Marden, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2002


MARDEN (anciently Mateurdin) is an extensive parish situated on the river Lugg, about 1½ miles E. of the main road leading from Hereford to Leominster, and the same distance N. of Moreton station on the Shrewsbury and Hereford joint railway. It is distant 5½ miles N. of Hereford, 9 S. of Leominster, and 14 S.W. of Bromyard; is in Broxash hundred, Hereford union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and Bodenham polling district. The population in 1861 was 929; in 1871, 988, viz., Marden, 951, and Amberley, 37. The number of inhabited houses was 215, viz., Marden, 209, and Amberley, 6. The number of families or separate occupiers was 257, viz., Marden, 251, and Amberley, 6. The area of the parish is 4,048 acres, viz., Marden, 3,671, and Amberley, 377. The annual rateable value is - Marden, £8,975, and Amberley, £727. Mrs. Harriett Evans, of Moreton court, is lady of the manor. The principal landowners are Mrs. Evans, Edward Hodges, Esq., Charles Watkins, Esq., the Rev. H. Fleming St. John, D.H. Burr, Esq., Messrs. Thomas Grundy, John Preece, Edward Brace, and John Symmonds.

The soil is clayey and loamy; subsoil, stone and gravel; chief produce, wheat, beans, hops, fruit, and pasture. The neighbourhood abounds with good orchards, and the cider made here is particularly celebrated. The river Lugg is famed for trout, grayling, and other fish. Sutton Walls, about one mile distant, are noted as the site of the palace of Offa, King of Mercia, where the unsuspecting Ethelbert was treacherously murdered, A.D. 782. This place continued to be the residence of the Mercian kings until Egbert united the kingdoms of the Heptarchy into one sovereignty, A.D. 827. Although the place bears the name of "Sutton Walls", yet there is not the least trace of building remaining. Giraldus Cambriensis speaks of this place by the name of "King's Sutton", and "Southtown Walls", and mentions some ruins of a castle which he saw here. Leland also notices the "notable ruines of some auncyent and great building, sumtyme the mansion of King Offa, at such time as Kenchestre stood, or els Herford was a begynning". The spot comprehends a spacious encampment, on the summit of a hill, surrounded by a single rampart about 40 feet high, with entrances on the east and west ends, and north and south sides.

The area includes about 30 acres, and is nearly level excepting towards the centre, where there is a low place called Offa's Cellar. In digging on this spot an antique ring was found some years ago. This place is also celebrated as having been the position of the camp of Caractacus, and commands an interesting view of the surrounding country. Sutton is included in the extensive manor of Marden, which was an ancient demesne belonging to the Crown, but given by King Offa to the Canons of Hereford, then termed the Presbytery of Marden, in expiation of the murder of Ethelbert. Marden church was built over the spot where Ethelbert was first buried, and where a well, which still exists and is called St. Ethelbert's Well, is said to have miraculously sprung up at the time. His body was afterwards removed (and statue also) to Hereford Cathedral. This edifice was dedicated to his memory, and stands on the banks of the river Lugg.

The present noble structure is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and is in the Early English style of architecture, having a square tower, with four pinnacles and a spire, and containing six beautiful toned bells. It consists of nave, two aisles (rebuilt in 1860), chancel (repaired in 1865). north and south porch, organ, font, and a brass monument to the memory of Lady Chute, formerly a resident of the parish. The living is in the diocese, archdeaconry, and rural deanery of Hereford; it is a vicarage with the chapelry of Amberley annexed; value, £310, with residence and 1 acre of glebe; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Hereford; vicar, Rev. Thomas Henry Clutton-Brock, of the Theological College, Lichfield, who was instituted in 1875. The registers go back as far as 1612. The charities belonging to the parish amount to about £12 yearly. New and handsome schools have been recently erected, and are under the management of a school board. The cost of building schools and teacher's residence was £1,478, and the site £112. The number of children on the books is 130; average attendance, about 86. The Vicarage House is a modern erection pleasantly situated adjacent to the church, on the N.E., and Marden Court, the property and residence of Edward Hodges, Esq., is on the E.

Amberley is a township and chapelry, distant about 2½ miles E. of Marden, and maintains its own poor. The area is 377 acres and the rateable value £727. The greater part of the township belongs to Lady Lindsay, in whom the nomination to the chapelry is vested. The interesting little chapel had been roofless for many years, but in 1865 was thoroughly restored under the superintendence of Thomas Nicholson, Esq., of Hereford. The walls were very perfect; and new roofs, open sittings, and a handsome carved oak screen, have been added after the ancient type of a few existing remains. Wisteston is a chapelry in Weston rural deanery, distant about 1 mile N.E. of Marden. The chapel was restored in 1860, and a stained glass memorial window to the late William Chute Gwinnett, Esq., has been erected. The donative is worth about £56 yearly, and is in the gift of trustees, and held- by the Rev. John B. Vale, M.A., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, appointed in 1869. Wisteston Court, the property of Charles Watkins, Esq., of Hereford, is distant about 1½ miles from Marden church. Ash Grove Hill, about 3 miles distant, commands a delightful view of seven counties.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Mrs. Susan Tew, Sub-Postmistress, Paradise green. Letters arrive by messenger from Hereford about 10 a.m.; despatched thereto at 4 p.m. Hereford is the nearest money order and telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (Virgin Mary).- Rev. Thomas Henry Clutton-Brock, Vicar; Messrs. John Preece and T.A. Dean, Churchwardens; Richard Knight, Sexton.
Amberley Chapel.- Rev. T.H. Clutton-Brock, Curate.
Wisteston Chapel.- Rev. John Bartholomew Vale, M.A., Incumbent.
Board Schools (boys and girls).- Mr. William Mattey, Master; Miss E. Hopes, Mistress.
Harden School Board.- Hugh Jenner, Esq., Venwood, Bodenham (Chairman); Edward Hodges, Esq., Marden Court (Vice-Chairman); Mr. George Hooper, and Mr. Henry Griffiths. Honorary Clerk to the Board, Rev. T.H. Clutton-Brock.
Plymouth Brethren Meeting Room, Hawker's land.- Ministers various;
Steward of the Manor of Marden.- Henry Child Beddoe, Esq., Hereford.


