Dilwyn, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Marion B. Wilkinson, © Copyright 2001

DILWYN, or CHURCH DILWYN, is a large parish and village situated on the main road between Leominster and Hay, distant 2 miles N.E. of Weobley, 6 S.W. of Leominster, 12 N.W. of Hereford, and 16 N.E. of Hay; is in Stretford and Wolphy hundreds, Weobley union, petty sessional division, and polling district, and Leominster county court district. The population in 1861 was 1,069; in 1871, 1,099; inhabited housed, 235; families or separate occupiers, 246; area of parish, 6,067 acres; annual rateable value, £8,655. Major Daniel Peploe Peploe, M.P., of Garnstone castle, is lord of the manor and a considerable landowner. The other principal landowners are Lacon Lambe, Esq., John W. Wilson, Esq., Henry Moore, Esq., Mrs. H. Evans, Messrs. Thomas Bowen, George Bray, Samuel Griffiths, Henry H. Hope, &c. The soil is clayey and loamy; subsoil, clay and gravel; hops are much cultivated, with wheat, beans, barley, roots, and some fruit of a superior quality. There is good pasture, and the land generally is very fertile. Dilwyn lordship formerly belonged to the De Gamages, one of whom gave the right of dispasturing on Midsummer meadows to the inhabitants of Leominster.

The parish is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Weobley; living, a vicarage; value, £440, with residence and 45 acres of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Hereford; vicar, Rev. Thomas Morgan, M.A., of Jesus College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1873. The present church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was erected during the last quarter of the 13th century, and is therefore nearly 600 years old. It consisted of nave with north and south aisles, chancel, sacristy, a western tower and spire, and north south porches. About a century later, the north transept was added, and the existing fine south porch replaced the previous one. During the next century (the 15th), the Early English roof of the nave gave place to the now existing, and the church was enriched by the setting up of several screens of carved wood. In the course of the intervening three centuries, the fabric, one of the finest and best proportioned in Herefordshire, fell into a state of dilapidation and decay.

In 1867 it was thoroughly restored under the superintendence of G. C. Haddon, Esq., architect, of Hereford and Malvern. The restoration included the opening out of the chancel and aisle roofs, the restoration of the nave roof, the cleansing the walls and stonework from plaster and whitewash, the lowering the nave floor, open benches upon the model of the ancient ones, new pulpit, lectern, reredos, altar-table, font-cover, chancel stalls, the opening of arch between chancel and sacristy for the reception of organ, flooring church with Godwin's encaustic tiles, the restoration of screens, with the addition of new fans, cornice, and cresting to central one, a warming apparatus, &c. The chancel is a singularly well-preserved specimen of 13th-century work, for the roof and walls have not suffered in the least, either from the effect of time or injudicious repairs.

The windows, again, are intact; and so is the sacristy, rather a rare instance of an original erection, at any rate in Herefordshire. The total cost of all the work done in church (fittings, &c., included) was about £2,500, raised chiefly through the exertions of the late Rev. Dr. Heather. The east window was filled with painted glass in 1867 by Messrs. Heaton, Butler, & Bayne, as a memorial to the late Rev. J. Powell. There are some remains of ancient glass in the single lancet on the south side of chancel. In 1733 the six bells now in use were placed in the tower; they bear the following inscriptions:- 1, "Prosperity to all my benefactors, A.R., 1733"; 2, "Peace and good neighbourhood, 1733"; 3, "A.R. Rudhall, of Gloucester, cast us all, 1733"; 4, "A.R., 1733"; 5, "Richard Bradford and Thomas Sheward, Ch. wardens"; 6, "I to the church the living call, And to the grave do summons all". The parish registers commence with the year 1558, and are continued without a break.

