Hentland, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004


HENTLAND (anciently Henllan) is a large parish situated about 1 mile from the river Wye, on the road between Hereford and Ross and near the junction of the road from Hereford to Monmouth, distant 4 miles N.W. of Ross, 10 S. of Hereford, and 10 N.E. of Monmouth; is in Wormelow hundred (lower division), Ross union and county court district, Much Birch polling district, and Harewood End petty sessional division. The population in 1861 was 647 in 1871, 616; inhabited houses, 140; families or separate occupiers, 156; area of parish, 2,910 acres; annual rateable value, £5,145. Chandos Wren Hoskyns, Esq., of Harewood house, is lord of the manor, and Col. Thomas Powell Symonds, Col. Broadley Harrison, Hon. Godfrey Charles Morgan, and Thomas Pymble, Esq., are the principal landowners. The parish is 7 miles in length. The soil is loam on the old red sandstone formation; chief crops, wheat, barley, roots, &c.

Hentland is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Archenfield; living, a vicarage with the chapelry of Hoarwithy annexed; value, £210, with 2 acres of glebe; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Hereford; vicar, Rev. William Poole, M.A., of Oriel College; Oxford, who was instituted in 1854, and is also rural dean of Archenfield, and a prebendary of Hereford cathedral. The church is dedicated to a Welsh saint - St. Dubricius. A church was built and consecrated here prior to the Conquest, and was rebuilt early in the 15th century. It was restored in 1849 at a cost of £500, and at various times between 1860-70 at a further cost of £560.

The tower, which contains five bells, was erected very early in the 14th century, and remains nearly as at first completed-handsomely built, with two bold weatherings for the plinth; a belfry, pierced with four decorated windows of two lights each; and beneath two of them may be seen the narrow, round-headed openings, so much used in the preceding style. There is a battlemented parapet. The interior consists of nave, chancel, north aisle, porch, font, and a vestry erected a few years since by the vicar. Near the porch rises an ancient memorial cross with carved figures of the patron saint, St. John, and the Blessed Virgin. It is supposed to have been erected about the same date as the tower. At the entrance to the churchyard is a lych-gate. The parish registers commence with the year 1558.

At a place called Llanfrother is the site of a college founded early in the 6th century, respecting which Taylor, in his "History of Gavel-kind". published in 1633, says: "In the region of Urchenfield is a certain parish called Hên-llan, commonly Hentland, which in the English tongue signifies the Old Church, and in certain pastures belonging to a farm in that parish, there is a place which to this day is called Llanfrawtwr, which is as much as to say, 'The Church or Convent of the Brethren'; the site whereof was upon a small hill not half a mile distant from Hentland, the ruins of which place, with its old foundations, are yet to be seen, and was a place dedicated to holy use; there it was that the great college for one hundred students was founded by St. Dubricius, the prince of this region (to repel the progress of the Pelagian heresy), who succeeded his grandfather Pibanus, King of Ergin, the old name of Urchenfield, and in the days of King Arthur was made Archbishop of Caerleon."

This eminent man officiated at the coronation of King Arthur (about the year 517) in his capacity of Primate of the West British Church. The foundations of extensive buildings may still be traced here at particular seasons on the summit of an eminence rising from the western bank of the Wye, but all the materials that were above ground have been used in the construction of walls, &c., even part of the foundations themselves have been dug up for the same purpose. The district of Irchenfield or Archenfield frequently occurs in Welsh writings by the name of Ergyng or Urging, and is stated to have anciently been governed by independent sovereigns. It comprehended the portion of Herefordshire south-west of the river Wye, and gives its name to the present ecclesiastical deanery of Archenfield.

