.

There is a national school for boys, endowed in 1667; it has been recently reconstructed to accommodate 100 boys; and a class-room provided at a cost of £350. A national school for girls and infants was erected in 1855 on the glebe land; it is under Government inspection; number of children on the books, 120; average attendance, about 80. There are a few small charities, belonging to the parish. There are some curious old timber-framed houses, and the Seed farm is surrounded by a deep moat. Storridge is an ecclesiastical district formed out of the parish of Cradley in 1856. It. comprises 1,960 acres; and contained in 1871 a population of 278, with 65 inhabited houses.

The church of St. John the Evangelist stands at the junction of the highway to Worcester with the Cowleigh Park road, and is a handsome building of stone, consisting of nave and chancel. It was erected at the sole expense of the Misses Luxmore, sisters of the late rector of Cradley and dean of St. Asaph. The living is a vicarage; value, £150, with residence and 6 acres of globe; patron, the rector of Cradley; vicar, Rev. Richard Davies, M.A., of Trinity College, Dublin, who was instituted in 1856. The church was consecrated in August of that year. There is a national school for boys and girls, erected by Earl Beauchamp. It is under Government inspection; average attendance, about 50; accommodation only being provided for 40: It has been conjectured that the memorable conference between Augustine, the missionary to the Saxons, and the British bishops, was held upon the hill called Storridge. It has been further supposed that on an eminence to the right of Storridge, called Bear's wood; was one of the old temples of the ancient Britons.

Stifford's Bridge is a small place situate on Cradley brook and on the main road between Worcester and Froome's hill. Cowleigh Gate is distant about 2 miles N.W. of Great Malvern. Crumpan Hill lies to the N.E. West Malvern is an ecclesiastical parish situate chiefly in the civil parish of Mathon (Worcestershire), but includes also portions of Cradley and Colwall in Herefordshire. There is charming scenery here. (For complete directory of West Malvern, see "Littlebury's Worcestershire Directory", 1873, page 470.) The principal residences in Cradley parish are - Birchwood House, the seat of Thomas Henry Little, Esq., J.P.; Halesend, G.B. Yapp, Esq.; Ridgway House, John Yapp, Esq.; and The Rectory, Rev. Edward Renn Hampden, M.A., J.P.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Post Office, Cradley village; Edward S. Kings, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Malvern at 8.50 a.m.; despatched thereto at 4.25 p.m. Letters can be registered here. West Malvern is the nearest money order and telegraph office. Post town, Great Malvern.- Post Office, Stifford's bridge; Thomas Preece, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Malvern at 7.50 a.m.; despatched thereto at 4.45 p.m. Letters can be registered here. Malvern is' the nearest money order and telegraph office and post town. The wall letter-box, Ridgway cross, is cleared at 4.30 p.m. The wall letter-box, Storridge, is cleared at 5.30 p.m. on week days, and at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Cradley Parish Church (St. James').- Rev. Edward Renn Hampden, M.A., Rector; Rev. Charles Sedley Hagreen, M.A., Curate; Messrs. John Newman and John Knill, Churchwardens; Joseph Stone, Parish Clerk.
Storridge Church (St. John the Evangelist).- Rev. Richard Davies, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. G. Jones and Thomas Lakey, Churchwardens.
Cradley National School (boys), near the Parish church.- Mr. John H. Brooks, Master.
Cradley National School (girls and infants).- Miss Annie Ball, Mistress.
Storridge National School (boys and girls).- Miss Amelia Brooks, Mistress.
Lady Huntingdon's Chapel, Westfield.- Ministers various.
Cradley Oddfellows' Club, held at the Red Lion Inn, Stifford's bridge.- Hiram Hopkinson, Secretary.
Carriers to Worcester.- James Pantall (from Cradley), Walter William Firkins (from Froome's hill), Jonathan Davies (from Bishop's Froome), William Bullock (from Castle Froome), and James Fidoe (from Bosbury) pass through this parish on Saturdays.
Carrier to Malvern.- Walter W. Firkins (from Froome's hill) on Wednesdays.


