Lyonshall, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004

LYONSHALL (anciently Lenchale) is a large parish and village distant 2½ miles E.S.E. of Kington, 4 W. of Pembridge, 7 N.W. of Weobley, 112 W. of Leominster, and 18 N.W. of Hereford. The Kington and Eardisley railway, recently completed, passes through the parish, and there is a station in the village. The Titley station on the Leominster and Kington railway is also in this parish, but distant about a mile and a half N. of the village. It is the junction of the Kington and Eardisley and the Presteigne and Eardisley lines, with the Leominster and Kington railway. Lyonshall is bounded on the north side by the river Arrow; is in Stretford hundred, Kington union, county court district, polling district, and petty sessional division. The population in 1861 was 960; in 1871, 1,014; inhabited houses, 205; families or separate occupiers, 245; area of parish, 4,658 acres; annual rateable value, £7,235.

The principal landowners are Robert William Dacre Harley, Esq. (who is lord of the manor), Rev. John E. Cheese, Stephen Robinson, Esq., Richard Green, Esq., Rev. James Davies, J.G. Beavan, Esq., and Samuel Jones, Esq. The soil is a heavy loam, producing wheat, barley, oats, roots, hops, and excellent pasture. Lyonshall is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Weobley; living, a vicarage; value, £376 10s., with residence and 12 acres of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Worcester; vicar, Rev. Charles Edward Maddison Green, B.A., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1866.

The church, dedicated to St. Michael and all Angels, stands picturesquely on an eminence, and possesses many interesting features and some good architectural points. It has been thoroughly well and substantially restored and partially rebuilt (by Mr. T. Holland, of Almeley), from plans furnished by Messrs. Bodley & Garner, of 109 Harley street, London, and was reopened for divine service on the 2nd of August, 1873. The work, which has been executed at a cost of about £3,215, includes new roofs, chiefly of oak covered with stone tiles, floors of Yorkshire flagging and encaustic tiles two new arches, and fifteen new windows. The holy table, reredos, chancel stalls, seats in nave, pulpit, and lectern, are all of oak. The tower (in which a clock has been placed), being much decayed, has been partially rebuilt, embellished by parapets, and carried to a greater height by 14 feet than it had been previously. It contains a peal of six fine-toned bells. The organ was built by Messrs. Walker & Sons, of London, from plans prepared by Mr. J. Charlesworth, of Monkland, near Leominster. It cost £355.

There are several stained glass memorial windows in the church, which possesses also a fine old font. The church is now capable of accommodating about 400 persons. The parish registers commence with the year 1682. The charities are of the annual value of £41 10s., distributed at the discretion of the vicar and churchwardens. The national school for boys and girls, class-room and school-house, are neat and substantial buildings of stone, erected in 1868 at a cost of £985, on a site given by Stephen Robinson, Esq. Accommodation is provided for 160 children, and the school is reported by H.M. Inspector as being in a most efficient condition. There are chapels for the Baptists. and the Primitive Methodists, both of which were erected in 1865.

Near the church are the ruins of Lyonshall castle, which was built by William Rufus, about the year 1090. In the reign of Edward II. it was partly demolished; scarcely anything now remains but its grass-grown moat and fragments of the outer walls, which are covered with ivy. "The very old lords of Leonshall", says Leland, "were the Marburyes, whose heir-general conveyed it to the Devereux in marriage". In the beginning of the reign of Henry III., Sir Stephen d'Ebroicis was lord of this manor and castle, and by him the ehurch was given to the canons of St. Leonard of Pyona. In the reign of Edward I., William, Baron Tuchet, was lord here, and procured, by his influence with that monarch, licence of free warren for this manor, together with a grant of a market and annual fair, both long since disused.

