Wellington Parish History Society - Herefordshire

Wellington History

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The Village & Parish of Wellington, Herefordshire.

Wellington, anciently Walingtone and Welingtone meaning a village with watery meadows, is bounded to the north by Dinmore Chapelry; to the west by Canon Pyon; to the south by Moreton-on-Lugg; to the east by Marden, from which it is separated by the Lugg water. Others consider that the name derives from the Anglo-Saxon 'weoh' meaning holy, through 'weo-leah' meaning 'the temple clearing' or possibly 'Weola's clearing.' (2) In 1038 the name was given as Weolintun. The village, which lies 5 miles north-north-west of Hereford, stretches for about a mile from the main Hereford to Leominster road (A49).

Originally, the way into the village was to the north of Bridge House, formerly a coaching inn known as the King’s Arms or Bridge Inn built in early Georgian times. The road ran along the causeway by the side of the brook, past Bridge Farm, to join the lane which crosses the brook by a ford next to the church.

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The Hamlets

Auberrow is situated about half a mile to the south of the main village, over the Knapp. The name derives from 'berrow' the Anglo-Saxon for a hill or mound. The prefix is from a personal name.
Wellington Marsh lies along a single road leading off the A49.
Burghope lies north of the village, at the foot of Dinmore Hill. It contains Burghope Court, a timber framed house added to in the early 18th. Century. See under "Buildings no longer standing" below, for information on Burghope House.

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Wellington is one of the most important archaeological sites in the West Midlands. During digs over a period of ten years from 1986, in advance of quarrying work in Wellington parish, the following were uncovered:

Results of continuing archaeoligical work undertaken since 1996 has led to the following discoveries:

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The Saxon Period

The 17th. Century antiquary and Parliamentary Commissioner, Silas Taylor, records that, “At this towne, (falsely written Wellowin for Weoling and after it had the affixe ton to it and then Wellington) was the beginning of the Danish Massacre.” This seems to refer to an attempt by King Ethelred to exterminate his foes in the year 1002 and is perhaps, the earliest mention of the parish. (1)

Hereford Cathedral library holds an ancient Latin version of the Gospels, on the back of which is a record, written in Anglo-Saxon, of a Shire-mote held in the reign of King Canute (1017-1935) at the top of Aylestone Hill, by Aegelnoth's Stone. This settled a dispute between a mother and her son regarding landed property in Wellington and Eardisley. The court bore witness that she wished all her property to go, not to her son, but to a female relative who was married to Thurcyl the White.

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The Domesday Record

The Domesday survey, compiled on the instructions of William the Conqueror in 1086, refers to the resident priest. This implies the existence of a place of worship. It is thus possible that a Saxon building stood on the site of the present parish church.

The Domesday record for Wellington, in Cutshorn hundred, reads as follows:
“Hugh l’asne tenet Walintone, Turchil (Cilt) tenuit. Ibi quinque hidae geldantes. In domino sunt duae carucatae, et IX villani et V12 October, 2015adchenisters. Inter omnes habent VIII carucas. Ibi XI servos et IX ancillae et duo molini de tredecem solidos. Ad Wich habent XVII mittas salis pro XXX denarios. T.R.E valut £VIII modo £VII. Plus ibi carucatae quam nunc sunt.
“Isdem Hugo dimidiam hidam in Walingtone-Radulf de eo. Uluuin tenuit. Ibi est una caruca et valuit decem solidos.”

The first paragraph of the above translates as: "Hugh Donkey held Wellington. Thirkel White held it. 5 hides which pay tax In lordship 2 ploughs (previously there were 5 ploughs) 9 villagers, 8 smallholders, a priest, a reeve, a smith and 4 riding men (radknights). Between them they have 8 ploughs. There are 11 male and 9 female slaves, 2 mills at 13 shillings. At Droitwich he has 17 measures of salt at 30 pence. Value for 1060 £8; now £7. There were more ploughs than there are now." The radknights were civilians who carried messages and carried out escort duties.

Hugh Donkey probably came to England with William son of Osbern and served under him defending the English border against the Welsh. On his death the manor of Wellington passed to Robert de Chandos and his lands formed the later Honour of Snodhill, named after the place in the Golden Valley where a castle was built to defend the northern entrance to the valley. Snodhill was in exchange for Hatfield with Malvern Priory.

