Peterchurch, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Richard Lane, © Copyright 2002

PETERCHURCH is a very extensive parish and picturesque village, situated in the Golden Valley, on the river Dore, and on the main road leading from Hay to Ross and Monmouth. It is distant 12 miles west of Hereford, 9 S.E. of Hay, 14 south of Kington, and about 9 north, north-west of Pontrilas station on the Newport, Abergavenny, and Hereford branch of the Great Western Railway. An Act of Parliament has just been obtained authorising a railway to be constructed through the Golden Valley. The project was started a few months ago by Mr. C.E. Lane, and has been taken up with such spirit, that it now only requires time to complete the work, and to open to commerce and industry a fruitful and beautiful part of Herefordshire. The "Golden Valley Railway" will commence at Dorstone, and run parallel with the River Dore through the valley, joining the Great Western main line at Pontrilas. It is proposed to extend this railway from Pontrilas via Monnow Valley to Monmouth on the one hand, and from Dorstone to Eardisley on the other. The Golden valley is at the present time a terra incognita to the vast majority of the inhabitants of the country,. And yet, perhaps, a more beautiful valley is not to be found in the Kingdom. It is environed with hills and mountains, knolls and dells, watered by picturesque streams, and presenting to the traveller some of the most delightful scenery of which England can boast.

Peterchurch is in Webtree Hundred, Dore Union and Petty Sessional Division, Dorstone polling district, and Hereford County Court District. The population in 1861 was 710; in 1871, 665; inhabited houses, 153; families or separate occupiers, 159; area of parish, 5,089 acres; annual rateable value, £5,530. Mrs Sawyer, Miss Powell, and Mrs Hale are ladies of the manor; and Robert Henry Lee Warner, Esq., Rev. Sir George Henry Cornewall, Bart., E.L.G. Robinson, Esq., and Thomas Delahay, Esq., are the principle landowners. The soil is a rich loam; subsoil clay and sandstone; chief produce, wheat, barley, beans, oats, roots, etc. A fair is held here on May 16th, yearly for hiring. In this parish, about 2 miles north-west of the village, is the site of the demolished castle of Snodhill, which Leland describes as "somewhat in ruine" even in his days. The same writer mentions a Free Chapel and Park here. The earliest notice of this castle occurs in a record of the time of Henry III., as belonging, in the 30th year of the reign of Edward I., to Robert Lord Chandos, who was fourth in descent from Robert Chandos who came with The Conqueror. Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, in the time of Henry VI., held it in right of his wife Anne, who after his death at Barnet Field, settled it on King Henry VII.

Queen Elizabeth granted it to Sir Robert Dudley, Knight of the Garter; it subsequently came into the possession of Thomas Prosser, Esq., in whose descendants it still continues. At Urishay Castle, also in this parish, is a disused chapel, and portions of the moat which formerly surrounded the building. It is now a farmhouse, in the occupation of Mr. William Cleland. St. Peter's Wells are situated in this Parish. The water of these wells was formerly extensively used for the cure of rheumatism and sore eyes. Peterchurch is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford, and rural deanery of Weobley; living, a vicarage; value, £384, with 2 acres of glebe; patron, Percy Davies Esq.; vicar Rev. Thomas Prosser Powell, B.A., of St. John's College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1875.

The church of St. Peter is an ancient edifice in the Norman Style, and was restored in 1869-70 at a cost of £1,760. It consists of nave, chancel, porch, aisle, and tower (with spire) containing six bells. The church ends with apse containing a curious old stone alter, with the five crosses on its surface perfect. The roof of the nave was blown down in September 18th 1869. There are several monuments; also a rude piece of stone sculpture, representing a trout with a gold chain round its neck, and which is said to have been taken in the River Dore, and from this circumstance the valley is said to have taken the name of "Golden Valley". In the churchyard is a fine old yew tree, about 9½ yards in circumference.

The charities belonging to the church amount to £15 yearly. The endowed National School for boys and girls is a neat building, erected in 1856; the average attendance is about 70. There is a free school in connection with the Baptist Chapel, founded and endowed by Goff's charity. The Primitive Methodist Chapel was erected in 1857, and the Wesleyan Chapel in 1862. There are Almshouses for six aged women, supported by Smith's Charity, and under the management of the Trustees of the Peterchurch and Clifford Charity. Even inmate receives seven shillings weekly.