There are several excellent residences and extensive farms in this parish. About 100 yards from the ruins of the ancient castle, is Castle Weir, the property of the Rev. John E. Cheese, M.A., of Bosbury Vicarage, near Ledbury. The mansion was built by the grandfather of the present owner, and stands on elevated ground, commanding the extensive woodland scenery all around. It is at present occupied by Col. Robert Price, the master of the Radnorshire and West Herefordshire hounds, which are kennelled here. Lynhales (formerly known as The Moor) is the seat of Stephen Robinson, Esq., J.P., D.L. It is distant about three-quarters of a mile S. from the church, and is celebrated for a very fine herd of high-bred cattle, and a flock of superior Shropshire sheep. The Whittern, distant 1¼ miles N.E. of the church, has been recently purchased by Richard Green, Esq., who resides there. It is the oldest family mansion in the parish, and is beautifully situated, commanding a fine view of the picturesque country around. Elsdon, the property of Stephen Robinson, Esq., and the residence of Mr. John Taylor, is distant 1¼ miles S.W. of the village. The Holme, distant 12 miles S. by S.E., is the property and residence of Samuel Jones, Esq. Next End is 1 mile N., and Penrhos is 1 mile W. of the church.

Offa's Dyke, a little south of Lyonshall, is in a tolerably perfect state, the following account of which will be found interesting. Offa, having expelled the Welsh from the open country which they possessed between the Wye and Severn, proceeded to separate the Britons from his subjects by a high mound and ditch, which extended from Freiddyn, in Flintshire, to the Wye at Bridge Solers, in Herefordshire. It does not appear that Offa intended his work for any other purpose than a mere boundary; as a defence it would have been totally insufficient to keep the warlike Welsh in awe, who had constructed at an early period numerous fortifications of a strong nature, and would have presented scarcely any obstruction. This barrier and line of demarcation, erected by Offa, being of such a nature that it would be easy for a hostile force to break through and destroy, sanguinary enactments were made for the purpose of confining the Welsh to their own side of the Dyke.

By a law of King Egbert, the penalty of death was incurred by every Welshman who passed it; and by another law made by Harold Harefoot, it was decreed that if a Welshman entered England without permission, and was taken on the English side of the Dyke, his right hand should be cut off by the king's officer. The precise year of its construction is not known, but on the authority of the Brut-y-saeson and Brut-y-Twysogion, two Welsh chronicles, it may be fixed in, or close after, the year 784. Offa's Dyke consists of a trench and mound, the former supplying the means of raising the latter; the ditch is invariably throughout its whole extent on the Welsh side, and averages 12 feet in width and 6 in depth. It has been laid down by some writers, and affirmed by others as a fact, that Offa's Dyke commenced in the parish of Tiddenham, in Gloucestershire, and continued to pass near Cold Harbour, St. Albans, but positive proof of this cannot be brought forward. Its course across the river Arrow is very clear at the bottom of Lyonshall park, in the meadow of Mr. Harley's.