There is no hundred of the name, but the deanery so called includes the whole hundred of Wormelow and one parish in Webtree. Although touching the parish of Ross, and extending to within 6 miles of Hereford, it belonged to the diocese of Llandaff until about A.D. 1133, when large portions were successfully claimed and retained by the Bishops of Hereford and St. David's. Mr. Gough, speaking of Irchenfield, says the inhabitants of this district "are left, as it were, to their own liberty, and to be extra comitatum, that is, not bound up to any strictness by the country laws; lastly, the tenure whereby they hold their lands is gavelkind, which is partition among all female children, with this difference only to the eldest son, that certain principals, as they call them, pass to him as heirlooms, and are not subject to partition, such as the best beast, the best bed and furniture, the best table, &c.; which tenure and those other enumerated customs they do for the most part still retain, as derived to them from great antiquity, even before the Norman Conquest; for they are recorded to have been Consuetudines Walensium tempore regis Edwardi Confessoris.

These customs were as follows: 'If any stole from the Welsh, man or woman, horse, ox or cow, he was, on conviction, to restore the things stolen, and forfeit 20s.; but for a sheep, or bundle of manipuli (i.e., clothes), 2s. Whoever killed one of the king's men and fled, was to forfeit to the king 20s. for the murder, and 100s. forfeit; if the man belonged to a thane, the forfeit to the man's master was to be 10s. If one Welshman killed another, the relations of the deceased were to meet, and plunder the goods of the murderer and his relations, and burn their houses till the body was buried about noon of the following day; the king was to have his third of the booty, and all the rest was to remain to them.

Whoever was charged with firing a house, and could not clear himself by forty compurgators, was to forfeit 20s. to the king. Whoever was convicted of concealing one pint of honey in the custom, was to forfeit five pints for one, if his lands yielded as much. If the sheriff called them to the shire-mot, six or seven of the best were to go with him, and whoever refused to go on summons was to forfeit 2s. or an ox to the king, et qui de hundret remanet was to pay as much; the like fine for disobeying the sheriff's precept to go with him into Wales; for if the sheriff did not go, no one else need".

About 1 mile S.W. of Hentland is the old moated manor-house of Gillow, long since reduced to a tenant farmer's abode. It was the seat of the Penebruge family in the time of Edward I. (1279), and is one of the most remarkable buildings in the neighbourhood. Attached to the house was a chapel dedicated to St. David; some architectural fragments of a sacred character are now incorporated with the very foundation of Gillow manor. Hentland national school affords instruction to about 80 children. It is under Government inspection and has a certificated master. A night school for adults, under the superintendence of the vicar, is held during the winter months; attached is a reading-room, supplied with newspapers, periodicals, &c.; also coffee and smoking rooms.

Hoarwithy is a chapelry and populous hamlet distant 1½ mile N. of the parish church, and situated on the old road between Hereford and Ross. There is a chapel of ease erected in 1841 at a cost of £700. It has accommodation for about 180 worshippers. There is also an infant school. The Wesleyans have a chapel here. The river Wye is here crossed to King's Caple by a bridge, the property of the Hoarwithy Bridge Company. The picturesque wooden bridge has been recently replaced by an iron one erected by Messrs. Westwood, Baillie, & Co., the eminent bridge builders. The new bridge is nearly 300 feet in length, and consists of two iron girders (weighing about 80 tons) crossing the river in three spans, and well connected with diagonal angle iron bracings, the roadway being formed on the top of these girders of corrugated plates, supported in the centre by a small lattice girder running the entire length of the bridge, and trussed with flat bars. By this means great strength has been obtained, combined with extreme lightness, the usual cumbrous method of transverse girders being entirely dispensed with. Many of the inhabitants of this place are employed in salmon-fishing.

