A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 12. Originally published by Boydell & Brewer for Victoria County History, Woodbridge, 2010.
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DYMOCK is a large rural parish straddling the river Leadon midway between the market towns of Newent and Ledbury (Herefs.) and 18 km northwest of Gloucester. Its village, standing in an area of Romano-British roadside settlement, was in the late Anglo-Saxon period the centre of a large royal estate, much of it in the hands of a tenantry that included numerous peasant farmers. The village remained primarily an agricultural settlement and in the medieval period the parish was largely populated in scattered farmsteads. One of several small hamlets formed later grew into the village of Bromesberrow Heath in the 19th and 20th centuries. Although the farmers were involved in parish life, after the 16th century Dymock was dominated by the owners of its several estates with the Lygons of Madresfield (Worcs.) being particularly prominent in the half century before the First World War. In the 20th century orcharding, long the main business of many farms, declined but agriculture continued at the heart of Dymock's economy. In the later 20th century the main settlements grew as they became residential areas for retired people and people working elsewhere.
BOUNDARIES AND DIVISIONS
The ancient parish covered 7,009 a. (2,836 ha). (fn. 1) Two thirds of it lay west of the Leadon, which after being augmented by the waters of the Preston and Kempley brooks turns eastwards from its southwards course and at Ketford follows the channel of a former mill leat flowing north of its original twisting course. (fn. 2) The parish extended northwards into the Leadington, to the west of the Leadon, and eastwards to Cut Mill and Lintridge, to the north of the river. Its boundaries, which on the east and on parts of the north and west were those of the county, (fn. 3) mostly followed natural and ancient features, including the Ludstock brook, a tributary of the Preston brook, west of the Leadington. (fn. 4) East of the Leadon the northern boundary closely followed a road that further east once formed the main route linking Ledbury with Gloucester. (fn. 5) The long southern boundary followed a road but in the east took a series of irregular turns (field boundaries) to include a substantial mound known as Castle Tump. Further west it passed a tree called Gospel Oak standing where Dymock met Newent and Oxenhall. (fn. 6) The tree, presumably a place where Bible readings were given on parish perambulations, died some time before its remains were blown down in 1893. (fn. 7) The slightly more irregular western boundary followed a short section of the Kempley brook and further north passed a tree called the Stonehouse Oak in 1796. (fn. 8) In 1935 the parish of Preston, 897 a. to the north-west, was added to Dymock (fn. 9) and in 1992 the village of Bromesberrow Heath in the north-east was transferred to Bromesberrow, the revised boundary following the M50 motorway, and Cut Mill in the east to Redmarley D'Abitot (Glos., formerly Worcs.). (fn. 10) The following account deals with the parish as it was constituted before 1935.
Dymock, on the eve of the Conquest a royal manor, later contained five tithings with Flaxley in the south-west and Woodend (also known as Gamage Hall) in the south being based on manors created by grants in the 12th century. Leadington was in the north-west, and the land east of the Leadon was divided between Ockington and, to its east, Ryton (sometimes called Ryeland). (fn. 11) By later medieval times the parish also had three divisions or hamlets: Woodend, Leadington, and Ryeland. (fn. 12) The units of civil government in the parish, (fn. 13) they came to a single point in the parish churchyard. (fn. 14) Woodend, which was made up of Gamage Hall and Flaxley tithings, included all of the parish south of the Kempley brook and the river Leadon apart from a bit north of Dymock village street. Leadington, based on the tithing of the same name, extended from the street to take in the area north of the Kempley brook. Ryeland, comprising Ockington and Ryton tithings, covered the area east of the Leadon. (fn. 15)
The Leadon flows through Dymock in a valley at c.30 m. Most of the parish is gently rolling countryside rising to over 60 m in places and reaching 90 m at Gospel Oak on the south boundary, but there is flatter land beside the Preston and Kempley brooks in the north-west and west and steep hills hem in the Leadon near Ketford in the east. The land is drained by small tributary streams, of which the Preston and Kempley brooks meet before flowing into the Leadon north-west of Dymock village near Windcross. The stream flowing north of the village was called Jordan's in the mid 16th century. (fn. 16) Land by the river and its principal tributaries is alluvial. Elsewhere it is mostly formed of sandstone (fn. 17) and the lighter soil on the higher land in the east, part of 'the ryelands', (fn. 18) is especially prone to erosion.
Early dispersed settlement and the abundance of ancient closes point to the emergence of much of the parish from ancient woodland. A wood measuring three leagues by one league was recorded in Dymock in the late 11th century (fn. 19) and the south-western part of the parish once belonged to a great wood called Teds (Tetills) wood that extended across the county boundary. (fn. 20) In the 1840s, when the parish had 457 a. of woodland or plantation, Dymock wood, on the south-western boundary, covered 171 a. and Haind (Hen) Park (75 a.), Allum's (70 a.), and Cockshoot (22 a.) woods formed a wide and almost continuous band of woodland on the west side. (fn. 21) Of those three woods, part of an estate of Flaxley abbey in the Middle Ages, (fn. 22) Haind Park was presumably the park or hay recorded in the 13th century. (fn. 23) The park of Chesterford recorded in 1394 was elsewhere in the parish. (fn. 24) Beginning in the later 19th century a new wood was planted in the east on the hillsides above Ketford, (fn. 25) but the total area of woods and plantations, 326 a. in 1905, (fn. 26) was reduced by the felling of Cockshoot wood in the early 1920s. (fn. 27)
Open fields and common meadows, existing in all parts of the parish save the south-west, were inclosed at an early date (fn. 28) and the former commons of the parish were represented at the time of the Commons Registration Act of 1965 primarily by two small pieces of Hallwood green in the north-west corner on the boundary with Much Marcle (Herefs.). (fn. 29) Orchards, already numerous in the mid 16th century, (fn. 30) were a major feature of the landscape in the later 18th century. (fn. 31) In the 18th and 19th centuries several landowners created small parks next to their houses, one of the first being at Boyce Court in the south of the parish. (fn. 32) The park at the Old Grange, in the west, was made a golf course in the 1990s. (fn. 33)
Roads and Bridges
The highway from Newent that entered Dymock beside Castle Tump in the late 13th century (fn. 34) was part of a way from Gloucester into Herefordshire. After passing Portway Top, (fn. 35) presumably on the rise once known as port hill, (fn. 36) it turns west along the village street which also marks closely the line of a Roman route coming from the east, probably from Tewkesbury, and continuing towards Stretton Grandison (Herefs.). (fn. 37) Beyond the village, where Stoneberrow (Stanborough) bridge carried it over Jordan's brook in the late 16th century, (fn. 38) the medieval road continued to Windcross from where it ran north-westwards to Hallwood green, passing by Great and Little Netherton. (fn. 39)
A number of other roads or lanes linked the village with nearby towns in the early 18th century. Counters Lane, the way northwards to Ledbury, (fn. 40) dipped from the eastern end of the village street into the Leadon valley, where it followed a causeway known as Long bridge, and continued northwards up to the Lynch and on past Hillash to Greenway. Earlier occupants of Hillash had made bequests for the causeway's maintenance. (fn. 41) Ways to Ross-on-Wye (Herefs.) and Mitcheldean followed lanes leading westwards and southwards to Kempley and Four Oaks respectively. (fn. 42) The parish had other lanes and also an extensive network of footpaths that, together with the footbridges on them, the Dymock manor court sought to maintain in the 18th century; many of the paths linked outlying farmsteads to the village and several were called church ways. (fn. 43) The path known as Yokeford's Way in the 16th century branched off the Four Oaks lane near Oaksbottom towards Normansland and Dymock wood. (fn. 44) In the south-west, where a woodland path was known as 'Staurnchesway' in the mid 13th century, (fn. 45) a lane running south-westwards through Haind Park wood to Kempley green was closed in 1819. (fn. 46)
The road from Newent to Ledbury by way of Dymock village was turnpiked in 1768 (fn. 47) and was the responsibility of the Newent turnpike trust from 1824. (fn. 48) Tollgates were placed at the east end of the village, including one across the entrance to the main street, and at crossroads at Greenway. (fn. 49) About 1835, on the construction of a new road beyond Windcross to Preston, the village street became part of a route linking Newent and Leominster (Herefs.) (fn. 50) and the road past Little Netherton was abandoned (fn. 51) The new road was a turnpike until 1871. The Newent–Ledbury road remained a turnpike until 1874. (fn. 52)
Long bridge, from which timbers were stolen in 1754, (fn. 53) was improved in 1789 and 1790, when brick culverts were constructed under the causeway. (fn. 54) The county repaired the main span, as well as a small bridge carrying the Newent road over a stream east of the village, in 1847. (fn. 55) Elm bridge downstream on the Ryton road, leading off the Newent road, provided an alternative crossing of the Leadon but in 1790 the road running north-westwards from the bridge towards the Lynch was closed. (fn. 56) The bridge was rebuilt in 1901 (fn. 57) and the junction of the Newent and Ryton roads was widened by removing the parish pound in 1921. (fn. 58) Another way from Newent to Ledbury crossed the Leadon into Dymock downstream at Ketford and ran northwards through Ryton. (fn. 59)
The road crossing the Dymock–Ledbury road at Greenway is part of a route that led westwards across Bromesberrow heath from the Gloucester–Ledbury road. Its crossing of the Leadon, not far from Roman occupation in Donnington (Herefs.), (fn. 60) was known in the late 18th century as Chester's bridge (fn. 61) and is presumably the place called Chester ford in 1394. (fn. 62) West of the river the road forks, one branch leading northwards through the Leadington towards Ledbury and the other leading southwards and then westwards by way of Tiller's green, Windcross, and Kempley to a junction in Much Marcle with the road from Ledbury to Ross-on-Wye. The road to Much Marcle was a turnpike between 1833 and 1871 (fn. 63) and tollgates were sited at the west end of Bromesberrow heath and at Windcross. (fn. 64)
The M50 motorway, opened in 1960, (fn. 65) crosses the parish from the north-east at a point near Bromesberrow Heath to the south at Four Oaks. Of the lanes it severed that at Four Oaks from the village was diverted to a junction with the lane in Dymock wood.
Canal and Railway
The Hereford and Gloucester canal opened across the centre of Dymock in 1798 following the construction of the Oxenhall tunnel. (fn. 66) It emerged from the tunnel in a deep cutting near Boyce Court and its northwards course passed immediately west of Dymock village before curving by the Old Grange and Tiller's green to adopt a route close to the river Leadon. (fn. 67) A tramroad following the line of the lane between the village and Four Oaks in 1807 was possibly laid to carry materials for the canal's construction. No later record of it has been found. (fn. 68) In 1881 the canal was closed between Gloucester and Ledbury to make way for a railway. The line, which opened in 1885, carried passenger traffic until 1959 and closed in 1964. (fn. 69) It took a more westerly route than the canal to enter Dymock at Four Oaks and north of the village it followed a direct route east of Tiller's green to follow the canal's course alongside the Leadon. There was a station next to the village (fn. 70) and, from 1937, a halt by the road west of Greenway. (fn. 71)
Among the remains of the canal, the section in the cutting north of the Oxenhall tunnel has been dammed to form a stretch of water, which in 2002 was overgrown and silted up towards the tunnel entrance.
Sixty-eight tenants, including a priest, lived on Dymock manor in 1066 (fn. 72) and sixty-three parishioners were assessed for tax in 1327. (fn. 73) A muster roll of 1542 named 108 men of the parish, (fn. 74) which was said to have c.440 communicants in 1551, (fn. 75) 106 households in 1563, (fn. 76) 400 communicants in 1603, (fn. 77) and 140 families in 1650. (fn. 78) About 1710 the population was estimated at 1,000 living in 250 houses. (fn. 79) About 1775 it was estimated at 1,116 (fn. 80) and in 1801 it was 1,223. Despite a small drop in the 1840s, the population grew to 1,870 in 1861, after which it fell to 1,149 in 1931. The addition of Preston in 1935 brought only a small increase and Dymock's population, having risen to 1,283 in 1991, was reduced by the loss of the Bromesberrow Heath area in 1992. In 2001 it was 1,141. (fn. 81)
Archaeological investigations reveal that RomanoBritish settlement took place along the ancient road to Stretton Grandison on ground rising above the river Leadon to the north. Part of that settlement lies under the present village of Dymock (fn. 82) and in the 1770s ancient foundations and causeways were reported in fields 'above a quarter of a mile from the church'. (fn. 83) Although the village was the focus of substantial settlement in the late Anglo-Saxon period, the pattern of medieval settlement was largely one of scattered farmsteads. They dotted the surrounding countryside in the 14th century, some houses standing on earth platforms or in or next to moated enclosures. Many farmsteads were later abandoned (fn. 84) while the filling of encroachments on roadside wastes and common land with clusters of cottages from the 17th century led to the formation of several small hamlets. (fn. 85) Building in the 19th and 20th centuries latterly included new houses and bungalows beside several of the remaining farmsteads and many more dwellings in Dymock village and in the newer village of Bromesberrow Heath.
The village has one main street along the road from Newent to Leominster. The size of its church, at the eastern end, indicates the presence of a large congregation in the late Anglo-Saxon period and the early Middle Ages. Burgage holdings created probably after the justiciar Hubert de Burgh ordered the sheriff to hold a market and a fair on the royal manor in 1222 (fn. 86) were not developed to form a market town but several properties in the village street, including copyhold cottages and a close west of the churchyard, continued to be described as burgages in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 87)
The church, standing west of the Newent–Ledbury road, is set back from the street behind a green. The green, known in 1791 as Wintour's green, (fn. 88) was enlarged in the late 19th century following the demolition of the vicarage house on its west side. (fn. 89) A church house (later the parish workhouse) stood at the south-eastern corner of the churchyard (fn. 90) and until the 1920s there was an old building near by known, like one once occupied by a chantry priest, as the Priest's House. (fn. 91) Of the buildings on the east side of the green the Beauchamp Arms, facing the street next to the entrance to the Ledbury road, was formerly known as the Plough. (fn. 92) The White House, across the street from the green, is a former farmhouse on the rectory estate. (fn. 93) It stands in the place of a house that was the birthplace of John Kyrle (1637–1724), the 'Man of Ross', (fn. 94) and the home of the Winter family in the later 17th and early 18th century. (fn. 95) High House, west of the churchyard, is a tall, mid 18th-century house that was remodelled in 1878 as the vicarage house by the 6th Earl Beauchamp, (fn. 96) who shortly afterwards demolished the old vicarage, incorporating part of its site in the garden of High House and adding the rest to the green. (fn. 97) The parish pound against the churchyard wall was removed about the same time. (fn. 98) The churchyard, which included the sexton's dwelling in the mid 19th century, (fn. 99) was approached from the west by a walk replanted with lime trees in 1874 (fn. 100) and was enlarged to the north in 1911. (fn. 101)
The village straggles along the street and its oldest houses are on the north side towards the west end. Two date possibly from the 15th century, another probably from the 16th century. (fn. 102) New building in the early 19th century, after the construction of the canal near by, included Great Wadley and the former George inn together on the site south of the street of a meeting place called Society Lodge. (fn. 103) To the east the former Ann Cam's school was built in the mid 1820s in place of an earlier school. (fn. 104) In the early 1840s the new Stoneberrow Place, in the centre of the village, was among a group of cottages close to the canal (fn. 105) and a tollhouse stood in the road at the east end of the street. (fn. 106)
In the early 1880s a railway station was built off the street next to the abandoned canal. (fn. 107) A police station (closed in 1971) was erected opposite it on the Kempley lane in 1898 (fn. 108) but little other new building took place in the village before the mid 20th century. (fn. 109) Newent Rural District Council built a pair of houses in the street in 1948 and four pairs on the Kempley lane between 1949 and 1952. (fn. 110) In 1953 a new parsonage was erected north-west of High House. (fn. 111) The latter, which the RDC acquired, was converted as flats in 1957 (fn. 112) and two new bungalows were built in its grounds in 1963. (fn. 113) The village's growth away from the main street continued after the railway's closure in 1964, the site of the station being filled with an old people's home and several houses (fn. 114) and a housing estate being built off the Kempley lane. (fn. 115) Among new developments by the street were a council estate of 21 dwellings on the south side completed in 1966 (fn. 116) and a small estate of detached houses on the north side finished in 2001. (fn. 117)
New building also took place on the fringes of the village next to long-established dwellings. It began in the mid 1930s when the RDC built five pairs of houses, two north of Long bridge on the Ledbury road, one to the east on the Newent road, and two further east at Batchfields on the Ryton road. (fn. 118) A schoolmaster's house was erected on the Ryton road in 1935 (fn. 119) and another pair of council houses was placed there during the Second World War. (fn. 120) Later private building contributed to the spread of the village. Some of the new houses were to the northwest at Shakesfield where in the 17th century several cottages had stood in the area of Maypole Farm, a farmstead north of a way then known as Butcher's Lane. (fn. 121) Others were to the south, on the line of the former railway, towards Oaksbottom, where in 1811 a new cottage and limekiln had stood. (fn. 122)
Boyce Court, south of Dymock village, is of medieval origin and for a time from the later 17th century was the seat of the lords of Dymock manor. (fn. 123) Further south the homestead at Timberhill was the centre of the largest farm on the Boyce Court estate in the mid 19th century. (fn. 124) Of the smaller farmsteads in the area Farr's, part of Little Dymock manor, was presumably inhabited by the de la Lynde family in the mid 13th century for it was known also as Lynde House or Place in the mid 16th. (fn. 125) Moor's Farm in the late 17th century was part of a holding called Hulker's and Bulker's. (fn. 126) Tawney's, close to the south boundary, is named after a local family in the mid 16th century (fn. 127) and contains a small 17th-century house.