Two miles from Kington, on the Hereford road, it is crossed near Penrhos, it then takes a northerly direction, skirting the western side of the hill above Bullock's mill; its course then grows devious and irregular - we find it ascending heights and descending into valleys; at Knill Garraway, where it is very perfect, it traverses a plain and makes an angle without any apparent reason - adopting itself to the natural figure of the summit, it goes round the crest of Herrock and descends at the northern end. After it leaves the parish of Kington, and just entering Radnorshire, it passes under Ditch hill, to which it most obviously gives the name, thence winding round Evenjob-hill and Evenjob-bank, it pursues a northerly direction till it reaches the town of Knighton. Offa died in the year 794, and is supposed by some to have been buried at Offchurch, near Leamington; but the most likely place is Offord Cluny, or Offord D'Arey, in the neighbourhood of Bedford, to which his body was afterwards carried and buried in a chapel on the banks of the Ouse.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- William Bufton, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Kington at 8.30 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5.30 p.m. The wall letter-box, near the School, is cleared at 5.40 p.m. There is no delivery on Sundays. Kington is the nearest money order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Michael and all Angels).- Rev. Charles Edward Maddison Green, B.A., Vicar; Stephen Robinson, Esq., and Mr. Thomas Parton Stevens, Churchwardens; William Burgoyne, Sexton.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. Thomas Nixon, Master; Mrs. Dale, Sewing Mistress.
Baptist Chapel.- Ministers various.
Primitive Methodist Chapel, Next end.- Ministers various.
Lyonshall Railway Station (Kington and Eardisley Railway).- ___ ___, Station Master.
Titley Railway Station (Leominster and Kington Railway).- John Richard Hole, Station Master.
Deputy Steward of the Manor of Lyonshall.- Anthony Temple, Esq., solicitor, Kington
Bennett Mr. James, Litfield
Britten Mrs., Rosehill cottage
Brodie Mrs., Old Vicarage
Dickens Major, The Firs
Green Rev. Charles Edward Maddison, B.A. (vicar), The Laurels
Green Richard, Esq., The Whittern
Jones Samuel, Esq., The Holme
Lloyd Mrs. Eliza, Brick house
Nott Mr. James, Church house
Passey Mr. Samuel, Penrhos
Price Colonel Robert (master of the Radnorshire and West Herefordshire hounds), Castle Weir
Price Erasmus Barnesley, Esq., Summer court
Rea The Misses, Sidney cottage
Robinson Stephen, Esq., J.P., D.L., Lynhales
Stevens Mr. Thomas Parton, Lower house
Strange Mrs. Ann, The Village
Taylor Mr. John, Elsdon
Turner Mrs. Thomas, The Ovals
Vaughan Mr. Thomas Lewis, Rose villa
Watson Mr. William, Howe cottage
Addis Edward, carpenter and machinist
Addis Joseph, wheelwright & cot. farmer
Badger William, George Inn
Barber James, farmer, The Little Holme
Bore Thomas, farmer, New house
Bryan Roger, farmer, Upper house
Bufton William, boot and shoe maker, sub-postmaster, and collector of taxes, Tan house
Burgoyne William, mason, &c., Park cot.
Chandler Thomas, farmer, Crump Oak
Davies Edwd., farmer & miller, Titley mill
Gittus John, farmer, Hunton
Hill George, tailor
Hobby James, farmer, Park gate
Hole John R., station master, Titley sta.
Jenkins James, mason
Jones Edward, farmer, Penrhos; and miller, Bullock's mill
Jones Samuel, farmer and landowner, The Holme
Jones Thos., brick manufacturer, Elsdon brickyard; res., Old Bridge Inn, Kington
Lee William, nurseryman and florist
Lewis Thos., farmer and hop grower, and proprietor of agricultural machines, The Holme
Lloyd Thos., beer retailer, Stone house
Lloyd William, Maidenhead Inn
Mainwaring John, farmer, Hope farm
Mainwaring Thos., frmr., Next End farm
Morris Mrs., farmer, The Heath
Morris ___, farmer, The Rise
Nairn John, mason, Next end
Nairn John, jun., mason
Nixon Thomas, schoolmaster
Norgrove John, farmer, Tack-barn
Parker George, carpenter, The Village
Passey John, farmer, Cotmore farm
Powell John, agent for the Old Radnor lime, roadstone, and general trading company, limited
Powell Thos., frmr: & butcher, Lewiswych
Price John, blacksmith, &c.
Prichard Erasmus Barnesley Price, farmer and auctioneer, Summer court
Roberts William, butcher & shopkeeper
Smith John, farmer, Penrhos court
Smith William, mason
Stevens Thos. Parton, frmr., Lower house
Thomas William, boot and shoe maker, Ivy cottage
Vale John, wheelwright and carpenter, Jacob's castle
Wall Thomas, farmer, Sheriffs
Watkins Mrs. Elizth., draper & shoe dlr.
Watkins George, Holy Bush Inn, Next end
Watkins John, carpenter & shopkeeper
Williams John, tailor
Williams Thos., grocer, provision dealer, and beer retailer (Greyhound)
Williams T., dealer, The Rise

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in May 2004.

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