Whitchurch, Herefordshire

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

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004

WHITCHURCH is a picturesque village and parish, delightfully situated on the west bank of the river Wye, and on the main road leading from Ross to Monmouth. It is distant 4 miles N.E. of Monmouth, 7 S.W. of Ross, and 16 S. of Hereford; is in Wormelow hundred, Monmouth union and county court district, Harewood End petty sessional division, and is a polling place for county elections. The population in 1861 was 857; in 1871, 802; inhabited houses, 201; families or separate occupiers, 207; area of parish, 1,956 acres; annual rateable value, £3,437. Mrs. Marriott, of Sellarsbrooke, who is lady of the manor, Captain J.K. Simcoe, R.N., William Brown, Esq., of Lewson, and George Woodhall Lloyd, Esq., of White house, Sellack, are the principal landowners. The soil is sandy and loamy; subsoil, chiefly rock and limestone; products, wheat, barley, roots, &c. The geology of this district is very interesting. In this parish is the Great Deward hill; on its N.W. side are the celebrated King Arthur's and other caves, in which the fossil remains of hyena, elephant, stag, &c., of the antediluvian period have been recently discovered.

At a short distance to the W. is the Little Doward hill, and on the summit of this are vestiges of an old Roman encampment. The village of Whitchurch is surrounded by scenery of the most romantic and picturesque description, and the neighbourhood is exceedingly pleasant, abounding with numerous gentlemen's seats and villas. The rivers Wye and Garron afford excellent fishing for salmon, trout, grayling, sewen, flounders, &c.; and the otter hounds meet at Marstow bridge in the season. Amongst the chief objects of interest in the vicinity is "Symonds' Yat", or Rock, the summit of which is a romantic green floor, walled in, without any formality, by copsewood, and commands a fine panorama of the Wye and adjacent country. At Symonds' Yat is a station on the Ross and Monmouth branch of the Great Western railway. Whitchurch is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Archenfield; living, a rectory; value, £290, with residence and 6 acres of glebe; patron and rector, the Rev. William Dry, M.A., of Brasenose College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1862.

The church is dedicated to St. Dubricius, whom the Welsh antiquaries place as Archbishop of Caerleon and Bishop of Llandaff, at the end of the 5th or beginning of the 6th centuries. It is a stone edifice in the Early English style of architecture, with nave, chancel, aisle, porch, and bell-turret with two bells. It was restored and enlarged in 1861 at a cost of £800. A discovery of considerable historical interest was made in March 1874 at the parish church. When some workmen were engaged in removing the recumbent figure of Talbot, something very like a coffin was found immediately beneath the effigy, and bones, which may now said to be proved to be those of John Talbot, the first Earl of Shrewsbury, were found carefully wrapped in cerements. The bones were those of the great Talbot, who fell at the battle of Bordeaux, on the 20th of July, 1453. In the churchyard is a restored stone cross to the patron saint, also a handsome tomb, enclosed within iron railings, to the memory of the ancient family of Gwillym. The parish registers commence with the year 1634.

The charities amount to about £26 yearly. The national school is a commodious building, with residence for master attached. It is for boys, girls, and infants, has a certificated master, and is under government inspection. The number of children on the books is 118; average attendance, 84. The Congregationalists have two chapels in this parish, with a graveyard (which can be enlarged) attached to each chapel; the Primitive Methodists also have a small meeting-house on the Doward. In the centre of the village stands a neat clock tower, presented by the late Miss Panter, at a cost of over £200. It has the following inscription:- "REDEEM THE TIME.- Erected in memory of William Panter, John Leach Panter, and their sister, A.D. 1867".

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- John Heath, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Monmouth about 9.15 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5 p.m. on week-days only. Money orders are granted and paid, blank telegram forms issued, and post office savings bank business transacted from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. Post town, Monmouth.
Parish Church (St. Dubricius').- Rev. William Dry, M.A., Rector; William Brown and John E. Panter, Esqs., Churchwardens; Mr. John Heath, Sidesman; James Powell, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys, girls, and infants).- Mr. John Chetwynd, Master; Mrs. Melina Biggins, Mistress.
Congregational Chapels.- Rev. Thomas Thomas, Minister.
Primitive Methodist Chapel, Doward hill.- Ministers various.
Assistant Overseer.- Mr. John Davis.
Brown Mrs. J.G., Tyn-y-rheol
Brown The Misses Elizabeth and Mary
Brown William, Esq., Lewson
Dew Mrs.
Dry Rev. William, M.A. (rector), The Rectory
Hele Mrs. S., Daff-y-nant cottage
Marriott Mrs. C., Sellarsbrooke
Norton John Ralph Norton, Esq., Old ho.
Panter John Edward, Esq.
Purcell Edward, Esq., LL.D., Glenview
Scott Mrs., Sunnyside
Steer Mrs., Apsley house
Surr Mrs.
Thomas Rev. Thomas (Congregational), Apsley cottage
Waters Mr. John, Brook cottage
Watkins Miss & Reardon Mrs., Well vale
Weaver Major Edwd. Francis, Rock View
Wightman Mr., Portland house
Armistead John, boot and shoe maker
Aucutt Thomas, hurdle maker
BALLINGER EDWIN, pleasure boat proprietor, The Ferry Inn, with apartments for tourists and summer parties
Ballinger Mrs., cider retailer
BALLINGER JOHN, Symonds' Yat Hotel and Boarding House, and pleasure boat proprietor. Good accommodation for tourists and pleasure parties (see Ross advertisements)
Ballinger Mrs. Mary, beer retailer
Biggins Mrs. Molina, schoolmistress
Bird William, walking stick manufctr.
Chetwynd John, master of National school
Davis John, tailor and rate collector
Davis Thomas, tea and coffee rooms, near Symonds' Yat railway station; res., Monmouth
Goode George, haulier
Gough John, farm bailiff for George Woodhall Lloyd, Esq., Brook house
HEATH JOHN, grocer, draper, & subpostmaster, Post office
Imms William, farmer, New court
Jenkins Richard, miller, Lewson mill
Lloyd George Woodhall, farmer, Brook farm; res., White house, Sellack, Ross
Manfred James, plasterer
Mayo Edmund, miller and baker
Pitt Walter W., farmer, Old court
Powell James, parish clerk
Powell John, farmer, Little Trewen
Powell William, fisherman, New weir
Price Philip, builder, undertaker, &c.
Pritchard Walter, The Limekilns
Rudge George, blacksmith and parish clerk of Marstow
Rudge George, jun., blacksmith
Scudamore Thomas, farmer, Trewen (and in Long-grove)
Taylor Wm., crpntr., joiner,& undertaker
Tombs Wm., carpenter, &c., Sandy way
WATKINS MISS, preparatory school for a limited number of young gentlemen, Well vale
WHITTARD JAMES BUTT, grocer, draper, corn, flour, and meal factor; and at Goodrich
Whysome William, butcher and farmer

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in July 2004.

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