Laysters, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004


LAYSTERS, or LEYSTERS, is a parish situated on the borders of Worcestershire, and near the main road leading from Leominster to Tenbury. It is distant 5 miles N.E. of Leominster, 4½ S.S.W. of Tenbury, and 18½ N.N.E. of Hereford; is in Wolphy hundred, Leominster union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and Docklow polling district. The population in 1861 was 283; in 1871, 279; inhabited houses, 54; families or separate occupiers, 60; area of parish, 1,989 acres; annual rateable value, £2,261. The Trustees of Mrs. Catherine Lort, William Lort, Esq., of Yockleton hall, near Shrewsbury, Major R. Prescott Decie, of Bockleton court, Charles Andrews, Esq., of Church house, Laysters, James Withington, Esq., of Prestbury lodge, Cheltenham, and William Adams, Esq., are the chief landowners. The soil is clay; subsoil, clay and marl, except where the rock (which is tilestone and comstone) crops out at the surface.

There are perhaps few districts where the land resting on the old red sandstone foundation has undergone a change for the better more decided than this. The greater length and strength of straw, combined with the superior quality of the grain crops - abundant keep [Ed: sic] in the shape of cabbage, marigold-wurzel, and Swedes, all of splendid growth, the latter averaging thirty tons per acre, strongly testify the advantages of improved and liberal culture in a country hitherto deemed comparatively sterile and incapable of producing anything in the way of cropping worthy of competition with the splendid agricultural products of more favoured districts. This desirable change, as may be supposed, has not been brought about without considerable outlay, and the persevering application of at least some of the improvements in modern agricultural science. Laysters is in the diocese of Hereford, archdeaconry of Ludlow, and rural deanery of Burford West; living, a vicarage; value, £256 13s., with residence and 93 acres of glebe; patron, Major R. Prescott Decie; vicar, Rev. Thomas Swinton Hewitt, M.A., Worcester College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1858.

The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is an old one, and was partially restored about thirty-five years ago, at a cost of £600. A further restoration was effected about five years ago at a cost of £350 or thereabouts, the roof being laid open, the timber varnished, and the church repewed. It is a massive stone edifice, with tower, nave, chancel, and several plain mural tablets. Near to the church is a mound or tumulus, which appears to have been an ancient burial-place. The endowed charities amount to £41 12s. yearly. There is a public elementary school for boys and girls; average attendance, about 46. The ecclesiastical parish of St. Michael and all Angels, Old Wood, formed in 1856, comprises parts of the mother parishes of Laysters and Middleton-on-the-Hill, and part of the mother parish of Tenbury in Worcestershire. Rosedale, the property of James Withington, Esq., and occupied by H.J. Bailey, Esq., is a genteel residence, sheltered by plantations, and pleasantly situated on a sloping eminence, which is terminated by a small stream and fish pond. Woonton is a township distant 1½ miles S.W. of the church.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Letters are received through Tenbury, and are delivered by messenger. Tenbury, Brimfield, and Leominster are the nearest money order offices. Post town, Tenbury.
Parish Church (St. Andrew's).- Rev. Thomas Swinton Hewitt, M.A., Vicar; H.J. Bailey, Esq., and Mr. Joseph Cooke, Churchwardens; Francis Thomas, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. William Preece, Master; Mrs. Preece, Sewing Mistress.


Andrews Charles, Esq., Church house
Andrews Chas. Davis, Esq., Church ho.
Andrews Henry, Esq., Church house
Bailey H.J., Esq., Rosedale
Cooke Mr. Joseph, Wilden
Hewitt Rev. Thomas Swinton, M.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
Andrews Charles, farmer and hop grower, Church house
Basnett Benjamin, farmer, New house
Basnett Daniel, farmer, Gorst farm
Berry John, farm bailiff for C.W. Brierley, Esq.
Blake Charles, carpenter and wheelwright, Little heath
Brierley C.W., Esq., farmer and hop grower, Woonton court and Great Heath farms; res., Drinkwater park, Prestwich, near Manchester
Britten John, farmer, Hill hall and Cinders farms
Caldicott Nathaniel, farmer, White house, Woonton
Callow John, farmer; steward for the trustees of Mrs. Catherine Lort; agent for the Norfolk Farmers' live stock insurance company, and for the Lancashire fire and life insurance office
Cooke Joseph, frmr. and hop. gr., Wilden
Humphries Thomas, thrashing machine proprietor
Lort Mrs. C. (the trustees of), proprietors of Laysters brick and tile works; Mr. John Callow, Steward
Powell Thomas, farmer, Cinders wood
Preece William, schoolmaster
Stubbs Mrs. Mira, farmer, Southley
Thomas Francis, carpenter, shopkeeper, and parish clerk
Webb Miss Elizabeth, day school

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in May 2004.

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