Hugh Donkey also owned other land in Cutshorn Hundred at Credenhill, also formerly owned by Thirkell White, and at Stretton. Elsewhere in Herefordshire he owned land at Kenchester, Fownhope (formerly owned by Thirkell White); in Sutton and elsewhere in Thornlow Hundred, Beltrou, Wluestone, Almondestune and Alcamestone in the Golden Valley; at Bernaldstone (formerly owned by Thirkell White), Eardisley, Chickward, Lege and Strangford.

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The Chandos Family and later

As Baron-marchers resident at Snodhill Castle, the Chandos family was constantly fighting the irrepressible Welsh, who persistently invaded the western portion of Herefordshire. For instance, as owner of lands with an annual value of £20 and upwards, Robert de Chandos was summoned in 1282, 1297 and 1300 to accompany the royal forces into Wales, “armis et equis”. Robert’s son, Roger, was knighted, served as sheriff of Herefordshire in a number of years, and received summons to parliament as a feudal baron from 1337 to 1355. When Sir Thomas de Chandos died in 1375, he held the manors of Snodhill, Fownhope, Lugwardine and Wellington “de rege in capite per baroniam”. Thereafter moieties of the manor were given to tenants and relatives. These moieties were never reunited, but have been absorbed into the larger estates of the parish. Charles, earl of Worcester, the King’s Chamberlain, held the manor of Wellington in 1514.

A few years before the restoration of the monarchy, the Court House and manor were purchased by Herbert, eldest son of Robert Perrott, lessee of prebendal lands in Moreton-on-Lugg and testamentary heir to the childless Sir James Perrott of Haroldstone, Pembrokeshire. Mr. Perrott sat in the only parliament of Richard Cromwell. A quarrelsome drunkard in a Fleet Street tavern killed his son, Herbert. Sir Herbert Perrott’s only heir was a daughter, who married Sir John Pakington, Bart. of Westwood. Their son, Sir Herbert Perrott Pakington, is the original of Sir Roger de Coverley.

In 1752 Mr. Somerset Davies, on his marriage to Miss Lacy acquired the lordship of the manor.

In 1851 Wellington was listed as having nine farmers, a tailor, a blacksmith, a wheelwright, four cobblers and six pubs. The pubs were the Globe, the New Inn, the Railway Tavern, the Bridge Inn (still standing on the A49 in 2005) the Mason's Arms and the Plough (see Plough House below.)(5)

By 1871 the population of Wellington numbered 651. In 1872, when the Rev. Charles Robinson wrote his History of the Mansions & Manors of Herefordshire, the Lord of the manor of Wellington was the Reverend William Trevelyan Kevill Davies. Littlebury described the church as being "in great need of restoration." (6)

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The Parish Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Wellington

The earliest parts of the present church are Norman, dating from the 12th Century and were evidently built by the Chandos family of Snodhill, who held the manor of Wellington from shortly after the Conquest until the reign of King Henry VI. The chancel arch, with its distorted semicircular form, dates from the 12th Century. The unusual Norman tower is a mixture of rubble and dressed stone, with broad buttresses and deep windows and trumpet-type capitals. (2)

On the roll of Incumbents, which goes back to 1270, the first name is that of Henry de Chandos. To this period belong the nave and the first three or four stages of the west tower, with their pilaster buttresses pierced by windows. The final stage of the tower was added in 1400.

The chancel is late 13th Century Early English and has a very fine piscina. (2) The tomb recesses within it and the south porch, with its moulded beams, was added in the early 14th Century. In the late 14th Century were added the four bay north arcade, the north aisle with its fine roof and the north transept. In the 15th Century the walls of the nave were raised and the remarkable flat semicircular oak roof, with its foliate beams, foiled wind-braces, moulded tie beams and carved bosses, was added. The north aisle also has a fine timber roof with two tiers of quatrefoiled wind-braces. (4)

The south porch is of the Decorated period, with ball-flower in the abaci of the entrance. (4)

In the north east angle of the nave there remain traces of the stairs to the rood-loft, which would have extended across the chancel arch and been surmounted by the Crucifix, flanked by statues of Our Lady and St John. These were swept away at the Reformation.