On the eastern outskirts of the village a small farmstead at Mooroak, east of the Newent road, was occupied by the Loveridge family in the early 17th century. (fn. 128) In the 20th century several new houses were built to the north, including the council houses at Batchfields mentioned above. In 1962 the county council erected a small farmhouse to the north-east on the lane to Crowfield, (fn. 129) where a homestead is recorded from the mid 17th century. (fn. 130) Further south Gamage Hall is a farmstead on the site of the medieval manor of Little Dymock. (fn. 131) Two farmsteads near by were among copyholds of that manor, (fn. 132) which included a farmstead called 'Crekwardens' in 1515, (fn. 133) and both have been associated by name with the Shayle family. (fn. 134) The house at Old Shayles, so called in 1577, (fn. 135) was replaced in 1909. (fn. 136) Little Woodend, previously known as the Woodend or Shayles, (fn. 137) was the home of Edward Shayle in the early 16th century (fn. 138) and part of the Ricardos' estate in the early 19th. (fn. 139) In the mid 18th century the land farmed from Old Shayles took in the site of a tenement called Chancellors. (fn. 140) Mere Hills Farm, to the east in Welsh House Lane, was established by the county council on land bought in 1919; its house is dated 1921. (fn. 141) In the later 19th century a farmhouse to the west on the Newent road at Beaconshill (formerly Bickenshill) (fn. 142) was rebuilt as a small private house. (fn. 143) A lodge to Boyce Court stands on the opposite side of the road. (fn. 144)
In the west of the parish the Old Grange, so called in 1555, (fn. 145) stands on the site of a grange of Flaxley abbey and until the early 20th century was the centre of a large estate. (fn. 146) The farmstead to the south at Allum's, recorded from 1539, (fn. 147) passed into the estate in the late 17th century. (fn. 148) Further south there are two old farmsteads and a few other, mostly later 20thcentury, dwellings on the Kempley lane. Of the farmsteads the Old Rock, known as the Rock in 1509, (fn. 149) belonged to the Hill family until the early 20th century. (fn. 150) The New Rock, further west, was so called in 1657 (fn. 151) and has a 17th-century house. Clutterbucks, a copyhold tenement on the Old Grange estate (fn. 152) that was destroyed by fire in the 18th century, probably stood to the south-west close to the parish boundary behind Haind Park wood. (fn. 153) There was a keeper's cottage up against the wood until after the First World War. (fn. 154)
Of the farmsteads established in the south-west of the parish that known in 1543 as the New Grange stands on Flaxley abbey's former (Old Grange) estate. (fn. 155) Blacklands and Normansland, on opposite sides of the way to Dymock wood, were copyholds of the estate. (fn. 156) Blacklands has an early house encased in brick (fn. 157) and a timber-framed outbuilding that until 1922 stood near the parish church. (fn. 158) Normansland, so called in 1612, (fn. 159) was known earlier as Yokeford. (fn. 160) It was inherited in 1808 by Joseph Thackwell, (fn. 161) who added the farmstead at Great Woodend, further along the lane, to his estate in 1832. (fn. 162) Among the few houses built on or near the way to the wood in the 20th century were a pair of farm cottages near Normansland (fn. 163) and a house of 1925 east of the New Grange. (fn. 164) Walnut Tree Farm, on the edge of the wood, was occupied in the early 18th century by Thomas Murrell (fn. 165) and was later known as Murrell's or Upper Murrell's. Murrell's Cottage, a small 17th-century house a little to the north, was one of two adjacent cottages in the mid 19th century. (fn. 166) The farmstead at Knaphead, on the side of the valley west of the wood, was inhabited in 1684. (fn. 167)
Pitt House Farm, by the lane to Four Oaks, may be the place inhabited by men surnamed of or at the pit in the 14th century. (fn. 168) Occupied by the Wills family in the mid 16th century, the house was known variously in the mid 18th century as the Pitt House and Edulus Place. (fn. 169) Several houses and cottages once stood further south on the lane at Pitt House green, (fn. 170) one on the west side being called the Heath House in 1680. (fn. 171) A house called Sherlocks that had been pulled down by the early 18th century was near by. (fn. 172) The house at Farmer's, east of the lane, was empty in 1956 and was later demolished. (fn. 173)
The position of the mound at Castle Tump right on the parish's south boundary points to its antiquity and makes it an unlikely candidate for the site of the medieval manor of Dymock. In the later 13th century, when it was known as the castle of Dymock, the site inhabited by men surnamed of the castle may have been off the mound. (fn. 174) At Castle Farm, to the south-west, the timber-framed house standing within a moat was rebuilt and parts of the surrounding ditch were filled in following a fire in the 19th century. (fn. 175) In the mid 20th century a house was built on the drive to the house. (fn. 176) A small group of cottages beside the mound, the oldest of which dates from the 17th century, originated in settlement of waste land by the Newent road. (fn. 177)
Cottages were also erected to the west along the road marking the boundary with Oxenhall. A handful of early cottages stood on the western part of Hillend green, (fn. 178) where encroachment had begun by the mid 18th century. (fn. 179) Two pairs of identical cottages were built there in the early 20th century and the RDC erected two pairs of timber houses further east in 1947. (fn. 180) Among other new houses is a late 20thcentury farmhouse set back from the road. Further west at Four Oaks, where two men were building on encroachments in 1753, (fn. 181) cottages followed the lane northwards into Dymock. (fn. 182) The hamlet, which includes 20th-century council houses within Oxenhall, (fn. 183) has remained small.
The farmhouse at the Lynch, on the Ledbury road north of Dymock village, was a public house in the mid 19th century. (fn. 184) A cottage to the east at Little Lynch, on the lane to Broom's green and Ryton, was later replaced by farm outbuildings. (fn. 185) Hillash, west of the Ledbury road, was owned and occupied by the Hill family in the mid 16th century. (fn. 186) Its 18thcentury farmhouse became a private house in the 1850s. (fn. 187) Wilton Place, a large 18th-century house east of the road, replaced a farmhouse known as the Farm presumably on the spot where the Wilton family lived in the 16th century. (fn. 188) Farm Mill, on the river Leadon to the north-west, has a 17th-century house and remained a working mill until the 20th century. (fn. 189)
Ockington There was settlement to the east at Ockington in the early 13th century. (fn. 190) Its main farmhouse, owned by the Weale family for much of the 18th century, (fn. 191) was rebuilt as a private house in the 1980s. (fn. 192) The house next to it at Burtons, (fn. 193) occupied as two cottages in the mid 19th century, (fn. 194) was replaced by a new farmhouse in the early 20th century. (fn. 195) Hill Farm (formerly the Hill), on a hillside further east, was a copyhold of Dymock manor that belonged to the Hill family in the early 17th century. (fn. 196) Among the property that the Cams acquired from the Holmes family in the early 18th century, (fn. 197) it has late 17th-century outbuildings and an 18th-century house. (fn. 198)
To the south, beside the lane from the Lynch to Ryton, there is a moated site in a field known as Knight's Meadow. (fn. 199) Further along the lane there was encroachment on Knight's green in the mid 18th century (fn. 200) and one of two houses standing there in the mid 19th century (fn. 201) was a copyhold of Dymock manor. (fn. 202) Further east the house at a farmstead called Oysters (Heisters) was demolished before 1775 but its barn remained in use. (fn. 203)
Vell Mill in the fields beside the river Leadon to the south had medieval origins and a mill operated there until the early 18th century. (fn. 204) Its house, which belonged to Oxenhall vicarage from 1818, (fn. 205) was enlarged in the later 20th century. In the late 17th century Edward Puckmore, a wheelwright, built a house to the north-east, on the lane from Dymock village to Ryton; it was also known as Vell Mill, sometimes as Little Vell Mill. (fn. 206) In the late 19th century a pair of estate cottages was built to the west near Elm bridge. (fn. 207) Further east Callow Farm, an ancient farmstead on the far side of a hill next to the Leadon, has a house dating from the late 16th century and was part of the Madresfield estate for much of the 19th. (fn. 208) A homestead called Shayles abandoned after the late 1680s was a copyhold of Dymock manor and stood by the way from the Ketford river crossing to Ryton. (fn. 209) Ryton Ryton from where a local landholder in the mid 13th century took his name, (fn. 210) is made up of a hamlet strung out along a lane leading northwards towards Ledbury from Ketford bridge and more widely scattered cottages lower down to the west in the valley of a tributary of the Leadon followed by the M50 motorway. There are several early dwellings on a lane leading from the southern end of the hamlet towards Broom's green. At least one (no 333) dates from the late 16th or early 17th century. A smaller house (no 331), standing to the north beyond the motorway, is older. (fn. 211)
At the hamlet's south end, high up to the east of the lane from Ketford, a small timber-framed cottage and an adjacent stone building made three cottages known as the Gallows in 1901. (fn. 212) Adapted as a single dwelling in the early 20th century, they fell into ruin and were rebuilt as a house at the end of the century. (fn. 213) To the north used to be a copyhold farmhouse known in 1666 as the Line (fn. 214) and a tiny cottage called the Round House that was removed in the late 19th century from an island at a junction with a lane to Redmarley. (fn. 215) Limetrees Farm (formerly the Line Tree) (fn. 216) became part of the Madresfield estate in 1811 (fn. 217) and was the largest farmstead on the lane in the mid 19th century. (fn. 218) Two pairs of council houses were built at the north end of the hamlet in the mid 1930s (fn. 219) and a few private bungalows have been built elsewhere on the lane. Half way along the lane's west side a cottage formerly attached to a smithy (fn. 220) was rebuilt in 2002.
Ketford The hills of the east end of the parish overlooking the river crossing at Ketford are more sparsely populated than the rest of Dymock. (fn. 221) Walter of Ketford, a tenant of Dymock manor in the early 13th century, (fn. 222) had property in Little Ketford (fn. 223) and Robert Ketford had a house in the parish in 1373. (fn. 224) In the 18th century the two principal farms, centred on Great Ketford and Hill Place, were taken into the Yate family's estate and merged. (fn. 225) Great Ketford (later Ketford Farm), (fn. 226) which has survived, is set back from the Leadon below the crossing and has belonged to the Madresfield estate since 1810. (fn. 227) Upstream of the crossing a mill house was taken into the Madresfield estate in 1866 (fn. 228) and was rebuilt before 1882. (fn. 229)
Of the few dwellings in the side valley to the northeast, only Berrow's Farm, which was taken into the Madresfield estate in 1869, (fn. 230) remained in the late 19th century and it was abandoned in the 20th century. (fn. 231) A cottage further north, in a place known both as Winter's Land and Little Ketford, (fn. 232) was demolished in the mid 19th century. (fn. 233) The farmstead at Cut Mill, at the bottom of the valley near the Leadon, was the site of a medieval mill. (fn. 234)
Lintridge In the far north-east of the parish Lintridge Farm was formerly known as Little Lintridge. (fn. 235) Originally a copyhold of Dymock manor, it was the sole farmstead there from 1858 and belonged to the Madresfield estate from 1868. (fn. 236) Some way to the west is a pair of 20th-century farm cottages. A little to the south-east stands the surviving part of the house of Great Lintridge, (fn. 237) occupied after 1858 as cottages. (fn. 238)
Bromesberrow Heath Much of the nearby village of Bromesberrow Heath stands on the former common of Bromesberrow heath. At least one homestead stood on or by the heath in the early 16th century (fn. 239) and piecemeal encroachment on it increased in the 18th century. (fn. 240) In the mid 19th century some 40 small cottages were scattered randomly on the common. (fn. 241) Most were south of the turnpike road running east–west across the heath but in the west, where the common extended northwards into Bromesberrow, building had spilled over the parish boundary. (fn. 242) Although the common was inclosed in the late 1850s, few new houses were built until the early decades of the 20th century (fn. 243) and there were 50 or so dwellings in 1965. (fn. 244) More houses and bungalows were built in the 1970s, most south of the road, (fn. 245) and new building continued in 2002. A small business park has been created to the south-west between the village and the farmstead of Heath Farm.
Several farmsteads stood by the road leading west from the heath. At Great Heath, part of William Gordon's Haffield estate in the 1820s, (fn. 246) a pair of cottages was built west of the farmstead in 1861 and the farmhouse was later demolished. (fn. 247) In 1862 the estate's owner, W.C. Henry, built a school church nearer the heath opposite the drive to Haffield, in Ledbury (Herefs.). (fn. 248) After the school's closure in 1951 it was used as a piggery before being restored as a house in the 1980s. (fn. 249)
Broom's Green Higher up to the west, Broom's Green is a hamlet strung out along both sides of the road over a former green. Most of its houses and cottages, which numbered just over a score in the mid 19th century, (fn. 250) date from the 18th or 19th century but at its east end Laurel Farm stands on the site west of the Ryton lane of a house known as Hunts in 1411 (fn. 251) and White's Farm, further east, has a 17th- or 18thcentury timber-framed barn. (fn. 252) Towards the west end a timber-framed house probably of the late 17th century is set back north of the road on the edge of the former green. (fn. 253)
Greenway Further west on the road Greenway is a cluster of dwellings around the crossroads on the Dymock–Ledbury road. On the west side the Old Nail Shop, built in the 16th or 17th century, (fn. 254) was occupied by a nailer in the early 19th. (fn. 255) On the east side Stone House (formerly Longtown Hall) has an early 19th-century front and was two dwellings in the mid 19th century. (fn. 256)
Pound Farm, standing between the river Leadon and the Preston brook north of Dymock village, was the principal house on the estate of a branch of the Cam family in the late 16th century. (fn. 257) Further north Greenway House, standing north of the road that runs westwards from the river, was formerly known as the Green House and was part of a farmstead long owned by the Hankins family from 1411. (fn. 258) The house at Drew's Farm, immediately to the south across the road, was enlarged in the early 20th century. (fn. 259) Bellamy's Farm, slightly lower down to the north-east, was presumably the centre of George Bellamy's estate in the late 14th century. (fn. 260) Its house, which had a new wing in 1739 and was later rebuilt, (fn. 261) stands inside a moat with an earlier barn among farm buildings outside. (fn. 262) Leadington Farm (also called Leadington Place), owned by the Hodges family in the 18th century, was a farmstead a little to the north-west. (fn. 263)
Tiller's Green To the south the hamlet of Tiller's Green is scattered randomly over a green beside the Much Marcle road. There was a homestead there in the mid 17th century (fn. 264) and squatter cottages were among a dozen dwellings on the green in the mid 19th century. (fn. 265) A small house was built further south on the road soon afterwards. (fn. 266) Several cottages in the hamlet have been enlarged and a bungalow was among a few new dwellings built there in the later 20th century.
At Windcross, where the Much Marcle road crosses the road to Leominster, a 17th-century cottage with a thatch roof stands north-west of the crossroads. (fn. 267) A later timber-framed farmhouse to the south-east below the main road was enlarged in 1962. (fn. 268) Further west on the Much Marcle road Hill Grove was built in the place of a farmstead known alternatively as Lady Grove and the Bush (fn. 269) for James John Wynniatt in the 1860s. (fn. 270) In the later 20th century six houses and bungalows were built next to it.
The Leadington The north end of the parish beyond Greenway House rises on the west side of the river Leadon, besides which Roman remains have been identified, (fn. 271) and contains many medieval homesteads. In 1539 Thomas Wynniatt lived at Upham and his younger namesake at Judgements immediately to the west. (fn. 272) Upham House, to the east, is a villa built in the 1830s by the owner of Upham farm (fn. 273) and let from the early 1860s as a private house. (fn. 274) Near by is a cluster of three early farmsteads east of the Ledbury lane. Haytraps, a copyhold of Dymock manor owned by the Gamond family in the mid 16th century, (fn. 275) was inhabited in 1287, Swords bears a name used locally as a surname at that time, (fn. 276) and Mirabels was presumably the centre of Richard Amyrable's estate in the late 14th century. (fn. 277) In the mid 19th century there were four small cottages to the south at Tillputsend, two on opposite sides of the Ledbury lane and an 18th-century pair on the lane to Hallwood green. (fn. 278) Two new cottages were built there later, the first by Thomas Gambier Parry after 1863, (fn. 279) and one was pulled down before 1963. (fn. 280) Two of the remaining dwellings were enlarged in the early 21st century.
Further north the farmhouse at Henberrows was rebuilt in the 19th century. Little Iddens, west of the Ledbury lane, is a small 17th-century farmhouse and the house at Glyniddens, to its north, was built in 1830. (fn. 281) Some of the scattered cottages or small farmhouses in the Oldfields area to the west and in the fields to the east (fn. 282) have been demolished and others have been modernized and enlarged. (fn. 283) A cottage on the east side at the site of a homestead called Hazards in the mid 17th century (fn. 284) had been abandoned by 1920. (fn. 285) A pair of cottages built on the lane by Gambier Parry (fn. 286) has been converted as a single dwelling.
Among the farmsteads that stood lower down towards the Ludstock and Preston brooks Lower House and several others that were all owned by the Hooper family in the late 17th and 18th century (fn. 287) have been abandoned almost without trace. To the south the homestead at New House, near the Preston brook on the lane to Hallwood green, was established following a small inclosure of open-field land not long before 1739. (fn. 288) Further south the farmstead at Rosehill, on the east bank of the Preston brook, was in the part of the Old Grange estate tenanted by the Wynniatt family in the late 16th century. (fn. 289)
Netherton There were at least two households at Netherton, in the open land west of the Preston brook, in the early 14th century. (fn. 290) The farmstead at Great Netherton, presumably the site of John Wills's house in the mid 16th century, (fn. 291) was the centre of an estate created by Robert Holmes in the mid 17th century. (fn. 292) Little Netherton, to the north-west, has also been known as Lower Netherton. (fn. 293) The farmstead there, perhaps that occupied by John Wynniatt in the early 16th century, (fn. 294) served an estate acquired by the Fawke family in the late 18th century. (fn. 295) In the 1860s a villa was built on the Leominster road to the north and in the following decade a farmhouse (Cropthorne Farm) was built near by, next to the lane from the Leadington to Hallwood green. (fn. 296) A pair of council houses was built near the farmhouse in 1934 (fn. 297) and a bungalow was erected next to them in the 1950s. (fn. 298)
Hallwood Green Hallwood Green is a small hamlet that grew up in the north-west corner of Dymock next to Much Marcle on waste land known sometimes as Hollister's or Hollis's green. (fn. 299) There was settlement there in the 1670s, when the place was known as Hollowshuttes green, (fn. 300) and more building took place in the 18th century as squatters encroached on the green, six encroachments being reported in 1765. (fn. 301) The hamlet was bypassed by a new road into Herefordshire in the 1830s and it contained a score of dwellings (fn. 302) when, in 1848, parts of the green were inclosed. (fn. 303) It remained a backwater mostly of thatched cottages in the early 1940s. (fn. 304) In 1948 three pairs of council houses were built on the lane to the east (fn. 305) and in the later 20th century private bungalows and houses were erected by the green and some older houses were rebuilt.
Amongst the farmsteads and cottages which stand along Dymock village street and throughout the parish, building patterns and methods are consistent. Timber framing, often with brick infill in the 17th century, gave way to brick with stone slate or tile for roofing in the 18th. A long phase of rebuilding in the 17th century was followed by another phase between the mid 18th and mid 19th century, when distinctive two-storeyed, three-bayed farmhouses, usually with casement windows under segmental heads, were built and farmhouses were improved by adding extra storeys and service wings, remodelling façades, and building cider houses and other farm buildings. The ebb and flow of building activity is evident particularly among the main houses on Dymock's manors and larger farms. (fn. 306) Several dwellings have evolved into small country houses.
The village street is lined with buildings from end to end but before the 19th century farmhouses and cottages were scattered along it. None of the farmhouses are now used for that purpose, although the White House, opposite the church, retains some farm buildings.
At the western end the Old Cottage and Wood's Cottage are late medieval cruck-framed houses, the former originally with two rooms. (fn. 307) The box-framed Laburnum Cottage is of similar size and was built probably in the 16th century. (fn. 308) No other early houses survive in the street but some of the fabric of the White House, which in the late 17th century with 9 hearths was the largest establishment in the village, (fn. 309) was incorporated in plain rebuilding of the house in the mid 18th century. In the early 19th century its front wall was raised to allow a storey of windows to light the attic, accommodating a cheese store, a new western wing containing a brewhouse and dairy was added, and a timber-framed outbuilding was rebuilt as stables and a cider house. (fn. 310) A barn burnt down in 1890. (fn. 311)
The work at the White House was part of a transformation of the village in the 18th century and the early 19th. Red brick was used both for new work and for remodelling existing property. Building work at the vicarage house (since demolished) included in 1806 a cider house with a granary over it. (fn. 312) Among the more ambitious designs was that by Richard Jones of Ledbury for Ann Cam's school, built in 1825. It combined Gothic and classical elements in a façade that screened the teachers' house and flanking schoolrooms. (fn. 313) High House, the largest and most prominently sited new house, was owned until 1771 by Revd James Brooke of Pirton (Worcs.). (fn. 314) Plain and urban in style with polychrome brickwork seen most clearly on its eastern end, it had five bays, three storeys, and a basement: in the early 19th century the windows on the façade were lengthened and reglazed. The house at Great Wadley was created in chequer brick soon after 1806 in a development that included rebuilding an adjacent structure as the George inn; the datestone on Great Wadley records its purchase in 1884 by the 6th Earl Beauchamp. (fn. 315) Several other buildings had rubbed brick dressings and classical doorcases.