At the entrance to the church is a lych-gate, which is called here the "Scaniels". There are charities of £14 yearly value. A new national school-room, with accommodation for 78 children, was erected in 1872 at a cost of £400. The old room has been converted into an infant school and classroom. The master's residence has been improved and harmonised with the new building. School accommodation is now provided for upwards of 180 children. Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel was erected in 1835 and rebuilt in 1857; Salem Primitive Methodist chapel, at Stockmore, was erected in 1864. At Upper Chadnor court in this parish was a chapel dedicated to St. Helen. It has long since been destroyed, though the site can still be identified. Luntley court, a farmhouse in the occupation of Mr. John Burlton, is an interesting timber-framed structure, with pigeon house bearing date 1673.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Mrs. Frances Southall, Sub-Postmistress. Letters arrive from Leominster at 9.30 a.m.; despatched thereto at 3.30 p.m. Weobley is the nearest money order and telegraph office. Post town, Leominster.
Parish Church (St. Mary's).- Rev. Thomas Morgan, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. James Smith and George Pitt, Churchwardens; John Mullany, Organist.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. John Mullany, Master; Mrs. Sarah Mullany, Mistress.
Infant School.- Annie Pagett, Mistress.
Primitive Methodist Chapel (Ebenezer).- Ministers various.
Primitive Methodist Chapel (Salem), Stockmore.- Ministers various.
Relieving Officer and Registrar of Births and Deaths for Dilwyn District of Weobley Union.- Mr. Thomas Vaughan.
Surveyor of Roads.- Mr. William Blissett, Newton court.
Carrier to Hereford.- Edward Edwards, every Wednesday and Saturday; leaves Dilwyn about 8 a.m.; stops at the Maidenhead Inn, Eign street, Hereford; and returns therefrom at 5 p.m. the same days.
Carrier to Leominster.- Charlotte Morgan, every Friday.
Bowen Mr. Thomas, Luntley house
Bray Mr. George, Haven
Burlton Mr. John, Luntley court
Higgins Mrs. Mary, Townsend
Lambe Lacon, Esq., The Hill top
Lloyd Mrs. Jane, Townsend house
Moore Mr. Henry, Field's place
Morgan Rev. Thomas, M.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
Thomas Mrs., Plateau cottage
Tivy William J., Esq., L.R.C.P., Great house
Abley Martin, freeholder and cottage farmer, Stockinfield
Beverley Addison, farmer and hop grower, Bereton
Blissett William, surveyor to the Weobley highway board, Newton court
Bowen Thomas, farmer and landowner, Luntley house
Bray George, farmer & landowner, Haven
Bray George, Jun., farmer & hop grower, Henwood
Brooks Edward, farmer & hop grower, Newton
Burlton John, farmer, Luntley court
Cranston Thomas, farmer & hop grower, Little Dilwyn and Newton farms
Creswell The Misses, farmers, Dunwood
Dale William, freeholder
Davies Alfred, tailor
Davies Arthur, farmer, Lower Dewell
Davies Edmund, farmer, Boysfield
Davies George, farmer, Venmore
Davies Thomas, freeholder, Bagley head
Davies Thomas, wheelwright
Dent Arthur, farmer, Perryditch
Dent Robert J., farmer & hop grower, Alton court
Edwards Edward, carrier to Hereford
Edwards John, farmer, Pitch farm
Evans Hy. Rawlins, farmer, Swanton
French James, watch and clock maker
Gregg John, farmer, The Hurst
Griffin Joseph, farmer, Hurst farm
Griffin Joseph, jun., farmer and hop grower, Upper Dewell
Griffiths George, farmer, Upper Haven
Griffiths Samuel, farmer and landowner, Lower house
Hancock James, blacksmith and cottage farmer
Harris Daniel, farmer, Dilwyn common
Hawkins Richard, farmer & horse dealer
Holder William, Crown Inn, and farmer
Hope Henry Hood, farmer & landowner, Stocking farm
Hughes Mrs. Maria, shopkeeper
Kinnersley Mrs. M., shopkpr., Bagley head
Lane Thomas, farmer, White ho, Luntley
Lewis & Son, wheelwrights & carpenters
Lowe Thomas, farmer and hop grower, Stretford cottage
Moore Henry, landowner, farmer, & hop grower, Field's place & Chadnor farms
Mullany John, schoolmaster and organist, School house
Pagett Miss Annie, schoolmistress
Palmer George, farmer, Tyrrell's court
Parry George, cottage farmer, Common
Parry Samuel, freeholder, Common
Pember James, cottage farmer & haulier
Pitt George, farmer, Chadnor court
Potts James, shopkeeper
Price Thomas, painter and glazier
Price William, butcher, &c.
Richards George, farmer, Stretford bridge
Richards John, cottage farmer
Rogers Thomas, farmer and hop grower, The Homme
Russell Charles, boot and shoe maker and shopkeeper, Common
Scandrett George, tailor, Common
Sheers Mrs. Elizth., frmr., Townsend frm.
Smith Jas., farmer & hop grower, Bidney
Southall Mrs. Frances, sub-postmistress
Tivy William James, L.R.C.P., surgeon; medical officer to Dilwyn district of Weobley union, Great house
Vaughan Thomas, relieving officer and registrar of births and deaths for Dilwyn district
Watkins Henry Wm., farmer, Stockmore
Wildsmith John, farmer, Headland
Williams John, cottage frmr., Gravel hill
Williams Thomas, cot. frmr., Woodcocks
Winney William, farmer and hop grower, Tibhall

Transcription by Marion Wilkinson in May 2001.

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