The following gentlemen are Trustees of the Peterchurch and Clifford Charity:- Rev. Thomas Powell, M.A., Dorstone Rectory; Benjamin Haigh Allen, Esq., Clofford priory; Herbert Howorth Wood, Esq., White House, Vowchurch; Rev. Sir George Henry Cornewall, Bart, M.A., Moccas Court; Thomas James Stallard-Penoyre, Esq., The Moor, Clifford; Rev. Thomas Prosser Powell, B.A., Peterchurch Vicarage. Clerk to the Trustees, Mr. Charles Griffiths, Hay.
POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Thomas Davies, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive from Hereford at 9 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5 p.m. Money Orders are granted and paid and post office savings bank business transacted. Post town, Hereford
PARISH CHURCH (St. Peter's).- Rev. Thomas Prosser Powell, B.A., Vicar; Messrs. James Medlicot and John Bishop, Churchwardens; William Howard, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls).- Mr John Appleyard, Master; Mrs. Caroline Appleyard, Mistress.
Baptist Endowed School.- Rev. Joseph Beard, Master; Mrs Emma Beard, Mistress.
Baptist Chapel.- Rev. Joseph Beard, Minister.
Primitive Methodist Chapel.- Ministers various.
Wesleyan Chapel.- Ministers various.
Police Station.- William Trigg, Resident Sergeant.
Carrier to Hereford.- Thomas Maddox, from Dorstone, passes through Peterchurch every Wednesday and Saturday about 7.30 a.m., returning at 9 p.m. the same days.
Peterchurch Agricultral Society.- Mr. Enoch Mathews, Secretary.
Barratt Mr. Jeremiah, High House
Beard Rev. Joseph (Baptist), Chapel Ho.
Garratt Mr. Charles, The Cottage, Hinton
Powell Rev. Thomas Prosser, B.A., J.P., D.L. (Vicar), The Vicarage
Price, Mrs., Hinton
Williams Mr. T.E., Crossway House
Appleyard John, master of National School
Bishop J. farmer, Willbrook & Penland Farms
Bowyer Amos, building
Bowyer James, mason
Bowyer Mrs, clothier, &c.
Cleland William, farmer, Trenant and Clothiers Farms, and Urishay Castle
Davies Robert, blacksmith, farmer and freeholder, Baseley Cottage
Davies Thomas, blacksmith, farmer, freeholder and sub-postmaster
Davies Thomas, farmer, New Enclosure
Davies William, boot and shoe maker
Espener William, estate agent and valuer
Evans William, miller, Snodhill Mill
Garrett Charles, shopkeeper, Hinton
Garrett William, Boughton Arms Inn, and
agent for the Liverpool and London and Globe insurance company
Gillard William, draper &c., Prince's
Goodwin Arthur, farmer, Wilmastone and Godway Farms
Griffiths Herbert, farmer, Urishay Villa
Griffiths Jonathan, farmer, Hinton Farm
Hancorn Mrs. Shopkeeper
Hancorn Wm. frmr. & timber merchant
Hoskins Thomas, shoemaker, Hinton
Howard Robert, thrashing machine proprietor
Howard William, Plough and Harrow Inn carpenter, and parish clerk
Howells Richard, farmer, Cwm
JENKINS JOHN chemist & druggist, patent medicine vendor, agent
for the Hereford Times, & depôt of the British and Foreign bible
Society, Crossway
Jones John, farmer, Lower House, Snodhill
Jones John, butcher and dealer
Lewis Walter, farmer, Lion's-Hall Farm
LANE CHARLES EDWIN, wholesale and family grocer, provision merchant, linen
and woollen draper, tailor, and general outfitter; dealer in boots & shoes, china, glass, earthenware, ironmongery, sewing machines; importer of wines and spirits; agent for the Alton Court Brewery Co. & for Guinness's Dublin Stout, Albion House
Maddox Chas., beer rtlr. & farmer, New End
Maddox James, miller, Trenant Mill
Maddox William, farmer, Barley Knapp
Matthews Enoch, farmer, Upper Willbrook
Medlicott James, farmer and; landowner, Mowbage and Greenway Farms
Morgan George, wheelwright, carpenter, and beer retailer (Nag's Head)
Page Joseph, saddler
Pearce Thomas, farmer, Snodhill Court
Powell James, farmer, Hinton Court
Powell Thomas, farmer, Snodhill and New Lodge
Price Henry, farmer, Urishay Common
Price James, Dragon's Pool
Price James, farmer, New House
Price William, farmer, Oatley farm
Pritchard James, blacksmith
Prosser Wm., frmr. & landowner, Stensley
Pugh Wm., farmer and mason, Wern-ir
Trigg Wm., sergeant, Police Station
White George, mason, Snodhill
Williams George, farmer, Gobbets
Williams James, farmer & landowner, Pool Farm, Snodhill
Williams Thomas, farmer, Old Tays.
Williams William, farmer, Park farm

Transcription by Richard Lane in November 2002.

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