Additions to the fabric of the church suggest conditions of some prosperity and, in medieval times, the church must have appeared more ornate than it does now. In his will, dated 1479, John Welyngton requested to be buried in St Mary’s Chapel. This Lady Chapel, now called the Dinmore Chapel, would have been lavishly adorned, and the niche in the eastern arch of the nave arcade would have held a statue of the Patron Saint.
There is a brass tablet in the chancel to Sir Herbert Perrott, who died in 1683. Another memorial commemorates Benjamin Tomkins the Elder, who died in 1789 aged 74. (See Court Farm, below.)

Herefordshire generally supported Archbishop Laud and the Royalist cause. In 1636 the Vicar, Prebendary Richard Todd, built a new vicarage, now “The Old House” and much Laudian woodwork was added to the church. Much of this was removed during restorations in 1887, but the 17th Century Jacobean pulpit remains, as does the altar table in the Dinmore Chapel and panelling re-used in various parts of the church.

There are fragments of original stained glass in the chancel south east window, including the head of a monk. (4) There is a story that the church's stained glass windows were buried during the Civil War and never recovered.

The church’s bells were inscribed in the 17th Century, in Latin, as follows:

A 14th century font stands under the tower.

Outside in the churchyard, there are the remains of a 14th Century Preaching Cross. This consists of a tapering monolith nearly eleven feet high. An upper extension to this has been deliberately broken off, during the Cromwellian period, when much painted glass was also destroyed. The Preaching Cross stands on a base, 2 feet 4 inches square, resting on four octagonal steps.

During the 18th and 19th Centuries apathy and indifference led to the fabric of the church lapsing in poor condition and, for long periods, services were held in the Schoolroom. On one occasion, before a funeral could be held during the winter, two wagonloads of snow had to be removed. Pastoral care also lapsed and two meetinghouses for congregations of Protestants were licensed in 1828. However, the Sunday School had an average attendance of 90 children in 1819.

In 1884 the Reverend George W.Voysey was appointed Vicar of Wellington. He set about the work of restoration. This was completed in 1887, at a cost of £1,300. Restoration of the tower followed in 1913, when the Reverend E.H. Beattie was incumbent.

An extension to the churchyard was opened and blessed at Easter 1921. The churchyard was “smartened” about 1972, and some clearance of overgrown vegetation carried out in 2003 and 2004 by members of the congregation.

The parish possesses a set of registers dating from 1559.

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1270 Henry de Chandos
1283 John de Ponte
1310 John de Trilleck
1336 William Gaymond
1413 William Harper
142- William Nott
1445 Richard Ceisell
1463 William Rawlings B.C.L.
14—Richard Pope
1513 Richard Baker
15—John Wooton
1610 William Rogers
1621 William Watkins
1625 Richard Todd M.A.
1643 John Chapman M.A.
1690 Ambrose Sparry M.A.
1691 Edward Broade
1700 Andrew Jones B.A.
1732 Humphrey Whishaw M.A.
1735 Thomas Palmer B.A.
1769 Thomas Watkins M.A.
1776 John Parry M.A.
1778 Hugh Morgan
1779 Thomas Allen M.A.
1783 John Wendel Parsons A.B.
1825 Francis Hungerford Brickenden B.D.
1826 Thomas Underwood M.A.
1838 Thomas Shepherd B.A. Christ Church, Oxon.
1884 George Waller Voysey B.A.
1911 Ernest Halden Beattie M.A.
1916 Charles Poole Lee M.A.
1930 W.H. Clement Stainer
1934 Edmund Richard Clough
1946 Harold Bland
1951 William A. Frogley M.A.
1956 Tom H.A. Wilkinson
1959 Thomas B. Randolph M.A.
1962 William Price Johns M.A.
1993 Clive Dee, Priest in Charge.
1996 Charles Burke M.A.
1990  Michael Charles Cluett

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The Farms

CHURCH FARM dates from the 15th Century and belonged to the landlords of Croft Castle at the time of the Enclosure Acts. A double wall was built, in front of the house, for cattle to walk through to get to the brook. The house has a bricked up window in the upper storey. This was done to avoid having to pay Window Tax, which was levied on dwellings with more than six windows between 1697 and 1851.

