Holmer, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004


HOLMER is an extensive parish, consisting of the places above named, situated on the main road from Hereford to Leominster, and intersected by the Great Western railway and the Hereford and Gloucester canal. It is distant 1½ miles N. of Hereford, and 11 miles S. of Leominster; is in Grimsworth hundred, Hereford union, county court district, polling district, and petty sessional division. A part of this parish is included in the municipal and parliamentary limits of the city of Hereford. The population of the entire parish in 1861 was 1,237 - viz., Holmer and Shelwick civil parish, 1,083, and Huntington township, 154; in 1871 the total population was 2,021-viz., Holmer and Shelwick, 1,905, and Huntington, 116. The inhabited houses number 395 in Holmer and Shelwick and 24 in Huntington - total, 419. The families or separate occupiers number 508 in Holmer and Shelwick and 34 in Huntington - total, 542. The increase of population in the civil parish of Holmer and Shelwick is attributed to the facility afforded for the erection of houses, allotments of land being easily obtained.

The area of Holmer and Shelwick is 2,411 acres, and the rateable value £13,843. The area of Huntington is 540 acres, and the rateable value £1,349. Richard Hereford, Esq., who is lord of the manor, Sir Henry Geers Cotterell, Bart., and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, are the chief landowners. The soil is light; subsoil, gravel and clay; produce, wheat, barley, hops, fruit, &c. Bricks and tiles are manufactured here. Holmer is in the diocese, archdeaconry, and rural deanery of Hereford; living, a vicarage, with the chapelry of Huntington annexed; value, £278, with residence and 12 acres of glebe; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Hereford; vicar, Rev. Edward Arthur Evans, B.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1869. The Rev. George F. Bulmer, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge, is the curate.

In 1865 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners granted £120 to be added to Holmer living, subject to the employment of a curate. The church (St. Bartholomew's) is an ancient structure in the Gothic style of architecture, with nave, chancel, and a detached tower on the south side, which was restored about ten years ago. The church had been previously restored at a cost of £700. It is not improbable that the tower, like others in this and the adjoining counties, detached from the rest of the church, was intended for purposes of defence against the Welsh; that after the upper part had been destroyed, a short spire was erected on the remaining portion; which was removed, and the present timber work erected at the end of the 16th century, to make room for the five bells - the earliest bearing date 1609, and the inscription "God bless our noball King Jamese". The tenor bearing "My roaring sovnd doth warning give That men cannot here alwayes live. 1626".

Three lancet windows in the chancel were filled with rich glass in 1865, by Hardman, of Birmingham, in memory of the late Charles Bulmer, Esq., who for many years was an extensive landowner in this parish. Divine service is conducted at 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. in summer, and at 4 p.m. in winter. An additional piece of ground for burials was consecrated by the Lord Bishop on October 23rd, 1873. The parish registers begin with the year 1712. New national schools have been recently erected at Widemarsh in this parish, to accommodate about 160 children. The cost was £1,100, exclusive of the value of the site. There are several charities belonging to the parish.

The extensive works of the Herefordshire and South Wales Agricultural Manure Company, Limited, are situated in this parish, about a mile and a half from the centre of the city of Hereford, and contiguous to the Great Western railway and the Gloucester canal. The works occupy about an acre and a half of land; the general plan is nearly square; the north side is devoted entirely to the manufacture of sulphuric acid and oil of vitriol, these corrosive liquids being used in large quantities in the making of the various manures; the west and part of the south sides are occupied with a powerful steam engine, various mills, and machinery necessary for grinding and pulverising bones and other phosphatic materials from which the different manures are made. The flues from the various furnaces, boilers, &c., all radiate to the centre of the works, where the smoke ascends a shaft upwards of 200 feet high; this shaft, forming a graceful column, is seen for many miles round, and is a most pleasing feature in the landscape.

The great demand for the manure manufactured by the company, has already necessitated an extension of their commodious buildings and machinery. There are several handsome residences in this parish: Holmer Park (Captain J.A.F. Suter), Munstone House (Captain T.W.J. Downes), Copelands (Henry, J. Jenkins, Esq.), and The Laurels (Daniel G. Secretan James Woodhouse, Esq.) Huntington is a township and chapelry, distant about 1 mile S.W. of Holmer church, and 2 miles N.W. of the city of Hereford. The Midland railway (Hereford, Hay, and Brecon branch) runs through a portion of the township, and the main road from Hereford to Hay and Kington forms the southern boundary. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are lords of the manor and chief owners of the soil. Miss. Bulmer, R. Hereford, Esq., C. Watkins, Esq., and J. Walker, Esq., are also landowners.

