Eastnor, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Marion B. Wilkinson, © Copyright 2001

EASTNOR is an extensive parish and a pretty village beautifully situated on the road from Ledbury to Tewkesbury, about 2 miles E. of Ledbury, 6 S.W. of Malvern (through Eastnor park), and 17 E. of Hereford; in Radlow hundred, Ledbury union, county court district, polling district, and petty sessional division. The population in 1861 was 478; in 1871, 410; inhabited houses, 94; families or separate occupiers, 105; area of parish, 3,161a. 3r. 8p.; annual rateable value, £3,757. The Right Hon. Earl Somers is lord of the manor, and now sole owner of the parish, having recently bought of the Higgins family the remainder of the parish, nearly the whole of which anciently belonged to them and their ancestors the Clyntons of Castle-ditch. The soil is loam and clay; subsoil, clay and stone; chief produce, wheat, beans, hops, and fruit. Eastnor is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of South Froome; living, a rectory; value, £460, with residence and 65 acres of glebe; patron, Earl Somers; rector, Rev. William Pulling, M.A., of Oriel College, Oxford, formerly Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1848, and is also rector of Pixley, and a prebendary of Hereford cathedral. The Rev. George Passaud Turner, B.A., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, is the curate.

The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1852 under the superintendence of Mr. (now Sir) George Gilbert Scott, R.A. The cost of rebuilding was over £6,000, the whole of which was defrayed by Earl Somers and the rector. This beautiful structure is in the Early Decorated style of architecture, and consists of a deep chancel, nave, and north aisle, with a western tower, and a mortuary chapel for the family of Earl Somers. There are some portions of the old church carefully preserved, of late Norman date. The interior of the church is lined with stone of a rich reddish grey; the font and pulpit are of fine stone, beautifully carved, and enriched with shafts of Cornish marble; the woodwork of the roof and of all the fittings is of massive oak, and the windows are nearly all filled with stained glass. The east window is by Wailes, of Newcastle, placed there in memory of the Rev. James Higgins, late rector, and Mary, his wife, by their surviving children. The new organ, by Nicholson, of Worcester, was given by Earl Somers in 1867; the altar plate was also an offering from Earl Somers and his family. There are various new monuments in the church to the Somers family. The earliest register is dated 1561. It was lost for some years, and found on a dunghill at Upton-on-Severn, and brought to the Rev. J. Higgins soon after he was inducted (which was in 1795), in its present mutilated state. There is a brass plate, in Latin, in the tower, giving the genealogy of the Higgins family.

The national school for boys and girls is chiefly supported by Earl Somers. It is under Government inspection, and has a certificated master; the number of children on the books is 118; average attendance, 80. Eastnor Castle, the seat of the Right Hon. Earl Somers, J.P., D.L., is a noble castellated mansion of stone, built by the grandfather of the present Earl in the year 1815. It has four towers and a keep, commanding a charming view of the Malvern hills, and the picturesque scenery for which the surrounding district is so celebrated. It has been recently renovated, with considerable additions by Messrs. Wood & Sons of Worcester. The contiguous grounds are very beautifully laid out and correspond with the grandeur of the castle. The park is about 500 acres in extent, and is well wooded and stocked with deer. In the park is an obelisk which can be seen many miles distant.

The family of Somers is of long standing in this county, and its members have at various periods held some of the highest offices in the country. By the kindness of Earl Somers the castle is open for inspection by the public on Tuesdays and Fridays. Visitors will find good accommodation at the Somers' Arms Hotel, which is within a quarter of a mile of the castle. At Bronsil, in a glen of the Malvern hills, near the residence of Hamilton Baillie, Esq., are the remains of an old castle, originally of a square form, with a round tower at each angle, and a double moat surrounding it. From the appearance of the site, it must have been exceedingly strong. Eastnor takes its name from a Roman settlement.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Charles Simons, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Ledbury at 8 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5.10 p.m. Ledbury is the nearest money order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church.- Rev. William Pulling, M.A., Rector; Rev. George Passaud Turner, B.A., Curate; Messrs. Edwin Meacham and John South, Churchwardens; Mr. William E. Jones, Organist; Charles Simons, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. William Edward Jones, Master; Miss Alice Day, Mistress.
Baillie Hamilton, Esq., Bronsil
Pulling Rev. William, M.A. (rector of Eastnor and of Pixley; prebendary of Bullinghope in Hereford cathedral; domestic chaplain to Earl Somers), The Rectory
Somers The Right Hon. The Earl, B.A., J.P., D.L., Eastnor castle; The Priory, Reigate, Surrey; & 4 Chesterfield grdns., Curzon street, Mayfair, London, W.
Turner Rev. Geo. Passaud, B.A. (curate), The Cottage
Boulter Miss Mary, dairy farmer, Wainwright street
Boulter William, farmer, Gold hill
Brewer Neighbour Henry, farmer, Upper house
Buck Albert, Esq., land agent to the Rt. Hon. Earl Somers; offices at Eastnor castle, and at Pierpoint st., Worcester
Coleman William, head gardener to Earl Somers, Eastnor Castle gardens
Connop George, blacksmith and farmer
Cropper J.W., secretary, Co-operative society
Day Miss Alice, mistress of girls' school
Eastnor Provident Co-operative Society, grocers, flour and meal factors, and provision dealers; Mr. Chas. Simons, Storekeeper; Mr. J.W. Cropper Sec.
Goodman Mrs. Mary, farmer, Beacon farm
Hart James, farmer, Fowlett farm
Hart Mrs., housekeeper to Earl Somers
Hickman Thomas, miller and farmer, Clenchers mill
INGRAM JOHN, Somers' Arms Hotel, and farmer
Jones William Edward, schoolmaster and organist
Kerss John J., clerk of works and under steward to the Rt. Hon. Earl Somers, Eastnor farm
Manning John, head keeper to Earl Somers
Pope Edward, farmer, Ockridge
Simons Charles, storekeeper at Co-operative stores, parish clerk, and sub-postmaster
South John, farmer and hop grower, stone, lime, and timber merchant, White house, and at The Hill
Tyler Joseph, cottage farmer
Vernon William, blacksmith, Wainwright street

Transcription by Marion Wilkinson in September 2001.

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