BRIDGE FARM was also owned by the Croft Castle landlords. It has its origins in the 11th Century as a monastic farm, supplying the Knights of St John at their resting-place at Dinmore Manor. The present farmhouse is a substantial 17th century black and white building. However the east wing houses a first floor solar of about 1400. The decorated plaster ceiling in the main living room dates from about 1600. This room also contains the original, massive, arched, brace truss and a large stone fireplace. The 17th. Century west wing has thinner framing and was built to house a hop kiln. (2)

STOCKS HOUSE FARM is so named because it housed the original village gaol and stocks. The original house was thatched, and is the timber-framed structure to the left of the Victorian, red brick farmhouse. The latter was built, possibly, in the late 1880s, and replaces another building which burned down in the 1860s. The fine octagonal brick dovecote, containing 539 nesting holes, is late 18th century. There is a timber-framed barn, with oak-lath walls, at the roadside.

COURT FARM is built on the site of Wellington Manor, on the north side of the brook from the village. It was home of the Tomkins family, and birthplace of Benjamin Tomkins “the younger” in 1745, whose family originated, or at least played a large part in the development of, the Hereford breed of cattle. Wellington Court is a large, square, brick house.

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Houses, Cottages and other buildings

Buildings no longer standing

There was an old barn opposite Rose Cottage, which was demolished in 1979.

FORGE COTTAGE was situated on the main road from Hereford to Leominster, opposite the village main street, and was in use until the 1940s by George Cousins. In 1976 it was dismantled to make way for improvements to the road, and removed to the Avoncroft Museum of Buildings. The building is an 18th Century timber-framed house, with a forge possibly built at the same time or soon afterwards. The house consists of a three-bay dwelling with rear service outshot. The central bay contains an entrance hall and staircase. There is a brick main chimney and fireplace, with a brick arch instead of a mantle beam, suggesting a date in the second half of the 18th Century. This is surprisingly late for a substantial timber-framed house, even in rural Herefordshire. The cottage now houses the museum’s offices. Evidence for the original roof covering exists in fragments of stone nailed to the rafters. The forge is a less substantial structure, built with oak beams reclaimed from an earlier building.

THE TURKS HOUSE, which stood beside Perrott’s Almshouses, was demolished when the A49 was widened. By the early 19th Century this property had been converted into two tenements, and the parish had added another, with a blacksmith’s shop attached. In 1827 the house had reached a most dilapidated state and, at a vestry meeting, it was decided to borrow the sum of £66 towards “The rebuilding and repairing of Turks house, the blacksmith’s shop and repairs done at the school or, in other words, Nott’s Charity.”

THE OLD HALL. There was a black and white house on the corner of the village main street and Auberrow Lane. This contained a shop on the road side, with living accommodation behind. The building was burned down just before Christmas 1913. Dorothy Stray, a young girl at the time, had to hop from one foot to the other, because the floorboards were so hot, while her father made a rope from sheets to allow them to escape. Someone had to cycle to Hereford to call out the fire brigade. The horses drawing the fire-pump slipped and fell on the ice, while rounding the corner past the Old House. The pump was being driven by George Hancocks, father of Mrs. Lena Archer, who has lived opposite the Old Hall site for many years. By this time the shop and house had burned to the ground.
The Old Hall itself was an old army medical centre, removed from a village between Shrewsbury and Whitchurch, and erected on the site after the First World War. It was used for dances, whist drives, Young Farmers etc. During the Second World War the hall was taken over by the III Monmouth Regiment, whose band paraded in the village. Two modern brick bungalows, built in the 1990s, now occupy the site.