New building in the mid 19th century is represented by Stoneberrow Place, a terrace of three composed c.1840 to look like a single house. (fn. 316) An early 18th-century cottage was refronted to make Stoneberrow House. (fn. 317) A more substantial change took place at High House, which in becoming the vicarage house in 1878 (fn. 318) was doubled in size to the north, the original staircase being incorporated in the new work, and in 1884 Ann Cam's school was extensively remodelled to plans by Waller, Son, & Wood of Gloucester. (fn. 319) The only substantial brand new building late in the century was the police station of 1898 built on the Kempley lane to look like a suburban villa. (fn. 320) During the 20th century building activity was mainly restricted to small houses and bungalows in gaps in the street frontage. Among those designed by Jean Elrington for Newent Rural District Council in the 1960s was an estate of 18 houses and 3 bungalows. (fn. 321) The Rectory, built as the parsonage in 1953, is in a neo-Georgian style. (fn. 322)
Outlying Farms and Cottages
Although many of the farms scattered throughout the parish are on medieval sites, almost none has medieval fabric. At Little Netherton the core of the house, which contained a truncated cruck and perhaps dated from the 15th century or early 16th, (fn. 323) was rebuilt in the 1980s. (fn. 324) A two-bayed medieval hall was part of the house at Berrow's Farm that fell into ruin in the 20th century. (fn. 325) A small farmhouse at Ryton (no 331) has a cruck truss.
Some cottages or small farmhouses, such as the Old Nail Shop at Greenway and no 333 at Ryton, were built in the late 16th or 17th century with 1½ storeys. (fn. 326) One at Castle Tump had an original plan with two rooms and staircase against the central partition in 1989. (fn. 327) During the 17th century much rebuilding with square panelled timber framing was undertaken. At Little Netherton the house was extended by one bay and timber-framed outbuildings were built. Some of the farmhouses of that time, for example Little Iddens and Allum's, seem to have been plain rectangular houses of two or three units and two storeys. Among others with more elaborate plans, New Rock, Swords, and Upham were each built on an L. At Swords a large cruciform chimneystack is at the rear of the hall range, whereas at Upham the hall range is heated from one end and a dog-leg staircase rises in a tower in the angle with the cross wing, which retains wattle and daub infill. A T plan was used for the tall house at Great Woodend (fn. 328) and for the house at Lintridge Farm. (fn. 329) The farmhouse at Ockington, probably one of the largest mid 17th-century houses not associated with one of the manors or principal estates, was built as a substantial gentleman's residence of two storeys and H plan with asymmetrical cross wings and a massive chimneystack at the rear of the hall range. In the late 17th or early 18th century some of it was reclad in brick and a cider house with granary over was built.
Greenway House may have been built in the later 16th century with an L or H plan, of which a twostoreyed hall range and southern cross wing survive. The room above the hall was originally open to the roof which has some windbraces and was heated by one of the four diamond-set brick chimneys on the stack at the rear of the hall range. In the later 17th century or the early 18th the wing was widened, reroofed and faced in brick, the hall range was refaced and partly reroofed, and a detached two-storeyed cider house with brick cellar was built. In 1776 the building of a northern wing, perhaps in place of a service end, made the house a smart home for its owner Thomas Hankins. (fn. 330) Venetian and Diocletian windows in the wing's front elevation lit a reception room and bedrooms above, (fn. 331) and the rest of the wing was filled with a fashionable staircase. In the 19th century the house was enlarged by the addition of a dairy and a later stone extension at right angles to the southern wing. The western end of that wing appears to have been added as a kitchen slightly later and a bell turret was added to the gable, either when the house accommodated a school (fn. 332) or afterwards.
The high quality 18th-century building work at Greenway House included stone dressings, unusual for a farmhouse in an area where dressings were then usually of brick, as for example at the three-storeyed New House, which has segment-headed windows, paired on the ground floor, and band courses. The three-bayed houses at Hill Farm and Ketford Farm, the latter with its original rear outshut, seem to be the result of mid 18th-century rebuilding. At Hill Farm, where in 1648 the house had a chamber over a buttery and a closet called the study over a porch, (fn. 333) a detached timber-framed cider house and barn, the former of two storeys, were built not long before the house was rebuilt. (fn. 334) At Hillash, which was rebuilt as a superior farmhouse in the 18th century with four bays, 2½ storeys, and an elaborate well staircase, the façade was rendered and given a Doric portico in the early 19th century. (fn. 335) Low service ranges were added then (fn. 336) and new building after 1852, when it became the country house of Thomas Holbrook, included an entrance lodge. (fn. 337) The house at Pitt House Farm, made by knocking two dwellings into one by 1736, was known for a time as Edulus Place (fn. 338) and in 1795 its rooms included a hall and several parlours and its farm buildings a dairy house with an upper cheese room, cider houses, two barns, and cow sheds. (fn. 339)
Several houses were completely rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century. At Haytraps, which in 1622 had a hall range with parlour next to it and a cross wing with three rooms and attics, (fn. 340) the 18th-century pattern of a three-bayed front with segmental headed windows was developed. Mirabels followed the same model but has a second, later pile of rooms and large outbuildings. The new house at Crowfield Farm incorporated early fabric. (fn. 341) Glyniddens, built in 1830 for Joseph Davies (fn. 342) in late Georgian style with sash windows, the larger Upham House, built slightly later for William Chichester (fn. 343) with a symmetrical three-bayed front and porch, and Heath Farm, which has a symmetrical five-bayed rendered front and Ionic porch, imitated fashionable villas.
Many small improvements to houses and farm buildings were carried out in the early 19th century. At Allum's, where rebuilding had begun in the 18th century, the house's easternmost room was replaced by a brick range set at right angles to form an L plan with a three-bayed entrance façade facing east, a central staircase, and a rear outshut. An additional wing with outside stairs to a probable cheese room had a cider house and cellar at one end where the ground drops to a farmyard cut out of the slope. A timber-framed barn stands at the upper level and there are animal sheds around the yard. At Little Netherton the house's T plan includes a two-bayed brick-faced block with hipped roof built in 1843 above a stone basement. (fn. 344) Later barns, one large and one small, are dated 1860 and 1861 respectively. Improvements were also carried out at New Rock, where a cider house was added to the rear of the cross wing. Among new buildings provided in the 1860s and 1870s for farms on the Madresfield estate (fn. 345) was an outbuilding at Limetrees Farm in 1877. (fn. 346)
Among the more radical changes in the 20th century, the upper storey and the interior of the house at Ockington were reconstructed and a number of its barns and other outbuildings were removed in the mid and late 1980s. (fn. 347) At Hillash the house was extended as a nursing home in the late 1980s and outbuildings were converted as residential accommodation. (fn. 348)
MANORS AND ESTATES
In the late Anglo-Saxon period Dymock was a major royal estate in which there was a possible intrusion shortly after the Norman Conquest. In the 12th century parts of the manor were granted to Flaxley abbey and William de Gamages to create two new manors, known later as Old Grange (or Dymock) and Little Dymock (or Gamage Hall). The manor of Dymock, occasionally called Great Dymock, (fn. 349) finally passed from royal hands in the later 13th century. The history of the manor of Rye, mistakenly regarded as part of Dymock, (fn. 350) has been given under Tirley, in an earlier volume. (fn. 351)
In the 14th century Dymock contained numerous farms including freehold and copyhold land held under the manors of Dymock and Little Dymock. (fn. 352) Many belonged in the 16th century to yeoman families that retained them for generations. (fn. 353) In the early 17th century the largest estate, based on the Old Grange, passed together with Little Dymock to the Wynniatt family. An estate amassed by a branch of the Cam family was broken up after 1790, part going to the Thackwells, and in the mid 19th century the Wynniatts (1,036 a.) and the Thackwells (657 a. and 417 a.) remained the principal landowners. At that time the rest of the parish was divided between well over forty estates or farms and the Lygons (the Earls Beauchamp) of Madresfield, who first purchased land in Dymock in the early 19th century, were one of four other families with 300 a. or more. The other estates were 13 holdings of between 100 and 200 a., 9 of between 50 and 100 a., 12 of between 20 and 50 a., and numerous smaller holdings. (fn. 354) The larger estates were broken up by sales in the early and mid 20th century. (fn. 355)
DYMOCK (GREAT DYMOCK) MANOR
Four years after the Norman Conquest the estate at Dymock that had belonged to Edward the Confessor, and was assessed at 20 hides, passed to William FitzOsbern, earl of Hereford. William, who possibly acquired the estate without royal consent for the Domesday jurors were ignorant of his title, died in 1071 and was succeeded at Dymock and in the earldom by his son Roger of Breteuil. Roger forfeited his estates by his rebellion against the king in 1075 and the manor remained in royal hands (fn. 356) probably until it was acquired by Miles of Gloucester. Miles, who was created earl of Hereford in 1141, died in 1143 and the manor and the earldom passed to his son Roger, (fn. 357) who gave part of Dymock to his foundation of Flaxley abbey. (fn. 358) The manor was among former royal demesne estates that Henry II confirmed to Earl Roger in 1154 or 1155 (fn. 359) and granted to Roger's brother Walter of Hereford following the earl's rebellion and death in 1155. (fn. 360) On Walter's death c.1160 the manor reverted to the Crown (fn. 361) and in 1200 it was among the estates in which Henry de Bohun, heir to the earls of Hereford, quitclaimed all his rights on becoming earl. (fn. 362) Richard I had granted another part of Dymock to William de Gamages. (fn. 363)
The manor, which Walter de Clifford the younger held by grant from King John in 1216, (fn. 364) was taken in hand for the Crown in 1221 or 1222 (fn. 365) and was granted in 1226 to the leading inhabitants (probi homines) at a fee farm. (fn. 366) They farmed the manor until 1244 or 1245, when it was granted to Morgan of Caerleon, (fn. 367) and Ela Longespée, countess of Warwick, held it under royal grant from 1249. (fn. 368) Ela, who in 1251 was awarded free warren on her demesnes, (fn. 369) married Philip Basset and with him granted the manor in 1257 to Flaxley abbey for her lifetime, the abbey paying an annuity of £50 to her and a stipend to her chaplain serving in the parish church. (fn. 370) Philip, who was justiciar from 1261 to 1263, died in 1271 (fn. 371) and Ela had surrendered the manor to Edward I by 1287, when he granted her a £50 annuity in return (fn. 372) and gave the manor in exchange for two Sussex manors to William de Grandison, his wife Sibyl, and her heirs. (fn. 373) William was dead by 1335 and his son and heir Peter de Grandison (fn. 374) held Dymock manor at his death in 1358. Peter was succeeded by his brother John, bishop of Exeter, (fn. 375) and John (d. 1369) by his nephew Thomas de Grandison. (fn. 376)
At Thomas's death in 1375 the manor was divided between his aunts' descendants with a third going to William de Montagu, earl of Salisbury, another third to John Northwood, and the other third to Roger Beauchamp, Thomas Fauconberge, Alice wife of Thomas Wake, and Catherine widow of Robert Todenham. (fn. 377) Thomas Fauconberge's share, forfeited by his support of the king's enemies in France, was the subject of grants from 1377 until Thomas secured possession in 1406. (fn. 378) Roger Beauchamp's share passed at his death in 1380 to his son or grandson Roger Beauchamp. (fn. 379) Roger Northwood, who succeeded his father John (d. 1379), (fn. 380) and John Todenham, who succeeded his mother Catherine (d. 1383), (fn. 381) sold their shares to Richard Ruyhale and his wife Elizabeth by 1394. (fn. 382) William de Montagu sold his share by 1395 to his nephew Richard de Montagu (fn. 383) (d. 1429), who granted it in 1407 to Richard Ruyhale in return for an annuity. (fn. 384)
Richard Ruyhale died in 1408 holding two thirds of his estate, called the manor of Dymock, jointly with his wife Elizabeth and leaving an infant son Richard as his heir. (fn. 385) The younger Richard died a minor in 1415, (fn. 386) and in 1421 Elizabeth and her then husband Richard Oldcastle obtained a grant of the manor from Edmund Ruyhale, the younger Richard Ruyhale's uncle and heir. (fn. 387) Richard Oldcastle died childless in 1422 (fn. 388) and on Elizabeth's death in 1428 the manor reverted to Edmund Ruyhale's trustees and passed to John Merbury, (fn. 389) a chief justice in south Wales, (fn. 390) who in 1432 acquired the interest in the manor that had descended from Alice Wake to Thomas Wake of Blisworth (Northants.). (fn. 391)
John Merbury died in 1438. His daughter and heir Elizabeth, wife of (Sir) Walter Devereux, (fn. 392) survived in 1453 (fn. 393) and Walter died in 1459, having settled the manor on Anne, the wife of his son Walter, later Lord Ferrers. Following Anne's death in 1469 Walter held the manor by courtesy and after his death at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 his widow Jane (or Joan) took possession of it. She married in turn Thomas Vaughan (fl. 1492), Sir Edmund Blount (d. 1499), and Thomas Poyntz (fn. 394) of Alderley, who held the manor in her right in 1522. (fn. 395) By 1537 the manor had passed to Anne and Walter Devereux's grandson Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers. (fn. 396) Walter, who was created Viscount Hereford in 1550, died in 1558 and was succeeded by his grandson Walter Devereux, who was created Lord Bourchier in 1571 and earl of Essex in 1572. He left the manor at his death in 1576 to his widow Lettice. (fn. 397) She married in turn Robert Dudley (d. 1588), earl of Leicester, and Sir Christopher Blount (ex. 1601) (fn. 398) and retained the manor in 1604. (fn. 399)
In 1606 the manor was acquired by Giles Forster, (fn. 400) the owner of Boyce Court. (fn. 401) In 1611 Giles conveyed the manor to Sir George Huntley (fn. 402) (d. 1622). His son and heir William Huntley (fn. 403) was lord in 1631 (fn. 404) but the manor court was held in the name of Giles Forster, his relative, in 1633 (fn. 405) and of John Stratford in 1638. (fn. 406) In 1640 the owner was Sir John Winter of Lydney, also a relative of the Huntleys. (fn. 407) Sir John, a prominent royalist, suffered heavy financial penalties after the Civil War (fn. 408) and in 1656 he sold the manor to Evan Seys (fn. 409) of Boverton (Glam.). Evan, who was MP for Gloucester after the Restoration, (fn. 410) sold it in 1680 to Edward Pye of Much Dewchurch (Herefs.). (fn. 411) Edward, a merchant with business in Barbados, died in 1692 having settled the manor in trust for his grandnephew Edward Pye Chamberlayne. Edward, who lived for a time on Barbados, (fn. 412) took possession in 1704 (fn. 413) and gave the estate to his son Edward Pye Chamberlayne in 1717. (fn. 414) The latter died in 1729 and his widow Elizabeth held the estate as guardian of their infant son Edward Pye Chamberlayne until 1740. (fn. 415) The son sold the manor and the rest of the estate in 1769 to Ann Cam of Battersea (Surrey), (fn. 416) heiress to other lands in Dymock. (fn. 417)
Ann Cam died in 1790 (fn. 418) leaving the manor with part of her estate to John Moggridge of Bradford-onAvon (Wilts.), a clothier. (fn. 419) John (d. 1803) was succeeded by his son John Hodder Moggridge (fn. 420) and he sold the manor in 1811 to Samuel Beale. (fn. 421) By 1812 Samuel had sold it to William Lygon, Lord Beauchamp of Powick (Worcs.), (fn. 422) who had already added several farms in Dymock to his estate at Madresfield in Worcestershire. (fn. 423) William, who was created Earl Beauchamp in 1815, died in 1816 (fn. 424) and his successor at Madresfield owned c.550 a. in Dymock in the mid 19th century. (fn. 425) Most of that land was sold c.1919 but William Lygon, the 8th earl, retained the lordship of the manor in the mid 1960s (fn. 426) and the Madresfield estate included a farm at Ketford in 2002.
OLD GRANGE MANOR
Roger (d. 1155), earl of Hereford and lord of Dymock, (fn. 427) included the Dymock demesne and half of the Dymock wood in his endowment of Flaxley abbey. Henry II confirmed the gifts in 1158 (fn. 428) and William de Gamages later granted the abbey other land in Dymock. (fn. 429) The abbey retained its estate based on a grange (later the Old Grange) on the west side of the parish until the Dissolution (fn. 430) when, in 1537, its possessions were acquired by Sir William Kingston. (fn. 431)
Sir William died in 1540 and his son and heir Sir Anthony Kingston (fn. 432) sold his Dymock property to Thomas Wenman in 1544. (fn. 433) Thomas was later knighted and his son Thomas (fn. 434) settled the estate, known as the manor of Dymock or Old Grange, on himself and his wife Jane (or Joan) in 1570. Thomas and Jane later acquired the manor of Little Dymock and after his death in 1582 (fn. 435) she married in turn Thomas Fisher (d. by 1592) of Bampton (Oxon.) and Richard Unett of Woolhope (Herefs.). She died in the early 17th century and her estate passed to her granddaughter Jane, the daughter of Richard Wenman (d. 1598) and wife of John Wynniatt. (fn. 436)
Jane Wynniatt died in 1633 and her husband in 1670. Their son Wenman Wynniatt (d. 1676) (fn. 437) was succeeded in the estate by his son Wenman, a minor. (fn. 438) He died in 1731 and after the death of his wife Penelope (fn. 439) in 1732 the Old Grange descended in the direct line to Reginald Wynniatt (d. 1762), (fn. 440) who inherited an estate on the Cotswolds at Stanton, (fn. 441) Revd Reginald Wynniatt (d. 1819), and Thomas Wynniatt (d. 1830). (fn. 442) Thomas left the Old Grange to his nephew Reginald Wynniatt, a minor. (fn. 443) At Reginald's death in 1881 it passed to his brother James John Wynniatt but his right of succession to the estate was quashed and Reginald's widow Caroline took possession. (fn. 444) She married Horace Drummond Deane and on her death in 1919 (fn. 445) the estate passed to Reginald's only child Harriett, who had married Henry Mildmay Husey. Under Harriett (d. 1944) (fn. 446) much of the estate was sold (fn. 447) and the Old Grange and its grounds, which passed to her son Ernest Wynniatt Husey (d. 1958), (fn. 448) had a succession of owners after their sale in 1965. (fn. 449)
The Old Grange stands south of the Kempley brook on the site of Flaxley abbey's grange and within a park created probably in the 19th century. (fn. 450) The core of the house is a late medieval stone dwelling, the home in 1522 of the abbey's servant John Wynniatt, (fn. 451) of which a section of high-quality ashlar has been incorporated in a canted projection on the eastern side. In the 17th century when it was both owned and occupied by the Wynniatts (fn. 452) the house was rebuilt and enlarged in brick with mullioned and transomed windows, the hall being subdivided and the roof raised as shown by the timber-framed north-eastern gable and beams inside. Some fittings of that period survive but not necessarily in situ. A stable court was built close to the southern end of the house. Piecemeal changes to the house in the 18th and early 19th century are difficult to interpret but they included the addition of a porch on the north entrance front and a loggia on the south end, both in Greek revival style, and the washing of the house to make it all look stone-built. (fn. 453) In alterations of 1896 the northern end was rebuilt and extended westwards to make a new entrance façade (fn. 454) and soon afterwards an east lodge was built on the Leominster road and an avenue planted along the drive between it and the house. (fn. 455) Farm buildings west of the house include a large 17th-century barn with a timber frame on a high stone plinth.
