Much Marcle, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2002

(The Township of YATTON will be found under a separate head.)

MUCH MARCLE is an extensive parish and village pleasantly situated on the main road between Ledbury and Ross, and extending to Gloucestershire; is distant 5 miles S.W. of Ledbury, 7½ N.E. of Ross, 8 N.W. of Newent, and 13 S.E. of Hereford; is in Greytree hundred, Ledbury union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and is a polling place for county elections. Much Marcle and Yatton constitute the parish of Much Marcle, but the township of Yatton maintains its own poor, pays its own rates, and appoints its own officers. The population in 1861 was 1,209; in 1871, 1,080, viz., Much Marcle, 867, and Yatton; 213, The number of inhabited houses was 238, viz., Much Marcle, 191, and Yatton, 47. The number of families or separate occupiers was 282, viz., Much Marcle, 232, and Yatton, 50. The area of the parish is 6,349 acres, viz., Much Marcle, 4,940, and Yatton, 1,409. The rateable value is £10,129, viz., Much Marcle, £8,103, and Yatton, £2,026. Lieut.- Col. John Ernle Money-Kyrle, of Homme house, is lord of the manor. The principal landowners are Lieut.- Col. John Ernle Money-Kyrle, Robert Duffield Cooke, Esq., Henry Chillingworth, Esq., Lord Ashburton, and Mr. Thomas Powell. The soil is clayey, producing wheat, beans; peas, roots, fruit, and hops. Much timber is grown here.

This parish was part of the barony of the Lacies at the time of the Domesday Survey, and its ancient name was "Merchelay"; but afterwards coming to the Crown, was granted till Edward I. to Edmund Mortimer, whose descendants, inherited it till the time of the last Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, who demised it to the Wallwyns; but it has since passed through various families. The daughter of Roger and Philippe Mortimer married Lord Audley, and Marcle was her dower, and the second name of the parish was Marcle-Audley. Near the church stood Mortimer's castle, the mound within a few yards of the churchyard is still called the keep of Mortimer castle. According to Blount, there was another castle, perhaps more ancient, called "Ellingham castle", the site of which is now overgrown with wood, called the Quarry wood, at a little distance from the village.

In the thirteenth year of Queen Elizabeth (1571) occurred a most remarkable landslip. It is reported that on the 17th of February, at six o'clock in . the evening, Marcle hill commenced moving, and in its progress overthrew the chapel of Kynaston, together with hedges and trees, and also destroyed many cattle, and finally rested at its present position on the 19th. Camden gives the following account of the phenomenon: "The hill which they call 'Marcley hill' did, in the year 1571, rouse itself as it were out of sleep, and for three days together moved on its vast body with an horrible roaring noise; and overturning everything in its way, raised itself, to the great astonishment of the beholders, to a higher place." Fuller asserts that the whole field that moved was 20 acres, and that it travelled 14 hours, and ascended 11 fathoms up hill, leaving a chasm 400 feet wide and 520 long. The chapel bell was dug up some years since. Philips, in his "Cider" poem, refers to the movement of Marcle hill; also Butler in his "Hudibras".

Much Marcle is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Ross; living, a vicarage annexed to Yatton chapelry; joint value, £719, with residence and 26 acres of glebe; patron, Lieut.-Col. John Ernle Money-Kyrle; vicar, Rev. Allen William Chatfield, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1848, and is also rural dean of Ross. The parish church is one of the finest in the county. It stands on a hill a short distance from the main road, and has a square castellated tower (containing six bells), nave, chancel, and aisles. Active steps are being taken to restore this noble and interesting structure, and it is expected the work will be completed during the present year (1876). The cost of restoration is estimated at, more than £2,000. In a small chapel adjoining the church, built by Sir John Kyrle, Bart., in 1628, is the tomb of himself and his lady Sybill (daughter and heiress of Philip Scudamore, Esq.) It is in excellent preservation.