The chapel of ease is a neat stone building, rebuilt in 1850 at a cost of £800. Divine service is conducted as at the parish church. The living is united to Holmer vicarage. The great tithes, amounting to £74 5s., are held by the Dean and Chapter of Hereford; and the small tithes, amounting to £55 10s., by the Rev. E.A. Evans, B.A. Huntington Court is the residence of John Lloyd, Esq., J.P. for Brecknockshire, and a conservator of the Wye fishery. (The population, acreage, and other statistics, are given under the head of Holmer.)

At the angle of the road, about 1 mile to the N.W. of Hereford, is a stone cross, called the White Cross, the base of which consists of an hexagonal flight of seven steps, gradually decreasing as they ascend; the height of the remaining stage of the shaft is 6 feet, and the breadth of each face 2 feet, exclusive of a pillar between each, which is surmounted, with an embattled parapet. It has been repaired and pointed at the expense of the Right Hon. and Ven. Archdeacon Lord Saye and Sele, D.C.L. The erection of this cross is, by tradition, ascribed to Bishop Cantilupe, who is said to have been returning from his palace at Sugwas to Hereford, when the bells of his cathedral began ringing without any apparent human agency, and that in commemoration of such a miraculous event he erected a cross on the spot where the sounds had first attracted his notice.

Mr. Duncumbe, in his "History of Hereford", thus describes it, giving a much more probable reason for its construction: "In the year 1347 an infectious disorder ravaged the whole county of Hereford, and, as usual, displayed the greatest malignity in the places most numerously inhabited; this created a necessity for removing the markets from Hereford, and the spot of waste ground on which the cross now stands was applied to that purpose; in memory of this event, Dr. Lewis, Charlton, who was consecrated Bishop of Hereford a few years afterwards, caused this cross to be erected." Shelwick is a township distant 1 mile N.E. of Holmer, and about 2 miles N.N.E. of Hereford. It is intersected by the Great Western railway and the Gloucester canal. The Burcott is the property and residence of Charles Croose, Esq.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Miss Julia Griffiths, Sub-Postmistress, 2 Holmer terrace. Letters arrive from Hereford at 7.50 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5:35 p.m. Hereford is the nearest money order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Bartholomew's).- Rev. Edward Arthur Evans, B.A., Vicar; Rev. George F. Bulmer, M.A., Curate; Messrs. Elijah Jones and Wm. E. Haines, Churchwardens; John Preece, Parish Clerk and Sexton.
Huntington Chapel of Ease.- Rev. Edward Arthur Evans, B.A., Vicar; Mr. John Morris, Chapel Warden.
National School, Widemarsh.- Mr. Josiah Evans, Master; Miss Evans, Sewing Mistress; Miss Sarah Manton, Mistress of Infants.