LITTLE DYMOCK MANOR
About 1197 Richard I granted part of Dymock manor to William de Gamages. (fn. 456) William's estate, which perhaps remained in his possession in the mid 1230s, (fn. 457) passed to Godfrey de Gamages (d. c.1253) (fn. 458) and was inherited by Godfrey's daughters Elizabeth and Euphemia, minors who married Henry of Pembridge and William of Pembridge repectively. (fn. 459) William and Euphemia held the estate or manor, assessed as ½ knight's fee, in 1285 (fn. 460) and William held it by courtesy after her death. In 1317 it passed to their son William (fn. 461) and in 1342 he granted it to his son Henry and his wife Margaret. (fn. 462) The estate, based on Gamage Hall in the south-east of the parish, passed at Henry's death in 1362 to his son John, a minor, (fn. 463) and was later known as the manor of Little Dymock or Gamage Hall. (fn. 464) John (d. 1376) (fn. 465) was succeeded by his son John, who came of age in 1388. (fn. 466) The manor passed to the younger John's son Thomas and his son John (fn. 467) (d. 1505) was succeeded by his son Walter (fn. 468) and Walter (d. by 1515) by his daughter Elizabeth, who married (Sir) Roland Morton. (fn. 469) Roland survived Elizabeth and at his death in 1554 the manor passed to their son Richard Morton (fn. 470) (d. 1559), who was succeeded by his son Anthony. (fn. 471) After he sold the manor in 1571 to Thomas and Jane Wenman (fn. 472) it descended with the Old Grange, (fn. 473) John and Jane Wynniatt being lord and lady of the manor in 1631. (fn. 474) Revd Reginald Wynniatt reserved the manorial rights on selling Gamage Hall c.1770. (fn. 475) The house, which long had been occupied by tenants (fn. 476) and remained the manor court's meeting place, (fn. 477) is described below. (fn. 478)
Boyce Court, formerly known as the Boyce, stands in the south of the parish near Dymock wood and in the 16th century was the principal house on an estate that previously had belonged to the du Boys (Boyce) family. In the late 12th or early 13th century Richard du Boys acquired from Flaxley abbey an assart of 4 a. between its wood and his land (fn. 479) and in the 13th century Walter du Boys held some of his land in Dymock of the fee of William Cauvey. (fn. 480) In 1299, Richard du Boys, a knight, granted two of his Dymock tenants their liberty (fn. 481) and in 1327 Edmund du Boys was assessed for tax in Dymock. (fn. 482) Walter Boyce, a freeholder in Little Dymock manor in 1385, (fn. 483) was possibly the Walter Boyce of Dymock who quitclaimed property in Bodenham (Herefs.) to Edmund Bridges and his wife Ellen in the early 15th century. (fn. 484) The Bridges family (fn. 485) also acquired land in Dymock, some through the marriage by 1457 to Maud, daughter and heiress of Thomas Henbarrow, of Thomas Bridges. (fn. 486) Their son William, who had a residence in Woodend division and was among Dymock's richest landowners, (fn. 487) died in 1523. (fn. 488) His son William lived at Boyce Court in 1530 (fn. 489) and John, another son, owned the estate, sometimes called a manor, in 1558. (fn. 490) John was succeeded by his nephew Humphrey Forster in 1561. (fn. 491) In 1604 Humphrey and his wife Martha gave the estate to their son Giles in return for an annuity (fn. 492) and in 1611 Giles sold it, together with Dymock manor, to Sir George Huntley. (fn. 493) Later in 1611 Sir George sold Boyce Court and its land to William Bourchier (fn. 494) (d. 1623), the lord of Barnsley manor who was succeeded by his son Walter (d. 1648). (fn. 495) Under Walter's will the manor of Boyce was sold in the early 1650s to Evan Seys, (fn. 496) later the owner of Dymock manor, with which Boyce Court passed, (fn. 497) becoming the residence of Edward Pye (d. 1692) and his successors (fn. 498) and descending after Ann Cam's death to John Hodder Moggridge. (fn. 499) John Drummond, who bought Boyce Court shortly before 1814, (fn. 500) died in 1835 (fn. 501) and his son John (fn. 502) inherited an estate that covered 321 a. of Dymock (fn. 503) and passed after his death in 1875 (fn. 504) to his daughter Georgiana Matilda (d. 1904) and her husband George Onslow Deane (d. 1929). Their son Horace Drummond Deane-Drummond (formerly Deane) died in 1930 and his son John Drummond Deane-Drummond (fn. 505) sold Boyce Court in 1935 to G.H. Goulding, a farmer. (fn. 506) The house belonged in 2004 to Goulding's daughter Sylvia. (fn. 507)
Although Evan Seys was assessed for tax on 13 hearths in 1672 (fn. 508) the oldest surviving part of Boyce Court is a fragment of a two-storeyed brick house probably built in the early 18th century. That house, which incorporated fabric of the earlier house, (fn. 509) had an H plan with a south front of eight bays (fn. 510) and was probably double-pile. (fn. 511) In granting a lease in 1746 E.P. Chamberlayne reserved several rooms and outbuildings together with a new part of the house and a deep cellar. (fn. 512) In the early 19th century the eastern wing of the H was replaced by a larger neoclassical block and the principal 18th-century room was remodelled to match. The new block, rectangular and double-pile in plan with northerly projections, of which only the north-eastern is original, had a five-bayed stuccoed southern façade of 2½ storeys with a central porch and contained an entrance hall flanked by two large rooms. In the later 1930s it was altered slightly and all but three bays of the earlier house was demolished. (fn. 513)
The house stands close to the home farm in a park made picturesque probably when the house was enlarged in the early 19th century. (fn. 514) In the mid 18th century avenues led northward to the village and south-eastwards to the Newent road (fn. 515) and the grounds included a walled garden and a lower garden. (fn. 516) In the early 19th century wooded walks were laid out east of the house alongside the Hereford and Gloucester canal, cut through the park in the 1790s, (fn. 517) a stream was dammed to form an ornamental fishpond probably controlled to supply power to the farm buildings, and a drive was created running eastwards to a lodge on the Newent road. (fn. 518) Also in the 19th century a stable block was built and most of the farm buildings were replaced, all in brick. One timber-framed barn survives. The east lodge was rebuilt in 1865. (fn. 519)
Callow farm, in the east of the parish, was perhaps represented by the land that William Callow, a chaplain, held from Dymock manor in 1394. (fn. 520) It was occupied by the Shayle family in the early 16th century (fn. 521) and Thomas Shayle (d. 1540) left it to his wife Elizabeth with reversion to his son Thomas. (fn. 522) John Shayle (d. 1685) (fn. 523) of Redmarley was succeeded by his nephew Thomas Shayle, a Gloucester mercer who sold the farm (159 a.) in 1687 to Rice Yate of Bromesberrow. Rice (d. 1690) and his son Walter (d. 1744) acquired other farms in the east of Dymock (fn. 524) and in 1810 W.H. Yate sold them all to William Lygon, Lord Beauchamp, owner of the Madresfield estate. (fn. 525) About 1919 the estate sold Callow farm (248 a.) to its tenant farmer, A.H. Chew. (fn. 526) He died in 1947 (fn. 527) and the farm passed to his son R.S. Chew (fn. 528) (fl. 1964). (fn. 529) The brothers Malcolm and John Stallard bought it in 1978 and they farmed there in 2004. (fn. 530)
The two-storeyed farmhouse was built in the late 16th century on an H plan and has square-panel timber framing with intermediate close studding and, to the west, a high plinth and a cellar where the ground falls away to the north. The northern end of the east wing and the hall block, which has a stone northern stack with two diagonally-set brick shafts, seem to predate the western wing, which contained the parlour. That room has elaborately moulded beams and the wing a large stone stack with a pair of square-set chimneys. In the 19th century additional brick nogging was inserted in the frame and a singlestoreyed addition was built across the northern side of the hall, part of which, together with the end of the west range, was refaced in brick. In the 20th century the southern end of the east wing, which has two large chimneystacks, was replaced; evidence of weathering suggests that it had fallen into disrepair. A staircase was inserted in the hall range and a conservatory added to the front. Later in the century a northern porch was added, the timber-framed north wall of the eastern wing was rebuilt as original, and the windows were returned to their earlier 20th-century pattern. Internal subdivision in the wings created bedrooms, bathrooms, and an entrance passage.
The development of the farmyard to the east follows that of the house. A 17th-century barn on a high stone plinth has a timber frame with a wattle infill that was renewed in the late 20th century. A brick cheese room next to the house was altered in the early 19th century and the adjoining animal shelters and sheds forming a long L were completed by the Madresfield estate in 1861. Stables adjoining the barn were built in 1870. (fn. 531)
About 1770 Gamage Hall was detached from Little Dymock manor and bought by Richard Hall. (fn. 532) At his death in 1780 (fn. 533) the house passed with its land to his nephew Revd John Sergeaunt. (fn. 534) From John (d. 1780) it descended with Hart's Barn in Longhope to Richard Hall and in 1861 he sold the house with c.180 a. to Guy Hill, (fn. 535) owner and farmer of the Old Rock. Guy's son Henry (fn. 536) sold Gamage Hall farm to A.H. Chew in 1909 (fn. 537) and the county council bought 260 a. with the house in 1919. (fn. 538) The council remained the owner in 2003. (fn. 539)
The house at Gamage Hall was rebuilt in the mid 17th century as a two-storeyed timber-framed farmhouse with four hearths in 1672. (fn. 540) The squarepanelled frame is exposed inside and at the rear and original timbers have been incorporated in a south porch. In the 18th century the front, south wall of the eastern rooms, including the hall, was rebuilt in brick with segment-headed windows and in the early 19th century the rest of the south front was faced in brick and the house given sash windows front and back. A long partly timber-framed north-eastern wing, added in the late 17th or 18th century, has steps to a first-floor room, probably a cheese room.
In the mid 17th century Thomas Wall owned the estate or farm in the far north-east of the parish that became Great Lintridge. Thomas, the son of William Wall, (fn. 541) died in 1665. His son William, the county sheriff in 1682, (fn. 542) later lived in Ledbury and at his death in 1717 the estate passed to his grandson William Wall. (fn. 543) He sold it in 1727 to John Skipp of Ledbury and it was settled the following year on the marriage of John's daughter Jane and George Pritchard, heir to an estate at Hope End, in Colwall (Herefs.), and from 1749 owner of Dymock rectory. Great Lintridge descended with the rectory to Sir Henry Tempest Bt., (fn. 544) on whose separation from his wife Susan in 1815 it was sold to John Terrett of Hanley Castle (Worcs.). At his death in 1820 the estate (434 a.) passed to his widow Mary, later wife of Joseph Harris of Claines (Worcs.), but in 1824 trustees for John's creditors sold it to Joseph Hill, the owner of Little Lintridge. (fn. 545)
Little Lintridge was an estate centred on a house formerly called Tops Tenement, a copyhold of Dymock manor that had belonged to the Weale family. (fn. 546) The Weales farmed at Lintridge in the mid 17th century (fn. 547) and John Weale sold the estate or farm to Decimus Weale and his wife Rachael (née Benson) in 1721. Their children, Decimus, Elizabeth wife of Robert Symonds, and Rachael wife of Matthew Kidder, sold it in 1746 to Thomas Hill. Thomas, later of Bromesberrow, settled Little Lintridge on his son Joseph in 1769 (fn. 548) and from Joseph (d. 1800) it passed to his son Joseph. Joseph, the purchaser of Great Lintridge in 1824, was succeeded at his death in 1833 by his son Joseph (fn. 549) but in 1837 the representatives of Mary Harris (d. 1830) sold most of Great Lintridge (301 a.) to William Laslett of Worcester. William, who was elected MP for that city in 1852, released his estate to his sister Sophia Laslett in 1841 and she conveyed it back to him in 1851. (fn. 550) In 1858 he purchased Little Lintridge from Joseph Hill (fn. 551) and, having made its house the centre of his enlarged estate or farm, (fn. 552) sold it with 382 a. to Earl Beauchamp, owner of the Madresfield estate, in 1868. (fn. 553) The farm remained part of the Madresfield estate until c.1919 (fn. 554) and was owned by Mr Peter Sargeant in 2004. (fn. 555)
The core of the Lintridge farmhouse (formerly Little Lintridge) has a T plan and timber framing with some close studding and decorative bracing. It was built with a hall range and a western wing with a cellar under the south end. A tall brick range added parallel to the north side of the hall range in the mid 18th century contains a staircase with two balusters per tread and carved tread ends. In the early 19th century a brick skin was applied to the earlier fabric, two full-height bows were added to the north front, and an extension with catslide roof was made to the east. Later in the century new outbuildings were provided around a courtyard west of the house.
In the mid 17th century Robert Holmes, a London merchant, built up an estate at Great Netherton, in the north-west of the parish, purchasing land from among others John Wills, (fn. 556) whose family had lived at Netherton since at least the mid 16th century. (fn. 557) Robert, who settled there, came to own the largest estate in Leadington division and by 1670 it had passed to his eldest son John (fn. 558) (d. by 1685). John's son and heir John, of Ross-on-Wye (fn. 559) and later of Carwardine in Madley (Herefs.), died in 1700 (fn. 560) and his son William sold his Dymock lands in 1712 to Joseph Cam, citizen and haberdasher of London. (fn. 561) Joseph died in 1729 leaving land in Dymock and Kempley in turn to his wife Mary (d. 1752) and daughter Mary. From Mary (d. 1774), wife of William Cam (fn. 562) (d. 1767), (fn. 563) Great Netherton passed to her daughter Ann Cam (d. 1790), (fn. 564) and at a division of land between Ann's heirs, confirmed in 1808, became the property of Hercules Hailes Dancocks. (fn. 565) At his death in 1818 he left Great Netherton (c.150 a.) to his widow Sarah and the reversion to his eldest son, also called Hercules Hailes Dancocks (fl. 1849). (fn. 566) Edmund Edmonds, the owner in 1859, (fn. 567) sold Great Netherton in 1873 to Reginald Wynniatt, (fn. 568) and John Wenman Wynniatt (d. 1934), the son of James John Wynniatt, (fn. 569) owned it in the early 20th century. (fn. 570) In the mid 20th century E. Wynniatt Husey sold the farm to the Hawkins family, the tenants since the late 19th century, and they retained it in 2004. (fn. 571)
The house at Great Netherton was built in the 17th century, probably with a timber frame and an H plan. The H was infilled on the east side in the 18th century, embracing the hall range stack and creating a new east front. The other outer walls have also been rebuilt in brick. The north wing was fitted as kitchen and dairy in the 19th century. Among the outbuildings to the west is a three-bayed barn with brick grilles built in 1809 for H.H. Dancocks, (fn. 572) whose son appears to have continued to improve the buildings. (fn. 573)
The Old Rock
The Old Rock, south-west of the village on the Kempley road, was occupied by Thomas Hill in 1539 (fn. 574) and belonged to a farm owned by the Hill family of Hillash in the later 16th century. (fn. 575) It remained the property of the Hill family until the early 20th century, the ownership passing in the early 17th century to William Hill (fn. 576) (d. 1631) (fn. 577) and belonging in 1715 to Thomas Hill. (fn. 578) Thomas Hill (d. 1815 or 1816) left the Old Rock and its land (c.180 a.) to his nephew Thomas Hill (d. 1843), from whom they passed to his son Guy. (fn. 579) Guy, who purchased several other farms in Dymock and Pauntley, (fn. 580) died in 1888. Under his son Henry the farms were sold off, the Old Rock (157 a.) in 1911 to William Henry Stuart. Owned in 1944 by Robert Fielding Stuart, (fn. 581) the Old Rock changed owners in the later 1940s and S.J.S. Walker sold the farm (171 a.) to F.N. Cross in 1949. (fn. 582)
Pitt House Farm
In the mid 1660s Pitt House Farm, south of the village, was the centre of a customary estate owned by the Wills family, (fn. 583) which lived at the Pitt House by the mid 16th century. (fn. 584) The estate, over which the owners of the Old Grange had lordship, passed to the Hill family. (fn. 585) Richard Hill of Staunton (Worcs.) settled it on his marriage in 1736 and took up residence in the house, which was made up of two dwellings knocked into one sometimes called Edulus Place. Richard died in 1772 and his widow Mary in 1776 and their son Richard (d. 1794) left the house and most of the land to his nephew Noah Hill Neale. William Cummins, the owner from 1796, (fn. 586) sold the estate in 1803 to Samuel Neate (d. 1807) and Samuel Beale (d. 1840) of Upton upon Severn (Worcs.), the owner from 1811, (fn. 587) left it to his daughter Mary, the widow of William Symonds. On her death in 1859 it passed to her son James Frederick Symonds (fn. 588) (d. 1911) and in 1918 the house and 204 a. were sold to S.W. Bennion. (fn. 589) The farm was later owned by the Goulding family by whom it was sold in the early 21st century. (fn. 590)
Pound Farm, north of the village, was a copyhold of Dymock manor (fn. 591) and part of an estate or farm owned in 1586 by William Cam. (fn. 592) William, who lived in the house, died in 1623 and the house and its land descended to John Cam (d. 1753). He was succeeded by his son John (d. 1769), a surgeon in Hereford, and his son and heir John, also a medical practitioner in Hereford, (fn. 593) died in 1809 leaving as heirs his daughters Ann (d. 1827), wife of Abraham Whittaker of Llanwarne (Herefs.), and Mary, wife of Nicholas Sykes of Kingston upon Hull (Yorks. E.R.). In 1844, just before Mary's death, the estate (125 a.) was sold to Edward Hankins of Ledbury and in 1852 he sold it to Thomas Dewell of Corsham (Wilts.). Thomas, a captain in the Royal Artillery, died in 1853 and his son Charles Goddard Dewell conveyed the farm in 1863 to William and Thomas Brindle. William Pope, the tenant farmer, (fn. 594) died in 1878 having acquired the freehold (fn. 595) and his family retained it in the early 20th century. (fn. 596) In 1954 the owner and farmer were J.F. Samuel (fn. 597) and in 2002 they were Mr L. Samuel.