In the churchyard are the remains of a cross; also a yew tree, with seats inside to accommodate ten or twelve persons. The charities belonging to the parish amount to about £25 per annum. There is a national school for boys and girls, with a certificated master and mistress, and under government inspection. The average attendance is about 80. The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1863. The Primitive Methodists have also a chapel at Marcle hill. Homme House, the seat of Lieut.- Col. John Ernle Money-Kyrle, J.P., D.L., is a spacious red-brick mansion, surrounded by a thickly-wooded park, with fish-ponds, &c: Thomas Kyrle, Esq., fourth son of Robert Kyrle, Esq., of Walford court, who married Frances, daughter and heiress of John Knotford, Esq., of Malvern, was the ancestor of the Kyrles, of Much Marcle, and lord of the manor, temp. Elizabeth. His son was created a baronet in 1627. The scenery of this district is romantic and pleasing, embracing the Malvern heights, the Cotswold range, Welsh mountains, &c. Rushall and Kynaston are hamlets of Much Marcle.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Robert Baldwin, Sub-Postmaster. Letters are received through Gloucester and arrive via Dymock about 8 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5.45 p.m. Money orders are granted and paid, and savings bank and licence business transacted. Ledbury is the nearest telegraph office. Post town, Gloucester.
Parish Church.- Rev. Allen William Chatfield, M.A., Vicar; Rev: William Becher, Curate; Messrs. William Smith and Thomas Charles, Churchwardens; Richard Bosley, Parish Clerk and Organist.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr. Thomas W. Fellows, Master; Mrs. Fellows, Mistress.
Primitive Methodist Chapel, Marcle hill.- Ministers various.
Wesleyan Chapel.- Ministers various.
Carrier to Ross.- John Passey (from Dymock) passes through Much Marcle to and from Ross on Thursdays.

(The Township of YATTON will be found under a separate head.)

Brown Mrs., Hill cottage
Chatfield Rev. Allen William, M.A. (vicar of Much Marcle with Yatton chapelry; rural dean of Ross), The Vicarage
Colloe Mr. John, Venning house
Cooke Robert Duffield, Esq., Hellens
Holland Miss, Claremont house
Money-Kyrle Lieut-Colonel John Ernle, J.P., D.L., Homme house
Powell Mr. Thomas, The Hill
Aveline Frederick, shopkeeper and baker
Baldwin Robert, grocer, draper, and sub-postmaster, Post office
Bellamy James, farmer, Bounds farm
Benskin James, farmer, Gamage farm
Bosley Richard, carpenter and parish clk.
Bufton Miss, dressmaker, Rye meadows
Bufton Thomas, Rye meadows
Charles Thomas, frmr. and churchwarden
Cooper George, farmer, Hall court
Cox John, carpenter
Cox Mrs., wheelwright and beer retailer, Watery lane
Davis William, farmer, Huntleys
England Geo., boot & shoe ma., Venning
Fawke James, carpenter
Fellows Thomas W., schoolmaster
Hodges Henry, blacksmith
Hodges Hy., jun., blacksmith & machinist
Hodges Thomas, blacksmith, Kynaston
Jones Mrs. Elizabeth, beer retailer
Jones Gabriel, cooper
Kingstone Wm., farmer, Westnor's end
Mailes Richard A., Walwyn Arms Inn, and butcher and farmer
Maxton James, gardener to Lieut.-Col. Money-Kyrle, J.P., Homme house
Morris Mrs., crtfid. midwife & ladies' nurse
Moggridge James, shopkeeper, Marcle hill
Oxon Charles, carpenter
Perrins Richard, shopkpr., and cot. farmer
Pope John Pearce, farmer, Nuttalls
Powell James, farmer, Chandois farm
Powell John, farmer, The Hall end
Powell John H., farmer, Wolton
Powell Thos., frmr. & landowner, Hill fm.
Powell Thomas, farmer, Moor court
Powell William and Richard, gamekeepers to Lieut.-Col. Money-Kyrle, J.P.
Presley Thos.Hy.,wire wrkr., Rye meadows
Price James, carpenter, Rye meadows
Pritchard John, farmer, Redingend farm
Probert John, farmer, Hill farm
Pullen Edward, farmer, New house
Scrivens William, farmer
Smith John, farmer, Bodenham farm, and Dean's place, Yatton
Smith Thomas, farmer, Stoney house
Smith William, farmer, Awnells and Wittocks end farms
Stallard William, farmer, Hellens; res., Aylestone hill, Hereford
Turner James, blacksmith
Veale Henry, farm bailiff for William
Stallard, Esq., Hellena farm
White Chas., miller and farmer, New ho.
Wigmore John and Frank, farmers, Bickerton court and Redlands farm
Wilkins Thomas, shoema., Rye meadows
Williams John, cooper and farmer

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in July 2002.

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