BURGHOPE was a large mansion which formerly stood overlooking the main Hereford to Leominster road, to the north of Wellington. There is still a road sign, marked Burghope, pointing up a side road to the left, before the A49 begins to climb Dinmore Hill. Silas Taylor wrote that the name Burhope, or “Burrowhope, from some ancient fortification upon the hills under which it stands.”
The house was once a fortified residence and was held of the feudal honour of Wilton-on-Wye, by the Longchamp family. During the Wars of the Roses, Burghope was alienated to Philip Holgate. It later passed through several families, including one named Haworth or Howarth in the 16th Century. One owner was a Richard Clark, son of William Clark of Wellington, who is listed in 1570 as having lands of annual value £60 and being a recusant, “Coming not to church.” About 1600 the house was purchased by George More (or Moore) son of Edward More of Dronfield, Derbyshire. He had the house rebuilt. George Moore, was invited to contribute £10 (as a fine to escape knighthood) towards King Charles I’s Coronation in 1626. His widow suffered persecution under the Parliament, for her religious and royalist views, and the estate was sequestered.
The estate passed to John Goodere, sometime Deputy-Governor of Bombay. His eldest son Edward Goodere, sometime M.P. for Herefordshire was created a Baronet in 1707 and died in 1739. Sir Edward’s eldest son was killed in a duel, whilst serving with his regiment in Ireland. The second son, John became a master in the merchant service. He was compelled to give up the sea life by his grandfather, who settled money on him. He married the daughter of a Bristol merchant. His time at sea was said to have “rendered him brutal in his manners and violent in his temper” and the marriage was not a happy one. His wife “was oblivious to the sacred vows she had taken” and Sir John tried, unsuccessfully, to secure a divorce. Sir John’s only child died young and, as he was not on good terms with his brother, Samuel, he left the estate to the son of his sister, John Foote of Truro, brother of the dramatist, Samuel Foote. On hearing this, Samuel, a captain in the Royal Navy (RUBY, Sloop-of-War) resolved to be revenged. In 1741, two of his crew ambushed Sir John during a visit to Bristol and brought him on board the RUBY, where he was strangled. The two seamen were given money and told to flee. However, the ship’s cook had overheard cries for mercy and informed the First Lieutenant. He discovered the body in a cabin and placed the Captain under arrest. Samuel Goodere and the two murderers were hanged.
Thereafter, a village superstition held that the ghost of the murdered baronet stood guard, to prevent the occupation of the estate by the Captain, whose body was interred in Wellington churchyard.
Samuel Goodere’s two sons died unmarried (the elder a lunatic) and Burghope was sold about 1770 to Sir James Peachey, a member of the East India Company. He became Baron Selsey in the Irish peerage in 1794. Burghope was acquired by a Mr. Turberville, who sold it, as the house had acquired a reputation for being haunted as a result of the murders. By 1791 the house was in use as a granary. It was later demolished and the materials sold. All that remains is one gatepost. (3) Details of the incident and a poem on the subject can be found in the County Archives Office.

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Buildings Still Standing

BRIDGE HOUSE, formerly the Bridge Inn, is a large, early-Georgian building of eight bays, with segment-headed windows and angle pilasters. (2) The building has been derelict for some time, but is now (2003) undergoing restoration.

NOTT’S SCHOOL HOUSE, stands behind the church and was built, as a school house, in the 18th century. It continued in use as such until 1873 when new school buildings to accommodate 114 children superceded it.

THE PARSONAGE, next to the church on the village main road, contains beams dated to the 12th Century, though the core of the building is 14th. Century. Originally it had one room, to which more were added after the Reformation, when priests were allowed to marry and have families.
Tithe barns were used for storing the parson’s tithe in corn.

CAVE HOUSE is so named because of the passages which are alleged to lead from the cellars under the house to the Court on the other side of the brook. There is a bricked up wall, but no evidence of the tunnels. Roland Hill, inventor of the postage stamp, had family connections with Cave House, and is said to have lived there for a while.

WALNUT HOUSE is Victorian and was a purpose built school house. Mr. Allaway was the last schoolmaster to live there. Children from the school worked the garden in exchange for education.

THE OLD HOUSE, a timber-framed black and white building, was built in 1636 as the vicarage for the Reverend Richard Todd, vicar of Wellington from 1625.

PEAR TREE COTTAGE was possibly built around the same time as The Old House in the 1630s. On the right was a doorway. At the end of the 1700s the house was a butcher’s, after which a carpenter occupied it, who used the shed on the right hand side of the cottage.

THE HARBOUR is said by some to have been built in the 1850s, perhaps by one William Harbour. However, Mr. Kenneth Lee, owner of the house in the 1990s and 2000s, states that it was built in 1861 by the owner of The Old House, a sea captain, as a speculation. The subsequent purchaser called the house The Harbour because of the original builder's nautical associations and because flood water occasionally lapped against the garden wall on the road side of the house.

TAN HOUSE. Hides were tanned, using oak bark from local woods. The brook, which runs at the rear of the house, was used in this process. There were stables and a coach house at the rear.