The farmhouse, (fn. 598) standing on a high platform, is a fine and large building of two storeys with attics. It seems to have originated in the 16th century as a smaller house (see the western end of the northern wing) and to have been enlarged in the mid 17th century by the Cams into a U with wings projecting west and a porch on the east front in line with a rear stair tower. The low, southern end and the hall occupy four bays of close-studded framing on a rubble plinth. The high end is separately framed and distinguished by square panelling in the upper storey, close studding below, and well-dressed stone facing the plinth. Each wing is served by an internal chimney with diagonal brick stacks and the hall by a rear chimney with three. The interior is plain but has decorative mouldings in the hall and a dog-leg staircase. A considerable amount of work was done on the house and its outbuildings in the 18th and early 19th century, despite the owners living elsewhere. In the 18th century the house's south wall was rebuilt in brick, probably when an entrance was made there, its roof was replaced, a rear corridor was added (and later made two-storeyed), and a barn and cowhouse built. In the early 19th century single-storeyed extensions, one of them a cider house, were added to the house's wings and the barn and cowhouse were altered.
Wilton Place, known until the early 19th century as the Farm, (fn. 599) is named after a family descended presumably from John of Wilton, a mid 13th-century landowner in Dymock. (fn. 600) In 1522 Thomas Wilton was the wealthiest inhabitant of Ryeland division. (fn. 601) His estate (fn. 602) passed from his son John (d. 1560) to his son Thomas. (fn. 603) John Cam, who lived at the Farm in 1624, (fn. 604) died in 1662. The house and land passed to his son John (fn. 605) (d. 1680) and he was succeeded by his son John (d. 1707), from whom the estate passed in turn to his sons John (d. 1739) (fn. 606) and William, a London merchant. (fn. 607) William (d. 1767) was survived by his son John for only a few weeks (fn. 608) and by his daughter Ann, (fn. 609) who bought Dymock manor in 1769. (fn. 610) At her death in 1790 she left the Farm and four other farms in Dymock to John Thackwell. (fn. 611) John, who had estates and seats in Berrow and Birtsmorton (both Worcs.), (fn. 612) died in 1808 and his eldest son John inherited the Dymock farms apart from Normansland that went to a younger son Joseph. (fn. 613) John, who received the Hill estate at a division between Ann Cam's heirs in 1808, (fn. 614) died in 1829 and his widow and eldest son, John Cam Thackwell, (fn. 615) between them owned 657 a. in Dymock in the 1840s. (fn. 616) J.C. Thackwell died in 1892 and Wilton Place passed to John Thackwell (d. 1914). The estate remained intact until John's son and heir, John Henry Cam Thackwell, (fn. 617) sold off the house and farms in 1947. (fn. 618)
The red brick house, (fn. 619) reached along a short drive eastwards from the Ledbury road, (fn. 620) was built in the mid 18th century presumably for William Cam. (fn. 621) Of 2½ storeys throughout, it lacks stone dressings, ornament, or emphasis to any part of the façades and, standing at the top of a rise, looks particularly tall and austere from the north. To the south the plan formed a shallow U; to the north a western wing projects to make an L. In the later 19th century there were c.20 rooms with a large entrance and staircase hall in the centre of the south front flanked on the west by a dining room, kitchen, and lean-to bakery and yard and on the east by a drawing room and larder. On inheriting the estate in 1892 John Thackwell employed Waller & Son to enlarge and remodel the house. They placed the entrance on the west and altered the south garden front by adding a drawing room in a single-storeyed square bay between the wings and a conservatory in front of the south-east room. In the west wing they made a library and entrance hall and in the east a dining room linked to service rooms in a new singlestoreyed extension to the north. The main staircase was replaced and the others reorganised. (fn. 622) After a brief period in the 1950s as a hotel (fn. 623) the house was converted as flats. (fn. 624) It was presumably during the conversion that the conservatory was removed. A few of the outbuildings, to the east and west, have been retained as separate dwellings. The remains of a walled garden lie to the east.
The rectory estate originated in a grant of Dymock church with its tithes, including those of the manorial demesne, and a yardland to Cormeilles abbey (Eure) presumably in the late 11th century. (fn. 625) The abbey, which appropriated the church and its revenues under an episcopal licence of 1195, (fn. 626) agreed in 1207 that the Flaxley monks would pay 6s. 8d. a year for tithes from their demesne with nothing from assarts they cultivated in their woodland (fn. 627) and in 1289 it relinquished the right to corn tithes from William and Sibyl de Grandison's demesne in return for a grant of land. (fn. 628) Cormeilles administered its estate through its priory at Newent and the Crown, which at times during wars with France seized the priory, granted it at farm with other of the abbey's possessions in the late 14th century. (fn. 629) In 1411 the rectory passed with the priory to Fotheringhay college (Northants.) (fn. 630)
After the college's surrender of its estates in 1547 the rectory passed with Newent manor down to Sir William Winter (d. 1589). (fn. 631) His son William possessed the rectory in 1603 (fn. 632) and was succeeded at his death in 1626 by his son Giles (fn. 633) (d. 1630), whose son William (fn. 634) was temporarily ousted as owner during the Commonwealth. (fn. 635) From William (d. 1667) (fn. 636) the impropriation passed to his son William. (fn. 637) He lived at the White House in the village (fn. 638) and in 1710 his surviving heirs, his daughters Hester, wife of John Devall, and Margaret, conveyed the rectory to his brother Robert and brother-in-law Sir William Humphreys. Sir William (d. 1735), a London ironmonger who acquired a baronetcy in 1714, left his moiety to his grandson Robert Humphreys (d. 1737) and from him it passed to his sisters Mary, wife in turn of William Ball Waring and Thomas Gore, and Ellen, who married Charles Gore. Robert Winter (d. 1719) left the other moiety to his nephew Orlando Humphreys (d. 1737), heir to the baronetcy in 1735, and he left it to Ellen, his daughter. In 1749 the sisters and their husbands sold the rectory to George Pritchard of Hope End (Herefs). (fn. 639)
George (d. 1765) (fn. 640) was succeeded by his only child Jane. She died in 1767 and her husband Henry Lambert held the rectory estate until their only child Susan came of age. (fn. 641) Susan, who used the surname Pritchard, (fn. 642) married Sir Henry Tempest Bt. (fn. 643) and he sold off tithes piecemeal, in 1803 reserving those from 1,000 a. for payments including the vicar's stipend and Robert Winter's clothing charity. (fn. 644) The vicar, Evan Evans, bought the rectory later in 1803 (fn. 645) and was succeeded both as rector and vicar in 1817 by his brother David (d. 1820). (fn. 646) The rectory, which David left to their sister Mary Collins, (fn. 647) was sold in 1825 to Abraham Thompson of Powick (Worcs.) (fn. 648) and in 1848 its tithes were commuted for a corn rent charge of £300. (fn. 649) Abraham died in 1853 and his executors sold the impropriation in 1857 to John Drummond of Boyce Court. He sold it to Earl Beauchamp in 1871. (fn. 650)
Medieval Monastic Estates
Aconbury priory (Herefs.), founded in the early 13th century by Margery de Lacy, (fn. 651) received an early grant of land in Dymock from Richard son of Robert le Rich of Gloucester. William de Gamages granted the priory a rent from a mill at Ketford and in the early 15th century the mill was farmed under the priory. (fn. 652) Wormsley priory (Herefs.) had a pasture in Dymock called Maidenpole in 1501 (fn. 653) and retained it until the Dissolution. The Crown granted it to Daniel and Alexander Peart of Tewkesbury in 1553. (fn. 654)
Despite attempts in the 13th century to bolster Dymock's trading role, (fn. 655) the parish's economy settled primarily on supplying the immediate needs of a large and scattered farming community. Large numbers of people were engaged in rural crafts and trades and farming was varied, with an emphasis in the early modern period on apple and pear cultivation. The Hereford and Gloucester canal and the railway that succeeded it (fn. 656) stimulated some commercial activity in the 19th and early 20th century.
The Middle Ages
In 1066 the royal estate at Dymock had 2 ploughs in demesne while its tenants possessed a total of 45 ploughs, four of them belonging to 4 radknights and the rest to 11 freedmen, 42 villans, and 10 bordars. (fn. 657) Although only 12 ploughteams were recorded in Dymock in 1220, (fn. 658) more land was brought into cultivation in the 12th and 13th centuries as woodland in the south-west was cleared. (fn. 659) While much of the land won was put in closes and there is scant early documentary evidence of strip farming, (fn. 660) open arable fields as indicated by areas of former ridge and furrow existed in various parts of the parish, particularly in the east. (fn. 661) Open-field land in the south-east included one or more areas by Castle Tump known in the 13th century as Castle field and the bailey. (fn. 662) Later evidence suggests that Leadington tithing, in the north-west, had a separate system of agriculture. (fn. 663)
There had been some retreat from cultivation by 1340, when five yardlands in the parish lay uncultivated because of the poverty of the tenantry. (fn. 664) The sandy soils of the eastern part of the parish were suited particularly to the growing of rye, (fn. 665) amounts of which were among corn and pulses sold in 1347 probably by the receiver of the tithes. (fn. 666) That division of the parish became known as Ryeland, the name Ryton having been recorded in the 13th century, (fn. 667) and according to one tradition the Ryeland breed of sheep originated there. (fn. 668) The riverine land in the Leadon valley above and below Ketford, and also in the broad tributary valley west of Ryton, was possibly cultivated as water meadows later if not in the medieval period. (fn. 669) King's Meadow, between the Leadon's two channels at Ketford, (fn. 670) belonged to Dymock manor but was open as a common between haymaking and Candlemas in the mid 14th century. (fn. 671) At that time the manor's woodland was also common pasture. (fn. 672) The production of cider on many farms in the mid 16th century indicates that there were numerous orchards by the end of the medieval period. (fn. 673)
Many of Dymock's farms probably derived from the holdings of the manor's Domesday tenants. In the mid 13th century, when its demesne comprised 93 a. arable, 8 a. meadow, and 5 a. pasture, the manor received cash rents from 16 free tenants holding 12 yardlands and a number of assarts, 14 men holding other land, the tenants of 66 burgages, and customary tenants. The pattern of customary tenements was based on 11 yardland and 22 halfyardland holdings owing services mostly for sowing and harvesting corn, the tenants supplying seed for the winter ploughing and providing the labour of additional men during the harvest. Lesser customary tenants, of whom there were a score or more, also owed services and children and other adults owed small works in return for the Crown's protection. (fn. 674) Military and other free tenants witheld their service in the late 13th and early 14th century (fn. 675) and the demesne was let out before 1335, when the estate's value came almost entirely from tenants' rents (£28). (fn. 676) Robert Ketford held a ploughland and 40 a. meadow by military service in 1373 (fn. 677) and rents from 25 tenants were assigned to the widow of Thomas de Grandison (d. 1375) as part of her dower. (fn. 678) In 1317 Little Dymock manor had 80 a. arable and 2 a. meadow in demesne but its main value was free tenants' rents (£8). (fn. 679) The dower awarded in 1385 to John of Pembridge's widow included rents from thirteen freehold and two customary tenants. (fn. 680) Customary tenants on both manors came to enjoy a favourable form of copyhold, their tenements being heritable by their legitimate children and subject, after the death of the owner, to the payment of a heriot and a relief of one year's rent. (fn. 681)
Flaxley abbey, according to one 13th-century rental, had 31 tenants in Dymock and they owed cash rents ranging from 2½d. to 17s. 8d. and totalling £4 9s. 9½d. Two tenants, both paying 8s., owed ploughing services, themselves supplying seed in the winter, and had to send men to the harvest on four days and a man to haymaking on one day. Nineteen other tenants also owed harvest services, most with three men. (fn. 682) Cormeilles abbey's tenants in the mid 14th century were mostly cottagers. Only a few held land, the largest holding being a half yardland, and in 1335 the cash rents for 31 holdings, of which two were in dual occupation, ranged from 4d. to 13s. 6d. (fn. 683) Under Fotheringhay college the rectory estate was held by a lessee in the late Middle Ages. (fn. 684) In 1522 Dymock's most prosperous farmer was John Wynniatt, the occupant of Flaxley abbey's grange (later Old Grange). Among other leading farmers Thomas Hill of Gamage Hall was the lessee of Little Dymock manor. (fn. 685)
The Early Modern Period
In 1608 some fifty farmers lived in Dymock with eleven of them, 6 yeomen and 5 husbandmen, working on Giles Forster's estate. The principal tenant farmer was John Wynniatt at the Old Grange. (fn. 686) His farm included Rosehill and land in Kempley. (fn. 687) Much land was copyhold, on Old Grange manor and some other estates for lives (fn. 688) and on Dymock and Little Dymock manors by inheritance. The customs of those two manors, those of Dymock being rehearsed in an agreement of 1565 to which its lord and tenants were parties, permitted tenants to dispose freely of their land with the lord's consent and to grant leases for up to 21 years without it. (fn. 689) As a result very little copyhold property on the two manors was enfranchised before the 19th century. (fn. 690)
By the mid 17th century the pattern of customary holdings within Dymock had been largely obscured. Holdings had been amalgamated and many houses had been abandoned. For the Wynniatt family's Old Grange estate, which in 1665 included five or six large farms on the west side of the parish as well as Gamage Hall, (fn. 691) a rental of 1692 listed 41 holdings in Dymock held by 31 tenants, half of whom had free land as part or as the whole of their holding. Of the estate's 22 customary tenements 12 or 13 owed heriots and the rest were without houses. (fn. 692) A number of other farms were absorbed into other estates, as in the east of the parish where substantial farms at Callow, Ketford, and Ryton were added to the lands of the Yate family of Bromesberrow in the later 17th and the early 18th century. (fn. 693) In 1731, when five or six farms in the south belonged to the Chamberlayne family, the parish's largest farms were centred on the Old Grange and Boyce Court and there were substantial farms at Lintridge, Great Netherton, and Hill Farm. (fn. 694)
Open fields and small common meadows were scattered throughout the parish apart from the southwest. Reduced in size by piecemeal inclosure, (fn. 695) the fields were mostly small. West of the village they included Monk Down (or Old field) south of the Kempley road and Stoneberrow and Mickle field further north. (fn. 696) North of the village a field called Lower Lynch lay by the Ledbury road north of the Leadon. (fn. 697) Leadington had more than seven open fields. North field and Heddens (later Iddens) field were in the north near the lane to Ledbury and Old (later Gloucestershire Old) field and Great and Little Sneads (later Sneadge) fields were lower down to the west towards the Ludstock and Preston brooks. (fn. 698) Another field called Toplay (or Suffield) lay to the south, some way north-east of Tiller's green, (fn. 699) and one called Haw field lay beyond the Preston brook near Hallwood green. (fn. 700) Sneads field was also known as Eatons field (fn. 701) and the open-field land in the north near the river Leadon became known as Far Eatons field. (fn. 702) Leadington's common meadows probably included Sneads Moor and Redding Meadow on the east bank of the Preston brook. (fn. 703)
An open field called Sidderdine (fn. 704) lay midway between the village and Ryton. The open fields in the east of the parish also included Hemland to the east of Broom's green (fn. 705) and East field and Warford to the east of Ryton and Horse Croft (or High field) to the northeast of it. (fn. 706) Bromesberrow heath and Broom's green on the northern boundary were common pastures in the 17th century. (fn. 707) South of the Leadon there was an open field called Crow field close to the river by the way to Ketford. (fn. 708) At the end of the 18th century King's Meadow, the riparian meadow at Ketford, was owned severally by three farms at Ryton and Bromesberrow Heath with the grazing on it between 20 July to 2 February reserved to Heath farm. (fn. 709)
The parish contained numerous orchards with many farms producing cider and presumably perry in the mid 16th century, some in large quantities. (fn. 710) Apple and pear trees were traditionally planted in widely-spaced rows in arable fields, (fn. 711) including open fields and newly inclosed land. (fn. 712) Some inclosed land was converted to pasture (fn. 713) but orcharding became the major enterprise of many farms (fn. 714) and the area became noted for the quality of its cider made from Red Streak apples. In the mid 17th century John Wynniatt of the Old Grange was a major producer of (fn. 715) and authority on such cider (fn. 716) and in 1767 the Old Grange farm comprised 88 a. arable, of which 75 a. contained orchards, 35 a. meadow, and 85 a. pasture. (fn. 717) Cider mills, operated on the larger farms by horse power, were usually housed in a separate outbuilding. In the later 18th century new orchards were planted in grassland as older trees became less productive. Favoured fruits at that time included the native Dymock Red and Royal Wilding apples and the local Oldfield pear. (fn. 718)
In the early 18th century wheat fields were abundant (fn. 719) but, with orcharding a priority, cereal cultivation was sometimes poor, land was not drained, and meadows were not watered. Many farmers devoted more land to pastoral than to arable farming, (fn. 720) Greenway House and Pitt House being among farmsteads with dairies and cheese stores as well as cider mills. (fn. 721) Sheepcots were scattered around the parish (fn. 722) and Ryeland sheep, kept traditionally for their wool, (fn. 723) remained the predominant breed, although improved by cross-breeding in the later 18th century. (fn. 724) Under Richard Hall (d. 1780) Gamage Hall farm was entitled to pasturage in a meadow in Minsterworth. (fn. 725) In Dymock hops were grown in a few, sometimes new, places (fn. 726) and hemp and flax were cultivated before 1624, when the vicar was entitled to the tithe of the crop. (fn. 727) Large quantities of flax were grown at Little Netherton and another place between 1788 and 1794. (fn. 728) Roots became part of the rotation and in 1801 turnips accounted for 147 and potatoes for 23 of the 1,715 a. returned in that year as under crops, mostly cereals and pulses. Wheat remained the main cereal (fn. 729) and rye, although it had a greater yield, was a comparatively trifling crop even on sandy soils. (fn. 730)
The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
During the 19th century there were some 50–60 farms in Dymock and in 1896 the number of agricultural occupiers, including the smallholders, was 74. (fn. 731) In the early 19th century many farms had over 100 a., including Great Ketford and Callow farms which passed by sale in 1810 with other farms in the east of Dymock from the Yate family's estate to Lord Beauchamp's Madresfield estate. (fn. 732) In 1811, following its acquisition of a farm at Ryton, (fn. 733) the Madresfield estate owned 508 a. divided between five farms with Great Ketford and Callow farms having 151 a. and 144 a. respectively. (fn. 734) In the west there were equally large farms based on the Old Grange, Allums, New Grange, and Rosehill on the Old Grange estate. (fn. 735) About 1850 some twenty-five farms had at least 100 a., another ten 50 a., and twenty 20 a. The largest was Great Lintridge farm (300 a.) at the east end of the parish. Other large farms included the home farm (270 a.), Hill farm (210 a.), and Ockington (127 a.) on the Wilton Place estate in the north and east, Swords (193 a.), Mirabels (137 a.), and Upham (122 a.) in the Leadington, and Castle farm (200 a.), Gamage Hall (178 a.), Normansland (174 a.), and Old Rock (162 a.) in the south, where the greater part of the Boyce Court estate was farmed from Timberhill (200 a.). Other farms with between 100 a. and 140 a. were Pounds, Drews, Great Netherton, and Little Netherton farms in the north-west. Smaller farms were found throughout the parish. (fn. 736)