Clutton-Brock Rev. Thomas Henry (vicar), The Vicarage
English Mr. Wm., Hawker's Land cross
Gregg Thomas Lane, Esq., Burling-gate
Hodges Edward, Esq., Marden court
Hodges James, Esq., Amberley court
Parry Miss, The Vauld
Watkins Charles, Esq., Wisteston court, and Bewell house, Hereford
Baggott John, farmer, Berrington
Bailey James, farmer, Pikestye
Baker William, carpenter, Venn's green
Ballenger Thomas, farmer, Kippernoll
Beaman Henry, mason, Drakeley
Bray Thomas, farmer, Venn's green
Burnett Daniel, farmer, Lakes
Burnett Mrs. Elizabeth, farmer, Burmars
Burnett Francis, farmer, The Lane
Chinnery Joseph, painter, &c.
Davies Charles, carpenter, Litmarsh
Davies Henry, farmer, Lower Amberley
Davies James, farmer,. Harps
Davies James, cider dealer, Park lodge
Davies Joseph, farmer, and fruit and hop grower, Venn's green
Davies Joseph, freeholder, Venn's green
Dean Thos. A., poultry breeder, Rose vil.
Derry Richard, carpenter, &c., Litmarsh
English Mrs. Elizabeth, farmer and hop grower, Hawker's land
Evans John George, Volunteer Inn, and tailor
Gailey James, carpenter and wheelwright
Green William, farmer, Litmarsh
Green William, carpenter and cider retailer, Burling
Gregg Thomas Lane, farmer, Burlinggate and Oxpasture
Guy Henry, farmer, Wyatt
Harris Charles William, freeholder
Harris Jeremiah, farmer, Drakeley
Hewer John Edward, cattle breeder, Paradise villa
Hodges Edward, farmer and landowner, Marden court
Hodges James, farmer and hop grower,
Amberley court and Lower Venn farm
HOPE HENRY J., cider and perry merchant and farmer, Fromington
Hope James, cooper, Hawker's land
Jay Mrs. Eleanor, farmer, Stoney cross
Jay William, farmer, Lower Paradise
Jenkins William, farmer, Amberley cot.
Knight Richard, parish sexton
Lawrence William, shopkeeper, Venn's green
Mansell William, mason, Monmarsh
Mason Thomas, farmer, Paradise farm
Mattey William, schoolmaster and collector of rates and taxes, School house
Matthews O., farmer, Asbgrove
Meredith John, farmer, The Marsh
Merrick John, farmer, Monmarsh
Nash John, mason and shopkeeper, Stone pool
Orchard Hannah, farmer, Litmarsh
Panniers John, farmer, King's field
Perry Henry, farmer, New House farm
Phillips James, cottage farmer & haulier, Venn's green
Powell Thomas, farm bailiff for Charles Watkins, Esq., Brook farm
Preece John, farmer, builder, and railway sub-contractor, Woodbines
Preece Thomas, farmer, Burmarsh
Reece Edwin, farmer and haulier, Paradise
Reece John, farmer, Frankland
Ridgley Benjamin, farmer, The Vauld
Rudge John, farmer, Upper Paradise
Sanders William, farmer, Urdimarsh and The Vauld
Steadman Robt., cot. farmer, The Vauld
Steed Thomas, blacksmith, Walker's green
Strangward Joseph D., farmer and landowner, Franklands
Taylor Mrs. Eliza, shopkeeper and poultry dealer, Walker's green
Taylor James, New Inn, Folly
Taylor Thomas, farmer, Lakes
Taylor William, shopkeeper and beer retailer (Bannattree)
Tow Mrs., sub-postmistress, Paradise grn.
Turner Mrs. Harriet, farmer, Urdimarsh
Walwyn Mrs. Jane, farmer, The Vauld
Watkins Charles, farmer, landowner, and hop grower, Wisteston court
and Brook farms; res., Bewell house, Hereford
Watkins John, farmer, Wisteston court
Watkins John, farmer, Upper Wisteston
Watkins William, farmer, Small ashes
Weaver Charles, cottage farmer, Litmarsh
Williams James, beer retailer and shopkeeper, Canal side (near Withington)
Wright William, carpenter and wheelwright, Monmarsh

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in July 2002.

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