Welsh Bicknor, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

WELSH BICKNOR was formerly a detached portion of Monmouthshire, but by the Acts of 2 and 3 William IV., c. 64, and 7 and 8 Vict. c. 61, it was added to Herefordshire. It is a small parish, picturesquely situated on the river Wye, and on the borders of Gloucestershire; is distant 5 miles S.S.W. of Ross, 8 N.E. of Monmouth, and 17 S. of Hereford; is in Wormelow hundred (lower division), Monmouth union and county court district, Whitchurch polling district, and Ross petty sessional division. The population in 1861 was 80; in 1871, 135; inhabited houses, 24; families or separate occupiers, 24. The increase in population is mainly attributed to the temporary presence of a number of labourers employed in the construction of a railway at the time the census was taken. The area of the parish is 842 acres, and the annual rateable value £1,124. Colonel John Francis Vaughan, of Courtfield, is lord of the manor and owner of the parish. The soil is sandy and loamy; subsoil, rock and clay; products, wheat, barley, roots, &c. Welsh Bicknor is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery, of Archenfield; living, a rectory; value, £162, with residence and 16¾ acres of glebe; patron and rector, Rev. Frederic James Aldrich-Blake, M.A., of Pembroke College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1867. A new rectory house has been recently erected.

The church of St. Margaret is a small but exquisitely beautiful building, situated on the bank of the river Wye. It occupies the site of the former edifice, and was erected in 1858 from the designs of Mr. Thomas H. Rushforth, of Regent street, London, at a cost of £2,680, the whole of which was defrayed by the late rector and Stephen Allaway, Esq. It consists of nave (in the Norman style), chancel with vestry attached, south aisle, western porch, and tower (in the Early English style). The interior is adorned with beautiful stained glass by Clayton & Bell, of London, while the pulpit, reading desk, font, &c., are splendid specimens of carving in Caen stone, inlaid with different-coloured marbles and alabaster. The organ was built by Gray & Davison, of London, and is a fine-toned instrument. The altar table and chancel stalls are of carved oak. There are 96 sittings in the body of the church, all free. The only ancient monument is an effigy, supposed to be that of the Countess of Salisbury, nurse to Henry V. It occupies a niche in the east wall of the aisle. The parish registers commence with the year 1699; some are very imperfect.

Courtfield, the seat of Colonel John Francis Vaugban, J.P., D.L., is an ancient mansion, celebrated as the place, according to a current tradition, where Henry V. (the hero of Agincourt) was sent from Monmouth, the scene of his birth, to be nursed. A Roman Catholic chapel, supported by Colonel Vaughan, stands adjacent to the mansion. About one mile from Courtfield to the west rises the commanding eminence called Copped-wood hill, from which the prospects are extremely fine and of considerable extent, embracing parts of the eight counties of Hereford, Monmouth, Salop, Worcester, Gloucester, Glamorgan, Brecknock, and Radnor.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Letters are received through Ross. Lydbrook is the nearest money order and telegraph office. Post town, Ross.
Parish, Church (St. Margaret's).- Rev. Frederic James Aldrich-Blake, M.A., Rector; Mr. John Jones, Churchwarden.
Roman Catholic Chapel, Courtfield.- Rev. ___ ___, Priest.
Aldrich-Blake Rev. Frederic James, M.A. (patron and rector), The Rectory; and National club, London, S.W.
Vaughan Colonel John Francis, J.P. (for Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, and county Mayo), & D.L. (for Monmouthshire), Courtfield; and 17 Cromwell place, South Kensington, London, S.W., and Union club, S.W.
Vaughan Captain Francis Baynbam, J.P., Glenwye
Cater Samuel, parish constable
Jones George, farm bailiff for Captain Francis Baynham Vaughan, J.P., Courtfield farm
Jones John, farmer, The Green
Merry Jas., woodward to Colonel Vaughan
Watkins George, farmer, Baynhams,

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in December 2003.

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