Andrews Mr. James, Westfields villa
Archibald Mrs. Mary A., Turvey house
Blain Mr. John, Moor cot., Holmer road
Brown Rev. James E., B.A. (district organizing secretary to the society for promoting the employment of additional curates), 1 Priory terrace
Bulmer Rev. George Frederick, M.A. (curate), Glenthorne
Bulmer Wm. Richard, Esq., Glenthorne
Chave Mr. William Francis, 2 Priory ter.
Croose Chas., Esq., The Burcott, Shelwick
Croose Miss, The Burcott, Shelwick
Downes Captain Thomas William James, J.P., Munstone house
Downes Miss, Munstone house
Evans Rev. Edward Arthur, B.A. (vicar of Holmer with Huntington), The Vicarage
Gwillim Mrs., Belle Vue ho., Huntington
Jenkins Henry Jones, Esq., Copelands
Jones Mr. Elijah, Moor ho., Widemarsh
Jones Mr. Wm., Poplar ho., Widemarsh
Kirkhouse Mr. William, Widemarsh vil.
Lloyd John, Esq., J.P. (for Brecknockshire), Huntington court
Mayo Miss Mary Ann, Widemarsh com.
Morris Mrs., Bank house, Widemarsh
Pardington Mr.. George, Holmer hall
Plain Mr. William, Widemarsh
Pye Mrs. and Pye Mr. Walter
Rogers Mr. Joseph, 4 Holmer terrace
Salmon Mr. T.F., Crossway
Scobie Mackay John Graham, Esq., Holmer park
Suter John Alexander Forbes, Esq. (captain of No. 1 company Hereford rifle volunteers), Holmer park
Symonds Mr. William, Clifford cottage, Widemarsh
Wainwright Mr. Joseph, Shelwick cot.
Walker Mrs., Westfield house
Woodhouse Daniel G. Secretan James, Esq.; The Laurels
Wootton Mr. Thomas, Lyde cross tree
Yapp Mrs. Ellen, Widemarsh cottage
Alcott Thomas, cottage farmer, Shelwick
Austin William, shopkeeper and coal dealer, Widemarsh common
Bailey Joseph; Swan Inn, Aylestone hill
BEECH TOM, brick and tile manufacturer, Holmer-brick works (see Hereford advertisements page 46)
Berrow Mrs. Mary, frmr., Canon Moor fm.
Bosley John, farmer, Huntington; res.,
Lower Lyde, near Hereford
Bowers James, brick manufacturer, near Manure works; res., Portland house, Hereford
Bussell Mrs. Benjn., shopkpr., Munstone
Clayton Joseph, shopkeeper, Westfields
Constable Richard, farmer, Highfield ho.
Dobbins William, carpenter and cider retailer (Railway Inn), Canon moor
Evans Josiah, master of National school, Widemarsh
Floyd Hy., Golden Lion, Grandstand rd
Fox Thomas, Bay Horse Inn, Huntington
Griffiths Miss Julia, preparatory school, and sub-postmistress, 2 Holmer terrace
Grundy Thomas, farmer, Crossway farm; res., 15 High town, Hereford
HAINES WILLIAM EDWARD, agricultural implement maker, wheelwright, & general smith, Elm tree ho.
Hewer George, farmer, Palmer's court, and fellmonger, 68 Edgar at., Hereford
HEREFORDSHIRE AND SOUTH WALES AGRICULTURAL MANURE COMPANY, LIMITED, manufacturers of special manures for all crops, superphosphate of lime, sulphuric acid, &e., offices at Works, Mr. T.F. Salmon, Manager and Secretary (see Hereford advts. p.16)
Herrington Jas., cattle dlr., Holmer ter.
Hill Thomas, shopkpr., Widemarsh com.
Hodges James, shoemaker
Hodges William, frmr., Lyde's Cross tree
Hunt Mrs. Elizabeth, frmr., Moor farm
Hunt Mrs., farmer, Widemarsh
Hunt John, timber haulier, Widemarsh
Jones Elijah, wool and cattle dealer, Moor house, Widemarsh
Jones John, farmer, Shelwick court
Jones William, farmer, Bell bank
Jones William, farm bailiff for Mr. G. Pardington; res., Hill farm, Breinton
Lane Edwin, farmer, Shelwick
Lane Thos., frmr., Burcott fm., Shelwick
Lawrence Clement, shoemakr., Westfields
Matthews Thomas, haulier, Westfields
Morris Jn., frmr., Huntington Court fm.
Panniers Richd., frmr., New ho., Shelwick
Pardington George, farmer and cattle dealer, The Moor, Huntington; and at Hill farm, Breinton; res., Holmer hall
Phillips Charles, Bridge Inn, near Manure works
Price James, carpenter, Shelwick
Reece John, Three Elms Inn, and farmer, Huntington
Salmon T.F., manager and secretary to the Herefordshire and South Wales Agricultural Manure Company, Limited, office at Works; res., Crossway
Symonds Frank, The Rose Gardens
Taylor Henry Theophilus, farmer and hop grower, Holmer house
Thomas Jn., Bull's Head, Widemarsh com.
Thorne John, farmer, Stone house
Tomkins Elisha, gardener for Capt. Suter
Tovey Joseph, farmer and hop grower, Shelwick; res., Hereford
Turner Thomas, comrcl. clerk, Rose cot.
Wainscott Henry, 1 Holmer villas
Watkins Charles, hop gr.; res. Hereford
Watkins Wm., shopkeeper, Westfields
West John, cottage farmer, Shelwick

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in April 2004.

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