A new Village Hall was opened in 1985. Much of the money used to fund its construction was raised in the village. The hall is built on the site of the Keynsall, which was a threshing ground for corn.

NOTT’S CHARITY ALMSHOUSES, in the village, were rebuilt in 1858.

PLOUGH HOUSE was the original village inn. Later it was a post office, before being converted into a private dwelling. The place where the old post box was situated can be seen.

THE VINERY was originally Townend Farm, which appears on the early Enclosures maps, as does Wharton. The house is basically a 16th Century farm, with the front extended in the late 1800s. Roof beams are marked “Davies of Leominster 1886.”
The small building at the side was used as a doctor’s surgery.

THE MILL. There is mention of two mills in the Domesday record.
In 1549 a mill named Shottesbrook was granted by King Edward VI, after the dissolution of the Order of the Knights of St John. The existing mill was constructed in 1832, on the site of previous mills, including, according to the deeds, Shottesbrook. The present building housed a corn mill typical of the period. The iron, breast-shot, bucket wheel powered two stones. The water for powering the mill ran under the middle of the mill, thence through a sluice under the road.
West Midlands Farmers Co. were the last to use the building as a mill. It was used as a pottery, then sold off for conversion into six houses. The mill machinery is still in place in the ground floor of No.2 the Mill, (Moor Bridge House) with two millstones forming part of the floor of the room above.

THE VICARAGE was built in 1885.

THE PERROTT ALMSHOUSES stand on the other side of the main A49 road from the road into the village. Sir Herbert Perrott and Mr. William Nott endowed money for a schoolhouse and for almshouses in the village and on the main Hereford to Leominster road. The Perrott Almshouses were built in 1682 and almost entirely rebuilt in Queen Victoria’s jubilee year, 1887.

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Wellington School

In 1852 the school at Wellington was known as Nott’s & Perrott’s Charity School. Teaching took place in the early 18th Century cottage behind the church. It is not known whether the original Nott’s schoolhouse stood on this site, or whether it was situated nearer to the Nott’s Almshouses. At this time elementary education consisted of instruction in the barest rudiments – an education considered appropriate to the needs of the rural working classes.

As in all schools at the time, an emphasis was placed on religious education, reading being taught primarily to make the study of the Bible possible. Skills by which the pupils could earn their livings were also encouraged. Thus girls spent many hours practising needlework.

After the 1870 Education Act, education in England and Wales improved rapidly. Over 5,000 schools were built in four years, including the present school in Wellington.

In 1872 the Reverend William Kevill Davies of Croft Castle granted to the minister and churchwardens of Wellington 1 rood and 3 perches of land, opposite the church, on which to build a school. The religious and moral education of the pupils was the responsibility of the minister. A committee, consisting of seven churchwardens, was set up to be responsible for the management and staffing of the school.

The new school, which cost £471 to build, was opened in June 1873. It closed again, when Mr. Tickner departed in August 1877, until June 1879, when it re-opened as a Board School. The new master had this to say of his pupils. “It would be difficult for me to describe the class of children I encountered. I find them rough, rude and neglected. I trust however, to bring them to order, and afterwards, I daresay they may be taught something.”

It is unlikely that he achieved any of his aims, as he left in September of the same year, possibly daunted by the immensity of his task! This pattern continued, with masters saying for only a few years, until 1926, when Mr. J. Davis became schoolmaster.

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2001 Census

The 2001 census gives the population of Wellington Parish as 1,022. 45 per cent of these were aged between 30 and 45 and three were aged over 90.

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Physical Features

CLAY-PIT LANE takes its name from the fact that clay for brick making was extracted there in the mid-19th Century.

THE KNAPP, is the name given to the low hill between Wellington village and the hamlet of Auberrow. The name means Buttock in Saxon.

WELLINGTON WOOD lies to the north of the village. The wood, which used to contain lime kilns, stretches westwards to Lawton Hope, one of the places where Owain Glyndwr is reputed to have died. (2)

WELLINGTON QUARRY lies three quarters of a mile east of the village and contains the remains of an Iron-age lowland farm settlement. This is one of only two discovered in Herefordshire; the other is at Kenchester.

Flints have been found in the fields around the village.