The creation of even larger farms was well advanced by the mid 1860s. Guy Hill, owner of the Old Rock, (fn. 737) acquired the farms at Crowfield, Gamage Hall, Bickenshill, and Old Shayles to create for himself a farm of 478 a. south and east of the village, and on the Old Grange estate the farm at Allums was enlarged to 357 a. by the addition of land formerly farmed from the manor house. (fn. 738) Shortly after inheriting the Madresfield estate in 1866 the 6th Earl Beauchamp (fn. 739) bought more farms in the east of Dymock (fn. 740) and in 1875 the estate's principal farms included Lintridge (383 a.), Great Ketford (248 a.), Callow (238 a.), and Limetrees in Ryton (182 a.). (fn. 741) By the early 20th century Guy Hill's former farm had been divided between several units (fn. 742) and soon after the First World War the Madresfield and Old Grange estates began selling off their farms. (fn. 743) To foster smallscale farming the county council bought 260 a., including the farmhouses at Gamage Hall and Crowfield, in 1919 (fn. 744) and built a new farmstead at Mere Hills. (fn. 745) It later bought Maypole farm (44 a.). (fn. 746) Although the enfranchisement of copyhold land gathered pace at the end of the 18th century, (fn. 747) the process was piecemeal (fn. 748) and continued after the First World War. (fn. 749)
Among the 87 holdings returned in 1926 were 55 farms with over 20 a. Ten of them had at least 150 a. and one more than 300 a. The agricultural workforce included 125 labourers employed full time and 34 employed on a part-time or casual basis. (fn. 750) In 1956, although there was a similar number of farms and smallholdings, there were fewer smaller and more larger farms, four of them having over 300 a. In the later 20th century the incorporation of smaller farms into larger units continued and the number of farms and smallholdings was much reduced. In 1986, in a total of 58 holdings returned that year, there were 38 farms of over 10 ha (25 a.), among them seven with over 100 ha (250 a.) and two with over 200 ha (500 a.). The holdings provided employment for a total of 135 people, including 38 full-time farmers and a salaried manager, but 29 of the holdings were worked on a part-time basis. The number of hired labourers with full-time employment on the farms was 111 in 1956 and only 12 in 1986. (fn. 751) In 2004 the farms varied considerably in size and the county council retained ownership of several of them, including a group east of the Newent road. (fn. 752)
In 1842 the farmland comprised 3,584 a. of arable and 2,677 a. of meadow and pasture. (fn. 753) At that time arable farming usually followed a four course rotation with heavier soils being left fallow for a year and turnips being grown only on lighter soils. (fn. 754) The common of Bromesberrow heath was inclosed in the late 1850s at the instigation of William Laslett, the owner of the Lintridge estate, (fn. 755) the inclosure being confirmed in two awards dated 1864 and 1866 and dealing respectively with 9 a. in Bromesberrow and 28 a. in Dymock. On the Dymock side Earl Beauchamp as lord of Dymock manor and the churchwardens and overseers received small allotments, Laslett bought 20 a. next to Lintridge, and the rest of the land was divided between 19 other landholders, each one buying under an acre and some considerably less. (fn. 756) The remaining fragments of the open fields, at Stoneberrow, in the Leadington, and around Ryton, were inclosed together with King's Meadow under an award of 1862. That award dealt with 208 a., including old closes, and of its 28 beneficiaries E.J. Thackwell of Normansland received 50 a., another party 31 a., Earl Beauchamp 25 a., and the others all less than 10 a. each. (fn. 757)
In 1866 the 2,934 a. of arable returned for the parish included 1,198 a. under wheat, 745 a. under other cereals and pulses, and 987 a. under clover, grass leys, and roots. (fn. 758) Sheep farming and dairying remained important, the former particularly in the east of the parish, and several farms had resident cowmen and dairymaids. (fn. 759) Beef cattle and pigs were also raised and in 1866 totals of 2,399 sheep, 208 milch cows, 474 other cattle, and 320 pigs were returned. (fn. 760) In the late 19th century arable land was converted to meadow or pasture and in 1905 Dymock contained 1,920 a. of arable and 4,065 a. of permanent grassland. (fn. 761) In 1896, when more dairy and beef cattle and pigs were kept than thirty years earlier and horses were also raised, orchards covered at least 566 a. (fn. 762) John Pullen (d. 1908), a stonemason of the Leadington, was reputed for his skill in propagating fruit trees. (fn. 763) Some farmers grew hops, 50 a. on Old Rock farm being newly planted with hops and 9 a. with fruit trees in the 1890s, (fn. 764) and in 1899 two new hop kilns were built at Gamage Hall. (fn. 765) Market gardening and soft fruit growing, mainly berries and currants, were established (fn. 766) and the wild daffodils that abounded in the woods, hedgerows, and fields of the parish were picked for a trade that continued well into the 20th century. (fn. 767) In 1901 two market gardeners and fruit growers lived at Ryton and fruit and flower dealers occasionally lodged at the Beauchamp Arms. (fn. 768)
In 1926 the area under cereals was returned as 643 a. and livestock farming was represented by 1,649 cattle, including 487 milch cows, 2,966 sheep, 432 pigs, and 7,997 poultry, including 6,920 chickens. (fn. 769) Hop cultivation had ceased by that time, (fn. 770) the remaining hop kilns being demolished, (fn. 771) but orcharding and fruit farming remained important, cider and perry being made on Hill farm in the early 1930s. A nurseryman was among the people listed in Dymock in 1931. (fn. 772) In the mid 20th century the area devoted to cereal production increased considerably and livestock numbers, including those of pigs and chickens as well as dairy and beef cattle, rose. (fn. 773) Farms were usually mixed and many had fruit trees and bushes. (fn. 774) In the south of the parish Castle farm (86 a.), a specialist fruit farm producing dessert and culinary apples, plums, and blackcurrants, included a new house for a foreman and a store that had been accommodation for pickers. (fn. 775) In 1956, when 1,234 a. of cereals was returned, orchards covered at least 361 a. and market gardens and fruit fields another 112 a. (fn. 776) Although many farms grew cereals, mostly wheat and barley, farming in the late 20th century was dominated by dairying. In 1986, when totals of 2,659 cattle, including 718 cows in milk or calf, and 6,300 sheep and lambs were returned, eleven of the holdings returned were dairy farms, seven were beef or sheep farms, three were fruit farms, and one was a cereal farm. (fn. 777) There were several dairy farms in 2004 (fn. 778) and a cheese maker farming at Broom's Green, an enterprise started in 1973 and originally using milk from a herd of Old Gloucester cattle, (fn. 779) remained in business.
In the later 20th century orchards were grubbed up to make larger fields for cereal and dairy farming. Most of those cultivated in 1986, when 74 ha (183 a.) of orchards and 20 ha (49 a.) of fruit fields were returned, grew apples for eating or apples and pears for cider and perry making. (fn. 780) In 2004 the largest area of orchards was on Castle farm which extended into Oxenhall and produced and bottled apple juice. Soft fruit was grown under plastic at Lintridge and there were several market and nursery gardens. Intensive, large-scale poultry farming continued at a unit established near Mooroak in the 1960s. (fn. 781)
In the mid 12th century the lord of Dymock gave half of the woodland there, together with half of his nets, to the monks of Flaxley abbey. (fn. 782) Parts of the wood were cleared by the abbey (fn. 783) and eight men, including two smiths, a forester, and a charcoal burner, had assarts on them in the early 13th century. (fn. 784) The woodland retained for the manor was wasted by its keeper during the wars immediately following Henry III's accession in 1216 but the undergrowth had regenerated by the mid 1240s. (fn. 785) At that time several freeholders held assarts from the manor (fn. 786) and in 1252 the Crown permitted Ela Longespée, the holder of the manor, to clear and inclose all the wood east of a path called 'Staurnchesway', an area of three yardlands. (fn. 787) The manor's woodland was common pasture in 1335. (fn. 788) Charcoal burning, an activity dependant on woodland material, may have been an occupation of those parishioners surnamed of or at the pit in the 14th century. (fn. 789)
Dymock wood, which had been inclosed by the early 16th century, (fn. 790) was long managed as coppice. In 1665 it supplied cordwood to the ironmaster Thomas Foley. Then it was owned by John Kyrle, (fn. 791) who derived £100 a year from felling timber in it, (fn. 792) and among later owners were John Weale of Ockington from 1727 and George Terry of Hereford from 1763. In 1789, when Andrew Foley bought the wood, (fn. 793) most wood cut locally was used for laths, hurdles, and hoops and the rest was sent to ironworks at Powick (Worcs.), Lydney, and Flaxley. (fn. 794) As lord of Dymock manor Lord Beauchamp joined a landowners' association for the prosecution of poachers in 1814 (fn. 795) and several parishioners worked as gamekeepers in the mid 19th century. (fn. 796) Later in the century the woods on the west side of the parish belonging to the Old Grange estate (fn. 797) were patrolled by a keeper living nearby in Kempley. (fn. 798) In the east of the parish conifer planting on the side of the Leadon valley between Ketford and Ryton, begun by the Madresfield estate by the early 1880s, led to the creation of a large wood around the remains of an older copse. (fn. 799) In 1901 the parish's woodlands gave employment to three woodmen and woodcutters, one of them at Ketford, a gamekeeper lived next to Haind Park wood, and a timber merchant at Broom's Green had employees. (fn. 800)
Dymock wood and adjoining woods in Oxenhall, in all 639 a., were acquired by the Crown in 1914 (fn. 801) and were administered by the Forestry Commission from 1924 under the name of Dymock Woods. (fn. 802) Charcoal burning having ended in the 1920s, the woods supplied oak bark to the tanning industry until the mid 20th century. (fn. 803) Under the Commission conifer plantation was introduced and in the late 20th century provision for public access increased and some woodland was set aside for nature conservation in collaboration with Gloucestershire's wildlife trust. In the early 1960s the Commission employed nine foresters but by the end of the century it contracted out work in the woods. (fn. 804) In the early 21st century Dymock Woods covered an area of 506 ha (1,214 a.) on both sides of the county boundary, approximately half of it coniferous plantation and the remainder mostly oak and beech. (fn. 805) Ryton wood provided timber for use in Welsh mines during the First World War (fn. 806) and under the management of the Forestry Commission (fn. 807) included a private shoot in the early 21st century.
There were seven mills in Dymock in 1340 (fn. 808) and one on Dymock manor was described at that time as in ruins. (fn. 809) Dymock's mills driven by the river Leadon and its tributaries were usually never more than corn mills (fn. 810) but the name Walker's Close, recorded near a mill pond in the area of Maypole Farm, upstream of Dymock village, in 1513, suggests that a mill there may have been used for fulling. (fn. 811) Among the water mills whose precise sites have not been identified is one at Ketford from which William de Gamages granted Aconbury priory (Herefs.) 9s. rent in the late 12th or early 13th century. (fn. 812) In the mid 14th century the priory took a rent of 18s., sometimes reducing it when there was a lack of water in the summer. (fn. 813) The rent was later fixed at 13s. 4d. (fn. 814) and in 1406, the tenant having defaulted in its payment, the priory granted the mill for half that amount. (fn. 815) The location of Ryton mill, a water grist mill demolished before 1721 that was a copyhold of Dymock manor, is also not known. (fn. 816)
Farm Mill, one of two mills on the stretch of Leadon above Dymock village in the later 18th century, (fn. 817) was part of the Farm (later Wilton Place) estate in the later 17th century. (fn. 818) Sold to the tenant, James Hill, in 1805, it was taken back into the estate in 1894 (fn. 819) and remained in use until just before the First World War. (fn. 820) The long box-framed thatched building on a rubble plinth dated from the late 17th century and incorporated at its east end a house of two bays, its frame infilled with brick. In the 19th century the house was extended east by a bay (since raised). The west end of the mill was demolished apparently in the 1930s (fn. 821) and the rest of it was given domestic style windows in the 1970s. An oak-framed conservatory was built over part of the original footprint in 2003. A wooden fireplace dated 1634 has been imported. (fn. 822) An 18th-century brick building to the south was formerly stables.
Vell Mill, on the river downstream of the village, was known as the mill 'of the field' (de la felde) in the 13th century. (fn. 823) A copyhold of Little Dymock manor, (fn. 824) it had two ponds in the late 17th century (fn. 825) and had gone out of use by the time it was the residence of Thomas Hill (d. 1756). (fn. 826)
In the east of the parish Ketford mill, standing by the river below the lane leading up to Ryton, was a copyhold of Dymock manor. Probably worked by John Cooper, the only man in Dymock identified as a miller in the muster roll of 1608, it housed two pairs of millstones in the early 18th century. (fn. 827) In 1794 it was bought by John Hartland (fn. 828) and from the mid 1830s, under John Hartland Gladwin, it was usually let to a tenant. Despite being rebuilt at that time, it was demolished soon after being taken into the Madresfield estate in 1866. (fn. 829)
Cut Mill, downstream at the bottom of a tributary valley, belonged to an estate that passed from Robert Malet to John de Peneys and his first wife Rose. John (d. 1283) was succeeded by their daughter Agnes, wife of Ives of Clinton, (fn. 830) and her descendants, the Clintons of Eastnor (Herefs.), owned the mill in the mid 16th century. (fn. 831) The site was part of Woodchurch Clarke's estate sold in 1657 to Thomas Wall of Lintridge (fn. 832) and left by Thomas (d. 1665) to his daughter Catherine. (fn. 833) She married Rice Yate of Bromesberrow (fn. 834) and Cut Mill served as a farmstead on his successors' estate. (fn. 835)
In the west of the parish a mill on the Kempley brook at the Old Grange was powered from a leat starting in Kempley, (fn. 836) where in 1531 John Wynniatt, the occupant of Flaxley abbey's grange, (fn. 837) was reported for diverting the stream. (fn. 838) The mill, later let as part of a farm on the Old Grange estate, (fn. 839) stopped working in the later 19th century (fn. 840) and its building was used for farm purposes after the First World War. (fn. 841) The abbey may have had an earlier mill downstream at the confluence of the Preston brook where a field was called Monk Mill. (fn. 842) In the early 18th century there may have been a mill in the north-west below the Leadington, either on the Preston brook or a tributary. (fn. 843)
There have been several windmills in Dymock. Thomas Wynniatt and others quitclaimed one to John Wynniatt in 1649. (fn. 844) Another stood in the south of the parish by the Newent road in the later 18th century. (fn. 845)
INDUSTRY AND CRAFTS
At Bromesberrow Heath, where digging continued on the common in 1812, (fn. 846) sand and gravel workings were enlarged in the late 19th century (fn. 847) and extensive quarries were later formed. The deeper one, south of the M50 motorway, (fn. 848) has been closed and the largest one, north of the motorway, was used as a depot for crushing stone in 2003. Several quarries have been worked in the north of the Leadington. (fn. 849) One provided stone for Preston church in the mid 19th century (fn. 850) and another that had supplied stone for Eastnor Castle, Ledbury church, and Haffield school was reopened in the mid 1890s by E. Gambier Parry to provide stone for Preston church and a Ledbury institute. (fn. 851)
The area around Castle Tump in the south of the parish marks the northern limit of the Newent coalfield. Although a field there was known in 1801 as Coal Pit field (fn. 852) and some coal and iron-ore has been mined, the area was, prospecting apart, little touched by the coalfield's development in the late 18th and early 19th century. (fn. 853)
In the Roman period iron working and the manufacture of copper-alloy objects took place at several sites in Dymock. (fn. 854) Smiths were active in the parish in the 13th century and personal names during that period also included those derived from the trades of baker, shoemaker, tailor, and walker or fuller. (fn. 855) In 1537 one or more tanners were resident. (fn. 856) Excluding a miller, 34 tradesmen were listed in the parish in 1608, among them 7 masons, 5 shoemakers, 4 tailors, 3 butchers, and other usual village craftsmen as well as 2 sawyers. There were also 4 weavers of whom one had a servant (fn. 857) and another was later described as a broadweaver. (fn. 858) A few weavers lived in the parish in the early 18th century, including a broadweaver at Lintridge. (fn. 859) The potmaker recorded in 1608 (fn. 860) may have worked a kiln operating in Haind Park wood in the 17th century. (fn. 861)
There was a distillery in the village in 1696 (fn. 862) and another near Broom's green in 1785. (fn. 863) The Cripps family were distillers and maltsters in the mid 18th century. (fn. 864) Thomas Dance was described at his death in 1804 as an eminent maltster and his malthouse at Ryton (fn. 865) remained in business in the mid 19th century. (fn. 866) In the early 19th century James Thurston and Thomas Forty ran a malting business in the village at High House. (fn. 867)
The more usual rural crafts were well represented throughout Dymock in the 18th and 19th centuries and were invariably humble in character. (fn. 868) Bricks mostly for local use were made at many places, (fn. 869) as at Allums in the mid 18th century (fn. 870) and at Tiller's Green in the mid 19th, (fn. 871) and there was a new limekiln at Oaksbottom in 1811. (fn. 872) In the mid 19th century there was a timber yard in Dymock village and a builder's yard just outside it. (fn. 873) Several parishioners made laths, hurdles, and mopsticks and another was a basket maker. Members of the Sadler family at Broom's Green and Greenway were nailers and in the 1830s a pump maker was recorded. (fn. 874) In 1851 just over 100 tradesmen and craftsmen representing about 20 different trades were scattered around the parish. (fn. 875) Blacksmiths operated at several places, including the village and Bromesberrow Heath, in the 1870s. (fn. 876) In 1901 a house-building business in the village provided a little employment. Thatching, hoop making, and brush and broom making were among the traditional crafts to survive into the 20th century (fn. 877) and there were several bakeries, one of them at Hallwood Green, in the 1920s. (fn. 878) The only craftsmen listed in the parish in 1931 were a blacksmith, a builder, a carpenter, and a wheelwright. In 1939 there was a small sauce factory in the village. (fn. 879) In 1990 a saddler, a basket maker, and a jigsaw maker ran small businesses in the parish, several builders, plumbers, electricians, and fencing contractors were based there, and a bakery was in production. (fn. 880) A garden furniture maker, who moved to Gamage Hall from London in 2001, (fn. 881) ran one of the parish's many and varied small businesses in 2003. (fn. 882)
MARKETS AND FAIRS
In 1222 the justiciar Hubert de Burgh ordered the sheriff to hold a Thursday market and a fair on 14 September on the royal manor until the king came of age. (fn. 883) Henry III took control of his estates a year or so later, although he did not declare himself of age until 1227, (fn. 884) and the fortunes of the market and fair, if any, are unrecorded. Although market centres were established near by at Newent and Ledbury, (fn. 885) the lord of the manor claimed the right to hold a market in 1287. (fn. 886) There is no evidence that Dymock had a regular market and fair after that.
DISTRIBUTIVE AND SERVICE TRADES
A family of mercers held land in Dymock in the 13th and 14th centuries (fn. 887) and a resident was presented in 1397 as a common usurer. (fn. 888) In 1576 a parishioner was presented for selling meat on Sundays and on religious festivals (fn. 889) and the muster roll of 1608 included a chapman and a horse rider. (fn. 890)
A haberdasher lived in Dymock in 1712. (fn. 891) In the later 18th century there was at least one shop in the parish (fn. 892) and in the mid 19th several shopkeepers, including two grocers, lived in the village and there were shopkeepers at Bromesberrow Heath, Broom's Green, and Ryton. (fn. 893) There was a co-operative store in 1876 (fn. 894) and Tiller's Green, Hallwood Green, and the Leadington were among places with shops in 1901. (fn. 895) Post offices were opened in Dymock village by 1851 (fn. 896) and at Greenway and Bromesberrow Heath later in the century. (fn. 897) Postal services employed a handful of men in 1901 (fn. 898) and Dymock had its own sorting office until 1962. (fn. 899) There were shops at several places in 1939 (fn. 900) but there was only one shop, in the village, in 1990. (fn. 901) Both the village and Bromesberrow Heath had post offices in 2002.
