Richards Castle, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004


RICHARD'S CASTLE is a large parish, partly in Herefordshire and partly in Shropshire. The village of Richard's Castle is in Herefordshire, and is situated on the old road from Ludlow to Leominster, about 4 miles S.S.W. of Ludlow, 6½ N. of Leominster, and 21 N. of Hereford. The part of the parish of Richard's Castle in Salop includes the townships of Batchcott, Overton, and Wooferton. The Herefordshire portion is in Wolphy hundred, Ludlow union and county court district, Brimfield polling district, and Leominster petty sessional division. The total population of the parish in 1861 was 710; in 1871, 755, viz., 322 in Herefordshire and 433 in Shropshire. The inhabited houses numbered 148, viz., 68 in Herefordshire and 80 in Shropshire. The families or separate occupiers numbered 155; viz., 68 in Herefordshire and 87 in Shropshire. The total area of the parish is 4,871 acres, viz., 2,446 in Herefordshire and 2,425 in Shropshire. The soil is loamy, producing wheat, beans, barley, roots, and pasture.

Alfred Salwey, Esq., is lord of the manor. In this parish are the ruins of a castle which was erected before the Conquest by a Norman, named Richard Fitz-Scrob, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, upon a site to which he was doubtless attracted by the existence of a lofty mound, one of the most remarkable features in the earthworks of (probably) the 10th century. At the period of Domesday survey, it was possessed by Osborne Fitz-Richard, whose granddaughter Margaret conveyed it, by marriage, to Robert de Mortimer, from whose family, by an heiress also, it passed to the Talbots, and subsequently to the Salweys.

On the declivity of the eminence contiguous to the castle a body of Royalists were defeated with great slaughter by Colonel Birch. Robert de Mortimer procured from King John a charter of a market and fair for this manor, but both have long been disused. Near to here is Boney Well, in which, during the months of March and October, a quantity of small bones are found, supposed to be the bones of frogs. Richard's Castle is in the diocese of Hereford, and archdeaconry and rural deanery of Ludlow; living, a rectory; value, £650, with residence and 11I acres of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Worcester; rector, Rev. George Maddison, M.A., of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1874.

The church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, is a spacious edifice, but in need of restoration, The windows contain some beautiful stained glass. The tower is detached; and stands a few feet south-east of the chancel, and had formerly a spire, which was burnt down. The schoolroom, built in the year 1839, having become much out of repair, and needing additions to meet the requirements of the Educational Department, has been removed, and new buildings have been erected, comprising school and classrooms, capable of accommodating 130 children, with teacher's residence, upon glebe land granted by the rector. The cost, which exceeded £1,200, has been met by contributions from the landowners, parishioners, and other friends interested in the work.

There are several handsome residences in this parish, viz.: Overton House (Richard Betton, Esq., J.P.); The Moor (Alfred Salwey, Esq.); Moor Park (Major Jonas Foster); The Lodge (Thomas Charles Bridges, Esq.); and The Rectory (Rev. George Maddison, M.A.) Wooferton, otherwise Woofferton, is a township with a railway station on the Shrewsbury and Hereford joint railway, which is also the junction of the Tenbury and Bewdley railway. It is distant about 2 miles S.E. of the village of Richard's Castle and 5 S. of Ludlow. Overton is a township in this parish distant 2 miles S. of Ludlow. It was a Roman settlement. Batchcott and Moor form a township distant 3 miles from Ludlow.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- William Shenton, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Ludlow about 8 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5 p.m. Brimfield is the nearest money order and telegraph office. Post town, Ludlow.
Parish Church (St. Bartholomew's).- Rev. George Maddison, M.A., Rector; Richard Betton, Esq., and Mr. Henry George, Churchwardens; Henry Rowe, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys, girls, and infants).- Miss Ellen Stanley, Mistress.
Wooferton Railway Station (junction of the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway and the Wooferton, Tenbury, and Bewdley Railway).- William Tranter, Station Master.
Assistant Overseer.- Mr. Henry Rowe. Batchcott cottage.


Betton Richard, Esq., J.P. (for Herefordshire and Shropshire) Overton ho.
Bridges Thos. Charles, Esq., The Lodge
Buffery William Andrew Jones, Esq.
Davenport Mrs., Castle cottage
Foot Rev. Wm. Yates, B.A., Overton vil.
Foster Major Jonas, Moor park
Maddison Rev. George, M.A. (rector), The Rectory
Math Mrs., Westbrook
Salwey Alfred, Esq., J.P. (for Herefordshire and Shropshire), The Moor
Taylor Mrs. Mary, Twyford
Archer Samuel, farmer, Wheat common
Bache John, farmer, Woodcroft
Berry Samuel, market gardener
Burnet John, farmer, Overton
Bynon Benjamin, blacksmith
Carter Edward Henry, farmer and hop grower, Bilbury house
Child Robert, boot and shoe maker
Davies J., farmer, Croft furlongs
Field's Mercantile Company, Limited, depot at Wooferton railway station (Joseph Hundley, Salesman); head offices, Shrewsbury
Froggatt James, farmer, The Bury
GENT THOMAS, tailor and woollen draper, Batchcott
George Henry, farmer, The Bank
Gittins J., Salwey Arms Inn
Green Richard, farmer, Court house
Griffiths John, farmer, Corporation land
Hardeman Henry, farmer, Wooferton
Hardwick John, farmer, Wheat common
Hayle Thomas, boot and shoe maker
Howells John, farmer
Jones Edwin, cooper
Jones Michael, farmer, Moorfield
Jones William, farmer, The Green
Kinsey William, farmer
Lewis William, farmer
Lock Robert H., veterinary surgeon
Lowe William, farmer, Huck's barn
Mason George, farmer, Church farm
Mattinson Thomas, farmer, Burnt house
Parker Wm., cabinet ma. and carpenter
Passey William, farmer
Postons John, frmer, Mitnal
Pound Samuel,'. miller, Barrett's mills, Wooferton
Pound Wm., butcher & farmer, Mitnal
Preece William, farmer, Hill-top
Randle Joseph, farmer, The Leys
Randle Thomas, farmer
Randle Thomas, jun., farmer
Ridgley George, farmer and landowner, Upper and Lower house farms
Roe John, farmer, Park lane
Rowe Henry, carpenter, wheelwright, assistant overseer, and parish clerk, Batchcott cottage
Rudd Joseph, farmer and horse trainer, The Rock farm
Shenton William, Castle Inn, butcher, farmer, and sub-postmaster
Sly William, farmer
South Wales Coal Company, mineral merchants, &c., depot at Wooferton railway station (P. Hogan, Salesman); head offices, Hereford
Stanley Miss, schoolmistress
Thomas Robert L., horse trainer
Tranter William, station master, Wooferton railway station
White William, farmer, Wooferton farm
Whitehead The Misses, farmers, Mitnal
Williams Jn., Salwey Arms Inn, & shopkpr.
Williams John, blacksmith, Batchcott
Woodhouse Charles, mason, Gogging
Woodhouse James, farmer and carpenter, Batchcott

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in June 2004.

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