Altbough, Kynaston, and Treyseck are townships. Kynaston House, the property of Col. Broadley Harrison, J.P., is at present occupied by Edwin Charles Scobell, Esq. It commands a lovely view of The Wye, and the beautiful scenery on the opposite side of the river. A great feature in the front of the mansion is Riggs wood, a favourite cover, and a meet of the Herefordshire hounds. On a hill to The east is a small camp called Caradoc, or Cradock, which is also the name of an Elizabethan seat here, lately restored by Elisha Caddick, Esq. A most magnificent view is obtained from this spot. New Inn, distant 1 mile S. of Hentland, and Treaddow half a mile further S., are places in this parish, on the Monmouth road. Near here are the remains of a tumulus, with the foundations of a chapel, called "Chapel Tumps". In the vicinity is also an ancient square camp, called Geer Cop. Little Pengethley is about half a mile S. of Hentland. Glewstone is a hamlet partly in this parish but chiefly in Goodrich.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Post Office, Hoarwithy; Alfred Watts, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Ross at 7.25 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5.45 p.m. Money orders are granted and paid and post office savings bank business transacted from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. Ross is the nearest Telegraph office and post town.
Post Office, Old Pike.- Nathaniel Taylor, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Ross at 7.15 a.m.; despatched thereto at 6.10 p. m. Hoarwithy is the nearest money order office. Ross is the telegraph office and post Town.
Parish Church (St. Dubricius').- Rev. William Poole, M.A., Vicar; Rev. Walter Landon Smith, Curate; Messrs. Thomas Pymble and Burton Parry, Churchwardens; William Scrivens, Parish Clerk.
Chapel of Ease, Hoarwithy.- The Vicar or Curate officiates.
National School (boys and girls), Hentland.- Mr. John Cox, Master; Miss Cox, Mistress.
District School (boys and girls), Glewstone.- Miss Ann Morgan, Mistress. Infant School, Hoarwithy.- ___ ___, Mistress.
Wesleyan Chapel, Hoarwithy.- Ministers various.
Assistant Overseer.- Mr. Burton Watkins, jun., Treaddow.
Relieving Officer for St. Weonard's District.- Mr. Burton M. Watkins, Treaddow.


Lundie Stow Compton, Esq., Mount Pleasant, Hoarwithy
Poole Rev. William, M.A., J.P. (vicar of Hentland with Hoarwithy; rural dean of Archenfield, and prebendary of Withington Major in Hereford cathedral), The Vicarage
Scobell Edwin Chas., Esq., Kynaston ho.
Smith Rev. Walter Landon (curate)
Whitehurst C., Esq., Brooklands
Bailey Thos., shopkr. & baker, Hoarwithy
Bennett John, farmer, Kynaston farm
Bond Samuel, saddler, Waterloo cottage
Cox John, schoolmaster, Hentland
Evans William, Foresters' Arms Inn, Hoarwithy
Evans Thomas, carpenter, New Inn
Gems Richard, farmer and haulier
Harry James, butcher, Hoarwithy
Howls Gilbert, blacksmith, Hoarwithy
Hutton John, carpenter, Hoarwithy
Morgan William, sawyer, Hoarwithy
Morris John; tailor, Hoarwithy
Nash Charles, surveyor to the Hereford highway district, Hoarwithy
Parry Burton, farmer, Dason court
Powell Ann & Frances, New Inn, St. Owen's cross
Powles James, shoemaker, Hoarwithy
Preece James, Old Harp Inn, and timber merchant, Hoarwithy
Prosser James, mason, Hoarwithy
Pymble Thomas, farmer and landowner, Llanfrother
Scrivens William, parish clerk, Swinesdigging
Scudamore Alfred, farmer, Gillow Manor house
Scudamore Alfred, farmer and maltster, Treaddow
Scudamore John, farmer, Pengethley
Slade & Co., grocers, drapers, and provision dealers, Post office, Hoarwithy
Steed Thos., boot & shoe mkr., Hoarwithy
Stock Henry, farmer, Daffaluke
Stone John, farmer, Aberhall
Stone Samuel, farmer, Great Treaddow
Taylor Joseph, boot and shoe maker, Red rail
Taylor Nathaniel, shopkpr., blacksmith, and sub-postmaster, Old pike
Walters Wm., wheelwrt., &c., Sheppon hill
Watkins Burton M., relieving officer for St. Weonard's district of Ross union, Treaddow
Watkins Burton, jun., assistant overseer for Hentland & Goodrich, and vaccination inspector for Ross union, Treaddow
Watkins George, mason
Watts Alfred, sub-postmaster, Hoarwithy
Wellington James, boot & shoe maker
Wheeler John, miller and farmer, Hoarwithy mill
Williams Fredk. Geo., farmer, Altbough

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in April 2004.

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