A cider merchant lived in Dymock in the mid 18th century (fn. 902) and a succession of excise officers was stationed there by 1770 and until at least 1785. (fn. 903) Although some farmers sold directly in Bristol, at the end of the century the cider and perry trade was largely controlled by a few merchants meeting at Ledbury. (fn. 904) A cider merchant living in Dymock in 1859 (fn. 905) ran a business that continued in the trade until the early 20th century. (fn. 906) In 1775 the heir to the Ockington estate was an attorney in Dymock. (fn. 907) In 1841 a veterinary surgeon lived on Bromesberrow heath. (fn. 908)
The opening of the Hereford and Gloucester canal in 1798 fostered new commercial activity in Dymock. Goods were handled at a wharf next to the village and in the mid 19th century there was also a wharf at the Anchor inn on the Leominster road and another on the road west of Greenway. (fn. 909) In the 1810s stone was delivered by canal for road repairs (fn. 910) and in 1841 the Anchor's landlord was one of two coal dealers living by the canal. (fn. 911) A handful of families worked as boatmen (fn. 912) but in 1871, when the only boatmen recorded in Dymock were two women in the village, canal trade was of little significance. (fn. 913) The railway replacing the canal in the 1880s brought jobs. In 1901 the staff of the village station included two clerks and two porters as well as the station master, and a signalman and several platelayers also lived in the parish. (fn. 914) The station handled local produce, including cider and perry, and during the daffodil season special trains brought pickers and visitors to the area. (fn. 915)
On the roads three men offered carrying services from Dymock to Ledbury and Gloucester on market days and one of them a service to Ross-on-Wye in the mid 19th century. In 1856 there was also a bus service from the Plough inn to the Gloucester and Ledbury markets and a mail coach running daily between the two towns called at the inn. (fn. 916) Although a carrier operated between Bromesberrow Heath and Gloucester in 1885, fewer carrying businesses ran out of Dymock in the later 19th century. There was a weekly service to Ledbury in 1906. (fn. 917) In the early days of the railway horses and coaches were available for hire at the Beauchamp Arms (formerly the Plough). (fn. 918) In 1939 a bus proprietor was resident and the village had a petrol station. (fn. 919) There were two petrol stations there in 2002, one with a car workshop on the site of an old smithy at the corner of the Ledbury road. (fn. 920)
Domestic service continued to provide a number of jobs in the larger houses and their grounds in the early 20th century. (fn. 921) A nursing home opened at Hillash in 1988 (fn. 922) had a staff of over 30 in 1990 (fn. 923) and continued there in 2004. The Old Grange was used for a time from the mid 1970s for a business selling stoves (fn. 924) and in the 1990s a golf centre was established there. (fn. 925)
Following Hubert de Burgh's instruction in 1222 to the sheriff to hold a market and fair in Dymock (fn. 926) some tenants on the royal manor evidently enjoyed liberties denied to others. In 1226 residents described as probi hominess were granted the manor at a fee farm of £33 6s. 8d. (fn. 927) and in an extent of the manor compiled some years later 66 holdings on it were styled 'burgages'. (fn. 928) Several individual burgages were recorded (fn. 929) and two tenants of Flaxley abbey held half burgages. (fn. 930) No comprehensive grant of liberties was apparently issued and in 1244 or 1245, when its tenants were in arrears with their payment, the manor was granted to Morgan of Caerleon at a fee farm of £26 13s. 4d. (fn. 931) Among the favoured tenants may have been the occupants of the port lands recorded much later in various parts of the parish. (fn. 932)
Manor courts were held for both Dymock and Little Dymock in the 13th century. (fn. 933) The Dymock court exercised view of frankpledge in the parish (fn. 934) and only Flaxley tithing, the manor of Flaxley abbey, was not in that jurisdiction. (fn. 935) The abbey presumably had its own court but later owners of the Old Grange do not appear to have held a court there after acquiring Little Dymock manor in the late 16th century. (fn. 936) Newent priory convened a separate court for the rectory estate in the early 15th century. (fn. 937)
The main business of the Dymock and Little Dymock courts became the issuing of licences for the disposal of copyhold land. (fn. 938) The Dymock court, which Richard Howell and Richard Guy held as trustees in the years immediately after Edward Pye's death in 1692, (fn. 939) customarily met twice a year, after Michaelmas and Hocktide, in general session and every three weeks to deal with matters including pleas of debt and trespass. (fn. 940) The Hocktide or May court was held until at least 1623 but by the later 17th century there was one general session a year, in the autumn, (fn. 941) and the court convened occasionally to deal with tenurial business. (fn. 942) Attempts in 1783 and 1788 to revive the May court failed because too few people were present to empanel a jury. The autumn court was attended by the four tithingmen chosen by rota to represent Woodend (Gamage Hall), Ockington, Ryton (Ryeland), and Leadington. It dealt with encroachments on waste land and with obstructions on lanes and paths. It also heard reports of neglected lanes and bridges and their railings and from the later 18th century it occasionally ordered individuals and sometimes the surveyors of the highways to make repairs. In 1782 the lady of the manor was presented for replacing stiles on the way from the church towards Ledbury with gates. The court formally elected constables for the parish's three divisions and it fined a man for not serving as Woodend's constable in 1769. The constable chosen for Ryeland in 1780 appealed his election. (fn. 943) In the mid 18th century the lord of the manor allowed the stocks and pound to fall into disrepair and in 1762 it was reported that there were no stocks. The court chamber was also in disrepair in 1755. In 1796 stocks and a whipping post as well as the pound all needed repairing. The court's bailiff acted as cryer in the early 19th century.
In addition to tenurial matters the Little Dymock court in the late 17th and the 18th century was concerned with encroachments on waste land and on lanes and paths and with the cleansing of ditches. (fn. 944) The meetings of the Dymock and Little Dymock courts became less regular in the early 19th century as their role in the sale and mortgage of land decreased. (fn. 945) The Dymock court, which had continued its assemblies in the church house after it became the workhouse in the mid 18th century, (fn. 946) met in general session in 1853. (fn. 947) The Little Dymock court, which had met at the Harrow in the 1760s and 1770s, was held at Gamage Hall, its traditional meeting place, until at least 1877. (fn. 948)
The system of government operated by the parish vestry was in place by the early 17th century. Each of the parish's divisions or hamlets, namely Woodend, Ryeland, and Leadington, had its own overseer of the poor, surveyor of the highways, and constable. Householders held the offices for a year in rotation and only occasionally served out of turn or appointed a deputy in their stead. A rota had long applied in the selection of Dymock's two churchwardens and three sidesmen. (fn. 949)
The rates granted by the vestry could vary from one division to another and in the 18th century one churchwarden accounted for the church rates from Ryeland and the other for those from Woodend and Leadington. (fn. 950) The vestry took initiatives to enforce law and order, in 1764 offering a reward for the arrest of a thief and in 1786 ordering the constables to help the churchwardens prosecute people playing unlawful games on Sundays. In 1777 it authorized the churchwardens to offer rewards for the destroying of mad dogs and in 1824 it determined that no one with a dog was to receive parish relief. (fn. 951)
The business of the elected council established for the parish in 1894 included the upkeep of Wintour's green and from 1907 to 1940 was conducted under the chairmanship of A.H. Chew. The council obtained electricity for street lighting in Dymock village by agreement with the Shropshire, Worcestershire, & Staffordshire Electric Power Co. in 1931. (fn. 952)
In the mid 1660s the parish's three divisions between them regularly assisted 28 people with weekly payments, paid a few house rents, and gave other help to the poor according to need. The number of families receiving weekly assistance was similar in 1700 (fn. 953) and in 1750. The burden of relief was considerable and in 1730 several landowners mounted a challenge to rating valuations. (fn. 954) The dispute went to arbitration and a new assessment was made the following year. (fn. 955) In the early 1760s about 100 families, a third of the population, were dependent in one way or another on the parish. A plan to build new poorhouses was abandoned in 1753 because of the cost and the church house was later used as a poorhouse. Sixteen people were ordered to leave the parish in 1755 and the vestry instructed the overseers to remove people without legal settlement in 1769, 1779, and 1782. In the mid 18th century medical services were obtained from doctors from Ledbury and elsewhere. Children were usually bound apprentice to local farmers, the choice of master being determined either by rota or by ballot. For a few years from 1757 some people were set to work spinning flax and hemp — men who couldn't spin were to be employed on highway maintenance — and in 1758 it was planned to lodge the poor for a year in the Ledbury workhouse. Single men and women without work were instructed in 1764 to find employment. (fn. 956)
In 1769 the parish opened a workhouse in the church house and appointed a salaried master to take charge of the poor. The workhouse quickly proved a major drain on the parish's finances and in 1770, in what was not the last move to check expenditure on relief, the vestry established a committee to control spending. In 1772 the dispensing of relief was contracted out for £158 but the following year it was again entrusted to a salaried official in charge of the workhouse. The workhouse had 40 residents in 1774. In 1775 the choice of a woman as workhouse manager was quashed and the overseers for Ryeland and Leadington contracted to administer relief for a year for £134, one of them serving as the workhouse master. The administration of relief remained contracted out to local men on an annual basis until 1796. In 1790 a subscription was paid to the Gloucester infirmary and 264 parishioners were inoculated against smallpox. With the failure of the wheat harvest in 1795 the vestry ordered bakers not to make fine white bread and corn was sold to the poor at a reduced price. (fn. 957)
From 1796 the vestry employed a resident master of the workhouse acting also as assistant overseer. John Hill, a parishioner, fulfilled those duties for over thirty years (fn. 958) and the parish continued to engage a workhouse master until it ceased to be directly responsible for its poor in 1835. In the early 1830s, when another man receiving a salary accounted for the poor rate of the three divisions, just over 30 people received out-relief. (fn. 959) The number of inmates in the workhouse was 37 in 1803 and declined from 35 in 1813 to 28 in 1815. (fn. 960) The taking of apprentices, which some farmers avoided by paying a fine, (fn. 961) was shared proportionately between wealthier and poorer farmers in the early 19th century; between 1810 and 1835 well over 50 children were articled to local farmers. (fn. 962)
The cost of relief rose from £173 in 1776 to £504 in 1803 when 4 persons other than those in the workhouse had regular help and 14 occasional help. By 1813 the cost had risen to £739 and 32 persons outside the workhouse received regular help and 102 occasional help. Fewer people were helped in 1815 when the cost was £545. (fn. 963) The cost was lower in the later 1820s and the early 1830s, save in 1832 when it was unusually high at £603. (fn. 964) Dymock became part of the Newent poor-law union in 1835 (fn. 965) and the church house containing the parish workhouse was sold in 1838. (fn. 966)
Each division looked after some of the lanes and bridges in its area and Leadington and Woodend thus had responsibility for the repair of the village street. (fn. 967) In 1790 and 1791 the vestry assigned half of the highway rates in Woodend and Ryeland to maintaining their respective sections of the improved turnpike road across the Leadon valley and in 1796 it additionally dedicated half of the rates in Leadington to the repair of the road through Windcross towards Much Marcle. (fn. 968) As Ryeland's surveyor of the highways John Thackwell increased expenditure considerably in the years 1816–18, when parts of the road at Bromesberrow Heath and Broom's Green were repaired. The surveyor in office from 1822 supervised much work in the division, including repairs to Ketford bridge (fn. 969) which was also maintained by Pauntley parish. (fn. 970) A subsidy to Kempley parish, a major item of expenditure for the Woodend ratepayers in 1819, was presumably for improvements to the chief road between the two parishes. (fn. 971)
Each division had its own surveyor until 1836 when, the vestry having failed to act, the Newent magistrates appointed a paid surveyor for the whole parish. The new surveyor, whose work was monitored by the vestry, was dismissed in 1843 and the vestry reverted to the appointment of a surveyor for each division. A new road to Hallwood Green remained unfinished in 1845 because the purchase money for part of the old road had not been received. In 1863 responsibility for the maintenance of the parish roads passed to the new Newent Highway Board on which Dymock was represented by two waywardens. (fn. 972)
In the mid 11th century Dymock's community included, in addition to a priest, 4 radknights, owing riding or escort services to the king as their lord, 11 freedmen, and 52 peasant farmers. (fn. 973) Although some inhabitants had burgage holdings in the mid 13th century, it remained essentially an agrarian society. Labour services were required on some estates but in the later Middle Ages both free and customary tenants owed only cash rents. (fn. 974) Of 63 parishioners assessed for tax in 1327 at least seven were rated at over 6s.: they included Alice Habgood (10s. 6d.) and William the smith (faber) (7s. 1d.). Thirteen people were assessed at between 2s. od. and 3s. 4d. and a bare majority for less than 2s. The presence of William of Pembridge (8s.), (fn. 975) lord of Little Dymock, (fn. 976) is significant as the owners of the other manors were non-resident throughout the Middle Ages.
In 1522, when perhaps a score of prosperous yeoman farmers lived in the parish, the wealthiest inhabitant by far, with goods valued at £40, was John Wynniatt, the agent of Flaxley abbey. Nine other men with goods valued at over £10 included the landowner William Bridges and members of the Bradford, Gamond, Hankins, Hill, Wills, and Wilton farming families. Members of the Cam and Weale families were among thirteen men with goods worth more than £5. Another 39 men had goods assessed at £2 or more and 25 at £1 or more. (fn. 977) The owners of the main estates usually remained non-resident until the late 16th or early 17th century. Among 166 Dymock men listed in 1608 were 30 yeomen, 20 husbandmen, 37 labourers, 36 tradesmen, and 28 servants. Six yeomen and five husbandmen were employed by the landowner Giles Forster. Most of the servants worked for one or other of the yeomen, eight of them for John Wynniatt (fn. 978) whose acquisition, by marriage, of the Old Grange estate established his family among the few resident landed gentry. (fn. 979) The yeomen took charge of parish government and during the Commonwealth period, when landowners Robert Holmes and Thomas Wall were among local magistrates conducting civil marriages, John Cam the younger acted as civil registrar. (fn. 980) Holmes was one of the Gloucestershire members nominated to the 'Barebones' Parliament' of 1653. (fn. 981) The parliamentary franchise enjoyed by some copyholders was confirmed following the county contest of 1776. (fn. 982)
In the late 17th century the local gentry, leading farmers, and landowners lived outside Dymock village with the exception of the Winters, who had their home at the White House. (fn. 983) In 1672, when 126 out of 172 householders in the parish had a single hearth, 18 had five hearths or more. The largest numbers belonged to Evan Seys at Boyce Court (13) and William Wall at Great Lintridge (10) followed by the heads of the Winter (9), Cam (8), and Wynniatt (7) families and John Holmes (7). (fn. 984) Seys was replaced as lord of Dymock manor by Edward Pye, a West Indies merchant, and he and his successors, the Chamberlaynes, made substantial alterations to Boyce Court. (fn. 985) In the early 18th century some 40 freeholders lived in Dymock. (fn. 986) Farming families, many long-established, continued along with the few gentry to dominate the parish and some joined a subscription started in 1785 for a local school. (fn. 987) Poor labourers made up a substantial part of the population. In 1672 some 68 householders were poor enough to be exempted from hearth tax (fn. 988) and in the 1760s about a third of the population, 100 families representing 359 individuals, were dependent in one way or another on the parish. (fn. 989)
The oldest surviving memorials of parishioners on the church walls (fn. 990) are small monuments to the landowners Thomas Wall (d. 1665) and John Wynniatt (d. 1670). (fn. 991) Robert Winter (d. 1719), part owner of the rectory (fn. 992) and the founder of a clothing charity, (fn. 993) was commemorated on a more prominent tablet and William Hankins (d. 1771) of Greenway House on a substantial monument made by W.H. Stephens of Worcester. (fn. 994) The memorial to Richard Hill (d. 1772) of Edulus Place (Pitt House Farm) displays heraldry reflecting his family's pretensions as country gentlemen. (fn. 995) His son Richard (d. 1794) had a small deer park next to the farmhouse (fn. 996) and played a prominent role in the opening of a village school in 1786. (fn. 997)
Several landowners and farmers rebuilt or substantially enlarged their houses during the century. (fn. 998) Particularly prosperous were the Cams. The rebuilding of their main house (later Wilton Place) was presumably commissioned by William (d. 1767), a London merchant (fn. 999) who is commemorated by the largest monument in the churchyard. (fn. 1000) His daughter Ann, whose inheritance included land bought by Joseph Cam (d. 1729), a London haberdasher, (fn. 1001) became lady of Dymock manor on buying Boyce Court in 1769 (fn. 1002) and, although she continued to live in London, (fn. 1003) was possibly in Dymock at her death in 1790. (fn. 1004) Part of her large fortune was used to provide a new village school (fn. 1005) and a family memorial in the church was altered to give pride of place on it to her. (fn. 1006)
Leading families in the 19th century included the Thackwells, (fn. 1007) John Thackwell (d. 1829) being active in parish life. (fn. 1008) The Drummonds, also newcomers, enlarged Boyce Court in the early 19th century, (fn. 1009) and in the mid 19th century Boyce Court and Wilton Place along with the Old Grange, still an occasional residence of the Wynniatt family, were the main country houses in Dymock. (fn. 1010) The grounds of Boyce Court and the Old Grange included ponds with boat houses at the end of the century. (fn. 1011) In the mid 19th century, when there were some 50 or 60 farmers in Dymock, the population was made up largely of the families of farm labourers, unskilled workers, and tradesmen living often in outlying communities or scattered cottages. Among the farmers, several of them substantial landowners in their own right, about a score retained one or two domestic servants. Several people were in service in the village with the vicar's family and others with local tradesmen. (fn. 1012)
From the mid 19th century the ranks of the landed and officer class were swelled by incomers, some with civil service backgrounds and some as tenants, taking up residence in the smarter houses and staffing them with domestic servants. Hillash, which was acquired by Thomas Holbrook, a naval captain, in 1852, (fn. 1013) was the home of Stanley Napier Raikes in the late 1860s and both he and Edmund Story, then of Upham House and formerly of the Madras civil service, joined the Wynniatts and Drummonds and farming families such as the Hills and Thurstons in sponsoring events and treats for local residents and children. (fn. 1014) Chief among Dymock's patrons in the later 19th and early 20th century were the 6th and 7th Earls Beauchamp, lords of Dymock manor who lived at Madresfield (Worcs.). (fn. 1015) The church bells were rung to mark events in their lives (fn. 1016) and their tenants, like those at Kempley, joined in celebrations marking the future 7th earl's birth in 1872 and his coming of age in 1893. (fn. 1017) The 6th earl gave land for an enlargement of Wintour's green (fn. 1018) and parishioners subscribed to a memorial to him placed in the window of the church's south chapel in 1893. (fn. 1019) The 7th earl provided a building near the church for the use of a rifle club in 1906 (fn. 1020) and a piece of his land was allotments in 1910. (fn. 1021) In the Bromesberrow Heath area the landowner William Charles Henry (d. 1892) of Haffield, in Ledbury (Herefs.), made provision for church services and schooling and founded clothing and coal clubs. (fn. 1022)
In the early 20th century there were six country houses, including Greenway House, with resident servants. Among the population in 1901 were c.40 farmers, of whom 25 employed labourers and 12, notably Henry Hill at the Old Rock and Samuel Bennion at Rosehill, also had domestic servants living with them. The vicar's household included a governess and three women in service. A handful of businessmen and women, most of them resident in the village, provided jobs for non-family members. (fn. 1023) The continuing involvement of landowners and farmers in local government was exemplified in the work of A.H. Chew (d. 1947), (fn. 1024) a member of the parish council from its formation in 1894 (fn. 1025) and also of the rural district and county councils. (fn. 1026)
In the mid 20th century gentry families disposed of their land and eventually left Dymock, the Deane-Drummonds in 1935 and the Thackwells in 1947. (fn. 1027) The Wynniatts' connexion with Dymock ended with the death of Ernest Wynniatt Husey in 1958. (fn. 1028) Although there continued to be many farmers, in the later 20th century the numbers of labourers and traditional craftsmen dwindled (fn. 1029) and outsiders bought unwanted farm dwellings for their homes. (fn. 1030) New housing became available, particularly in Dymock village and Bromesberrow Heath, and at the end of the century three quarters of the population lived in their own property. (fn. 1031) Among the few people living in tied accommodation were the farming tenants of the county council but most farmers in the early 21st century owned their farms, with the Bennions owning most land. (fn. 1032) Boyce Court was reduced in size in 1935 to serve as a farmhouse (fn. 1033) and of the other large houses Wilton Place was divided into flats by the mid 1960s (fn. 1034) and Hillash was converted as a nursing home in the 1980s. (fn. 1035) Greenway House, Upham House, and the Old Grange remained private dwellings.