The large boulder, at the corner of the village main street and Auberrow Lane, is a remnant from the Ice age. It is now half the size it was, due to improvements to the road, tarmacing etc.

WELLINGTON BROOK runs through the village, parallel and to the north of the main street. It is crossed by a ford behind the church, by a bridge by Bridge Farm and by another bridge in front of the Mill. Nearer its source the stream is called Wormesly Brook, and then it becomes the Dern as it passes Derndale upstream of Wellington. The brook flows into the River Lugg. Until recent times the brook was prone to overflowing and flooding the village up to the main street, which it still does, occasionally. In the 1990s, Mr. & Mrs. R. Gilbert, the owners of Rose Cottage restored the cobbled pavement outside their house. This was part of a raised walkway, built to allow the vicar to walk between the vicarage and the church, dry shod, when the brook was in flood.

Stone and oak were brought to the village, from the woods, down Bridge Lane. A bridge made of old railway sleepers at one time, crossed the brook. The families of the men who worked at the Court lived in Bridge Lane, in thatched cottages.

In 1988 a new gravel pit was opened on the border between the parishes of Wellington and Marden, one and a half miles east of the village. The remains of a Roman villa, (2) said to have been owned by the magnate who operated the Droitwich salt deposits.

It is said that the first cuckoo of spring in Herefordshire is heard in Wellington.

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Outside the Parish

Dinmore Hill rises behind the village.

Dinmore Manor lies close to the north of Wellington, in Hope-Under-Dinmore parish, on the site of a Commandery of the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem. The most complete remnant of these times is the 12th Century Chapel. After being derelict for some years, the chapel was restored in the 1830s, by the Reverend Harris Fleming St John, the then proprietor. “Dun Mawr” means great hill.
The architecture of the manor itself dates from the 12th to the 20th Century. The manor stands 550 feet above sea level, with outstanding views over the Lugg valley, towards the Malvern Hills. The buildings contain a remarkable collection of 1930s stained glass, an 18th Century chamber organ and a Victorian Aeolian pipe organ, and two medieval sundials.
The gardens include a 1,200-year-old yew tree and a collection of old Acers, amongst other plants. Richard Hollins Murray invented the reflecting lens, subsequently developed elsewhere to become the “cat’s eyes” familiar on roads. He bought the estate in 1927 and restored and developed the buildings and gardens. His grandson sold the property in the early 2000s.

Hampton Court.
Richard Arkwright bought this large mansion, situated in the parish of Hope Under Dinmore, in 1808. The core of the building is a medieval castle. Legend has it that a picture of hounds, hanging in Hampton Court, must not be removed, otherwise death will prevail! The House was rescued from neglect in the mid 1990s, when the gardens were revived and transformed. The gardens are open to the public and there is a restaurant in the Orangery. Hampton Court changed hands in 2003.

Queenswood Arboretum & Country Park.
This lies further north of Wellington, off the A49 Hereford to Leominster road. The entrance lies to the left of the main road, as it crests Dinmore Hill. Individual trees were planted from the 1930s. In 1945, Sir Richard Cotterell, a neighbouring landowner and chairman of the management committee, planned the Arboretum. In 1953 he established the Queenswood Coronation Funds, to raise money for the purchase of trees. The Arboretum is now one of the finest collections of young trees in the country.

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The above has very largely been compiled from material kindly supplied by Mrs. Maxine Davies. Much of it has been copied, verbatim, from her notes. Additional information has been gleaned from other sources, including tourist pamphlets. Revision and expansion of these notes remains a continuous process.

Other sources consulted are:
(1)       “A History of the Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire” written by the Reverend Charles J. Robinson in 1872.
(2)       "A Guide to Herefordshire" by Michael Raven, 1996.
(3)       "The Herefordshire Village Book" compiled by the Herefordshire Federation of Women's Institutes in 1989 and expanded in 1999.
(4)       "Herefordshire" in the Buildings of England series, by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, 1963
(5)       "Directory of Herefordshire" by E.C. Lascelles.
(6)       Littlebury's Directory and Gazetteer of Herefordshire, 1876-7.

Compiled by Peter J.R.Manson, Overlea, Auberrow, Wellington. Any mistakes in the above are entirely my own. Readers who note errors, or who wish to add to the narrative, please contact me through the Society's email address.

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