Best N. Loftus, Esq., Sunny bank
Carter R.H., Esq., Fern hill
Cliffe Mr. William Bateson, Rock cottage, West Malvern
Davies Rev. Rich., M.A. (vicar of St. John the Evangelist), Storridge vicarage
Hagreen Rev. Charles Sedley, M.A. (curate), Queen's Wood cottage
Hampden Rev. Edward Rena, M.A., J.P. (rector of Cradley, and prebendary of
Putson Minore in Hereford cathedral), Cradley rectory
Jauncey Mrs., Rose vil., Stifford's bridge
Jauncey The Misses, Hocker house
Kemble Colonel, Mill bank
Little Thos. Henry, Esq., J.P., Birchwood
Rutter Mrs. & Haynes Mrs., West Malvern
Shapland John, Esq., Hill house
Trinder Thomas, Esq. (vice-chairman of guardians of Bromyard union), The Nupend
Webb J.W., Esq., Hope-end
Yapp G.B., Esq., Halesend
Yapp John, Esq., Ridgway house
Archer Thomas, miller and farmer, Church tile and Wool mills
Ball Miss A., schoolmistress, Cradley
Barnes Benjamin, blacksmith
Barrow C., furniture remover, West Malvern
Bill John, farmer, Homend farm
Boucher Thomas, Seven Stars Inn, Stifford's bridge
Brooke George, farmer, Tan house
Brooks Miss A., schoolmistress, Storridge
Brooks John H., schoolmaster, Cradley
Brooks Thomas, coachman, Storridge
Brydges Richard, lodging house, Hill End cottage, West Malvern
Bullock William, carpenter
Caswell Job, farmer, Byefields
Essex James, farmer, hop grower, and landowner, Crumpan hill; res., Leigh Sinton
Farmer Elijah, farmer, Batch-comb
Firkins William, farmer, Home house
Gill Jacob, quarry proprietor
Griffiths J., horse dealer and beer retailer (Crown)
Halford Jn., boot & shoe maker, Storridge
Hartland Alfred H., farmer, Pitlock farm; res., Holling's hill, Mathon
Hayward Thomas, Lamb Inn, Hill end, West Malvern
Hill Geo., boot & shoe maker, Westfield
Hill Timothy, shoemaker & cot. farmer
Hodges Solomon, farmer, Hidelow
Hopkinson Hiram, sec. to oddfellows' club
HOPKINSON WILLIAM, quarry proprietor, Ridgway cross
Hughes John, grocer, baker, &c., Buryend street
Inwood Goo., grocer, &c., Ridgway cross
Jones James, farmer, Wells farm
Kings Edward S., grocer, provision dealer, assistant overseer, and
sub-postmaster, Post office, Cradley village
Kings George V., builder and contractor, Lawn house
Kings James, clock cleaner and repairer
Knill John, farmer and churchwarden, The Seed farm
Lakey Thomas, farmer, Brook house
Lane Matthew, Sycamore house, West Malvern
Lattimer J.F., farmer, Copley farm
Lewis Richard, cooper, Bearswood
Lewis William, cottage farmer, Moswick
Lloyd Mrs. M., laundress, West Malvern
Morgan Thomas, farmer, contractor, stone and lime merchant, Cowleigh Gate
farm, Whitman's hill, and Tank quarries, North Malvern
Morton Robert, carpenter, Church house
Morton William, mason, Storridge
Newman John, farmer, The Hill farm
Notley Richard, farmer and miller, Winthill, Black house, and Bean house mill
Nott Daniel, farmer, Coomb farm
Nott George, farmer, The Mines
Pantall James, carrier to Worcester
Patrick T., farmer & hop gr., Hill farm
Peisley Thomas, lodging house & grocer, Fair View villa, West Malvern
Pitt George, farmer, Birch farm
Pitt Thomas, carpenter, Cowleigh gate
Powell Lot, butcher, Stifford's bridge
Preece Thomas, shopkeeper and sub-postmaster, Stifford's bridge post office
Preston Alfred, farmer, wheelwright, and thrashing machine proprietor
Purser Charles, farmer and hop grower, The Bean house and Upper house farms
Richardson George, fruiterer, &c., Ridgway cross
Rowberry Richard, frmr., Storridge farm
Rudge Charles, farmer, Broom
Sandford Henry, tailor, Westfield
Saunders Mrs. Eleanor, grocer
SMITH SAMUEL, miller, Heath mill
Smith William, farmer and miller
South John, farmer, dealer, and beer retailer (New Inn)
Starkey Thomas, farmer, Green farm
Stephens Joseph, carpenter, Storridge
Stockford Edwin, farmer and hop grower, Ridgway farm (and in Evesbach parish)
Stone Joseph, shoemaker and parish clerk
Styche Samuel, farmer, Little Halesend
Summers Wm., baker, Hill end, West Malvern
Tarbath Thomas, beer and cider retailer (The Redan), Hill end, West Malvern
Trinder Thomas, farmer and hop grower, The Nupend
Walker John Hemming, farmer, Barrow farm; res., The Stocks, Suckley, Worcester
Watkins Thomas, blacksmith, Stifford's bridge
Weaver Thomas A., farmer, Wold farm
Webb J.W., farmer and hop grower, White house and Hope-end
White William, farmer, coal merchant, &c., Cowleigh Park farm
Willmore Mrs., lodging house, May bank, Hill end, West Malvern
Wood Wm., blacksmith, Ridgway cross
Woodbridge James, Red Lion Inn, and farmer, Stifford's bridge
Woodhouse John, New Inn, and farmer, Cradley hall,
Woodhouse Walter. shoemaker, Westfield
Yates George, farmer, Wool mill farm

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in September 2002.

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