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR
A custom for the rector, presumably in the person of the prior of Newent, to give the poor two bushels of mixed corn each week had been discontinued by the later 1370s. (fn. 1036) By will proved 1530 Sir John Bridges, a London alderman, stipulated that future occupants of Boyce Court should give the poor the bread and ale intended for people attending his obit if none other than his kin was present. (fn. 1037)
At his death in 1647 William Skinner of Ledbury, the chancellor of Hereford diocese, (fn. 1038) apparently gave a rent charge of 4s. a year for Dymock's poor (fn. 1039) but no record of the charity's distribution has been found. (fn. 1040) William Wall by will proved 1717 left a rent charge of 20s. from a cottage in the village street for a bread charity (fn. 1041) and William Weale, a London haberdasher, by nuncupative will proved 1719 left £100 for a corn charity. (fn. 1042) A charity that Robert Winter by will proved 1719 endowed with a rent charge of £30 clothed 10 men and 10 women each Christmas. (fn. 1043) Thomas Murrell by will proved 1738 left £10 for cash payments to 10 widows on the feast of St. Thomas (21 December). (fn. 1044)
William Wall's charity was perhaps never distributed and the cottage providing its income had been pulled down by the 1750s. (fn. 1045) William Weale's charity, which was distributed at Christmas using £5 given annually by his family from its land at Ockington, lapsed c.1772. (fn. 1046) The recipients of Robert Winter's charity were required by its founder to attend church in their new clothes on Christmas day and from 1769 those clothes were distinguished by blue capes on the men's coats and blue cuffs on the women's gowns. (fn. 1047) Thomas Murrell's charity, the principal of which had been doubled by 1807, (fn. 1048) benefited between 14 and 20 widows in the following years (fn. 1049) and it again paid 10 widows 1s. each after 1819, when the original endowment was entrusted to John Thackwell. Later known as Thomas Murzell's charity, (fn. 1050) by the late 19th century it was distributed at or soon after Candlemas (2 February). (fn. 1051) The distinctive trimmings worn by the recipients of Robert Winter's charity were scrapped as degrading badges in a revision of the charity's rules in 1829. (fn. 1052) The requirement to wear the charity clothes in church on Christmas day was dropped in 1893. (fn. 1053) In 1898 the use of less expensive cloth allowed the number of beneficiaries to be increased from 22 to 24. (fn. 1054)
Thomas Murrell's charity continued to go to 10 widows and was paid by the Thackwell family until the mid 20th century, (fn. 1055) after which the 10s. (50p) income was a rent charge on Ockington Farm. (fn. 1056) Robert Winter's charity distributed clothes in the later 1930s (fn. 1057) and vouchers by the later 1960s. In 1972 it was amalgamated with the Murrell charity to provide relief both generally and individually to the poor of Dymock (fn. 1058) and in 2004 the combined charity had an income of £94. (fn. 1059)
In 1866, following the inclosure of the common at Bromesberrow Heath, an acre there was set aside for the benefit of the labouring poor. (fn. 1060)
There was a school in Dymock in 1600 (fn. 1061) and schoolmasters were recorded there in 1608 (fn. 1062) and in 1612. (fn. 1063) A schoolmaster licensed in 1708 (fn. 1064) was teaching in 1716. (fn. 1065) William Hooper, by will proved 1747, left £3 a year from his Woodend estate for a dame school for 4 boys and 4 girls of poor parents not receiving relief from the parish. The school's curriculum was to include the Church catechism. (fn. 1066) Payment of the rent charge ceased some years before 1775 (fn. 1067) and a schoolmaster living in Dymock in the late 1760s was not associated with the charity. (fn. 1068)
In 1785 a group led by Richard Hill of Edulus Place and Revd H.G.D. Yate of Bromesberrow opened a subscription for a charity day and Sunday school at Dymock. The school, begun in the village the following year, was supported by voluntary contributions and the Hooper charity with the parish paying for children from its workhouse. Although income was supplemented in 1790 by a grant from Ann Cam's executor, the project was jeopardized by lack of funds and by 1803 the school buildings were leased and the tenant's wife taught a handful of children in them. (fn. 1069) In 1818 there were also several dame schools in the parish and some parents sent their children to schools in Newent and Ledbury. The subscribers' school, which John Thackwell managed for several years, (fn. 1070) was revived as a girls' school and at the end of 1824 it taught and clothed 12 pupils. (fn. 1071)
With the failure of the subscribers' scheme plans emerged to use the large fortune that Ann Cam had left for charitable purposes (fn. 1072) for a new school in Dymock and in 1807 part of her estate was set aside for building and endowing one. (fn. 1073) Known as Ann Cam's Charity School, it opened in 1826 on the site of the subscribers' school and was run as a Church school, although not to the National Society's plan. Under the charity two teachers, usually husband and wife, taught 50 boys and 50 girls aged from 7 to 11 from Dymock and its neighbourhood in separate departments (fn. 1074) and the school's income included the Hooper charity and weekly pence for each child; the payment of pence was suspended between 1832 and 1848. (fn. 1075) In 1833 two other day schools in Dymock taught 10 boys and 20 girls at their parent's expense (fn. 1076) and in the mid 1840s some children attended schools in adjoining parishes. Ann Cam's school taught 64 boys and 52 girls on weekdays and Sundays in the mid 1840s (fn. 1077) and had an average attendance of 55 in 1868. (fn. 1078) There was at least one dame school in the village in the mid 19th century. (fn. 1079)
Several schools were opened outside the village. Haffield School, first recorded in 1859, (fn. 1080) was founded for the settlement on Bromesberrow heath by William Charles Henry and was established in 1863 as a National school in a new building west of the heath. With Henry and his wife managing it under the direction of the vicar of Dymock and supplying all its income other than pence, the school taught girls and infants (fn. 1081) and had an average attendance of 50 in 1868. (fn. 1082) In 1870 Miss Story of Upham House ran a small school in the Leadington. (fn. 1083) Some of the new schools were small boarding establishments. Sarah Pitt's seminary, opened by 1856, accommodated 13 pupils, mostly boys, at Beaconshill in 1861. (fn. 1084) It occupied Stoneberrow House in Dymock village in the 1870s and early 1880s and Revd Joseph White ran a middle-class school at Beaconshill in the early 1870s. (fn. 1085) At Greenway House the East family taught boarders of both sexes in 1867 and the girls' school remained open in 1879. (fn. 1086)
In 1871, when it became a public elementary school, Ann Cam's school affiliated to the National Society and its master since 1844 was dismissed. The school then had an average attendance of 98. (fn. 1087) The managers' attempt to establish a night school ended in 1872 (fn. 1088) and a school they opened at Upham for the Leadington in 1875 closed for want of accommodation in 1876. (fn. 1089) A National school was recorded at Greenway in the 1870s. (fn. 1090) Ann Cam's school contained more classrooms from 1884 (fn. 1091) but the infants continued to be taught as part of the girls' department. (fn. 1092) The school's average attendance fell from 133 in 1904 (fn. 1093) to 111 in 1922, (fn. 1094) the year that the two departments were merged, (fn. 1095) and was 129 in 1938. (fn. 1096) In 1925 the Ann Cam foundation was divided into separate funds to maintain the school buildings and assist the education of local children. (fn. 1097)
Haffield National (later C. of E.) School also became a public elementary school and in 1904 it had an average attendance of 81. (fn. 1098) In 1922, the year after the Henry family conveyed the building to a diocesan trust, (fn. 1099) it became a mixed junior and infant school. (fn. 1100) The average attendance was 54 in 1922, 12 in 1932, and 22 in 1938. (fn. 1101) In that period some farmers sent their sons to a preparatory school in Kempley and some children from the Leadington went to school at Little Marcle (Herefs.). (fn. 1102) Haffield School closed in 1951 when it had 12 children on its roll. (fn. 1103)
Ann Cam's school obtained aided status in the mid 20th century (fn. 1104) and moved to a new building on the edge of the village in 1974. Accommodation there increased as attendance grew (fn. 1105) and, as Ann Cam C. of E. Primary School, there were 135 children on the roll in 2002. (fn. 1106) In 2008 the number was 98. (fn. 1107) The foundation's education fund was closed by 1997. (fn. 1108)
In 1596 two Dymock men kept unlicensed victualling houses and allowed illicit games in them. (fn. 1109) In 1690 the magistrates closed four of Dymock's alehouses but let four old inns stay open. (fn. 1110) The village had the Plough inn in 1709 (fn. 1111) and also the Harrow in 1754. (fn. 1112) The George inn opened there after 1806 (fn. 1113) and, as well as the Plough, the village also had one or two cider and beerhouses including the Crown and, at Shakesfield, the Anchor in the mid 19th century. (fn. 1114) The Plough, the principal inn, hosted dinners, dances, and club meetings (fn. 1115) and was renamed the Beauchamp Arms in the later 1880s. The George closed in the 1880s (fn. 1116) and the Anchor in the early 20th century. (fn. 1117) Following the Crown's closure in 1990 (fn. 1118) the Beauchamp Arms was the sole public house in the village. Having been bought by the parish council in 1997, (fn. 1119) it remained open in 2008.
Ryton had buildings called the Sun House and the New Inn in the late 18th century. (fn. 1120) In the mid 19th century beer and cider were sold at houses in many outlying places. (fn. 1121) One public house in 1861 was the Royal Oak at Greenway. (fn. 1122) A beerhouse at Bromesberrow Heath was called the Blue Bell in 1863 (fn. 1123) and later the Bell. (fn. 1124) At Broom's Green a blacksmith's beerhouse (fn. 1125) was known as the Horse Shoe. (fn. 1126) A beerhouse at Ryton lost its licence in 1872 (fn. 1127) and the Bell and the Horse Shoe, the only licensed public houses outside Dymock village in the late 19th century, (fn. 1128) closed in 1989 (fn. 1129) and in 2002 respectively. (fn. 1130)
Meeting Places, Societies, Clubs, and Events
The former church house by the churchyard was long the meeting place of Dymock manor court. (fn. 1131) By custom recorded in the mid 16th century the lord provided dinners for the jury at the principal courts. (fn. 1132) In the mid 19th century meetings and entertainment were held in the village school and from the late 19th until the mid 20th century an outbuilding at High House, then the vicarage house, was used for church meetings. (fn. 1133) In 1930 a hall by the Ledbury road east of the church, originally used by a rifle club, was converted as a village (later parish) hall. (fn. 1134) It has been enlarged several times, the latest in 2000 and 2001. (fn. 1135) At Broom's Green a wooden hut erected in 1920 as a memorial to the dead of the First World War provided a meeting place also for Ryton and for Donnington (Herefs.). It was replaced by a larger hall in 1998. (fn. 1136)
A friendly society formed by local tradesmen in 1789 began with 45 members (fn. 1137) and evidently continued with 100 members in 1803. (fn. 1138) Following the rebuilding of Society Lodge in the village it met at the George inn. (fn. 1139) In the early 1870s farm labourers held union meetings and demonstrations in the village and at Bromesberrow Heath. In the village a working men's club founded in 1872 had a reading room (fn. 1140) and a friendly society met at the Plough from 1884. (fn. 1141) The club closed in 1911 when it had 44 members. (fn. 1142) At Bromesberrow Heath, where a working men's club established in 1877 closed in 1887, (fn. 1143) a friendly society meeting at the Bell from 1884 was dissolved in 1893. (fn. 1144) A circulating library existed in Dymock from 1882 until at least 1898. (fn. 1145) In the early 1930s there were branches of the Mothers' Union and Women's Institute, (fn. 1146) the former having originated as a weekly church meeting in the late 1870s. (fn. 1147) In the mid 1960s the Women's Institute had branches at Dymock, Broom's Green and Donnington, and Castle Tump. (fn. 1148) Those at Dymock and Castle Tump continued to meet, the latter outside the parish, in 2003. (fn. 1149)
Little is known about the parishioners' early pastimes and customs. A house near the village at Shakesfield was called the Maypole in 1811 (fn. 1150) and a field just west of Bromesberrow heath was recorded by the name of Maypole meadow from the mid 19th century. (fn. 1151) An annual race meeting was held in the parish in the mid 1870s (fn. 1152) and a local horticultural society held an annual show from 1888 and into the 20th century. (fn. 1153) In the late 1940s there was an annual gymkhana. (fn. 1154) Dymock had a cricket club in 1867 (fn. 1155) and the church choir was instrumental in reviving club cricket in 1882. (fn. 1156) A cricket club extended its ground east of the village in 1955 (fn. 1157) and enlarged its pavilion in 1987. (fn. 1158) An association football club existed in 1912 (fn. 1159) and football clubs have been based on both Bromesberrow Heath and Broom's Green. (fn. 1160) In the 1990s a golf course was laid out in the grounds of the Old Grange, the former stable block of which was adapted as a club house.
The Church was behind a society that in 1879 acquired blankets to hire in Broom's Green and Ryton. (fn. 1161) In the late 19th and early 20th century the Ledbury hospital and dispensary received funds from Dymock. (fn. 1162) A nurse employed by an association for Dymock, Bromesberrow, and Redmarley D'Abitot lived at Bromesberrow Heath in 1906 (fn. 1163) and a district nurse continued to live in Dymock until the mid 1960s. (fn. 1164) From the later 1920s a doctor held a surgery in Dymock (fn. 1165) and at the end of the 20th century Dymock people attended surgeries at Newent or Ledbury. (fn. 1166)
In 1696 William Winter was accused with other Dymock men of clipping and counterfeiting coins. (fn. 1167) A lead tablet discovered at Wilton Place in 1892 and dating possibly from the later 17th century bears an inscription invoking spirits to banish Sarah Ellis, who perhaps lived in Oxenhall. (fn. 1168) In 1840 local leaders of the Latter Day Saints were shot, hanged, and burned in effigy. (fn. 1169) In the 1870s, when the vicar W.C.E. Newbolt was at odds with many of the parish, the churchyard was policed on several occasions during services and in 1872 protesters demonstrating against a resident at the vicarage for defamation repeatedly paraded effigies in the village street. (fn. 1170)
The local daffodils, of which large numbers were picked for London hospitals in the mid 20th century, (fn. 1171) have continued to bring an influx of visitors to the area. (fn. 1172) In the early 21st century refreshments were served in the parish hall during the daffodil season.
'The Dymock Poets'
In 1911 the poet Lascelles Abercrombie set up house at The Gallows in Ryton (fn. 1173) and in early 1914, in collaboration with Wilfred Gibson, Rupert Brooke, and John Drinkwater, he began New Numbers, a quarterly magazine devoted to new writing by all four authors. Gibson had moved into The Old Nail Shop at Greenway in 1913. Among other writers to visit Dymock at that time were Robert Frost, who set up home at Little Iddens in the Leadington in 1914, Edward Thomas, and Eleanor Farjeon. New Numbers, published at Ryton and posted to subscribers, ran to four issues. Some poetry written during those years was inspired by the area and scenery and, although they left Dymock following the outbreak of the First World War, Abercrombie wrote later of trees behind The Gallows in 'Ryton Firs' and Gibson recalled an evening gathering at The Old Nailshop in 'The Golden Room'. Frost, who returned to America in 1915, revisited Dymock in 1928 and 1957.
EARLY HISTORY AND STATUS OF THE PARISH CHURCH
Dymock church, standing high above the river Leadon in a large churchyard, was built anew in the late 11th century (fn. 1174) and replaced a pre-Conquest church served by a priest holding 12 a. in 1066. (fn. 1175) The new building evidently took place after the church was given to Cormeilles abbey (Eure) presumably by its founder William FitzOsbern (d. 1071), lord of Dymock. (fn. 1176) In the late 12th century Flaxley abbey gave the land directly north of the adjacent graveyard to its servant William 'de monasterio' and the place was known later as Minster's Croft. (fn. 1177) Two of the priests with the cure of souls in Dymock in succession in the later 12th century took 2s. a year for the tithes of land cultivated by the Flaxley monks. (fn. 1178) Cormeilles appropriated the church under a licence granted in 1195, (fn. 1179) the appropriation having taken place by 1207 when the two abbeys reached agreement over tithes, (fn. 1180) and a vicarage was established in 1247. (fn. 1181) There was a vicarage house in the mid 14th century. (fn. 1182)
The benefice was subject to a series of reorganizations from 1938, when it was united with Kempley, and the incumbent was styled rector from 1941, when Preston was added to the united benefice. (fn. 1183) At another reorganization, in 1955, Dymock and Donnington (Herefs.) were united. (fn. 1184) In 1975 Kempley was added to that benefice (fn. 1185) and in 2000 six more parishes merged with it. (fn. 1186)
PATRONAGE AND ENDOWMENT
Cormeilles abbey and later Newent priory on its behalf exercised the patronage of the vicarage (fn. 1187) but from the mid 14th century the Crown often presented by reason of the French wars. (fn. 1188) The patronage passed with the rectory to Fotheringhay college (Northants.) in the early 15th century and to lay ownership in the mid 16th century. (fn. 1189) In 1539 John Sylvester, a Northamptonshire clergyman, presented under a grant from Fotheringhay and in 1577 the bishop collated by reason of lapse. John Kyrle was patron for a turn in 1667 as executor of William Winter. In 1714 the two owners of the rectory made a joint presentation. (fn. 1190) In 1866 the advowson was sold to the 6th Earl Beauchamp. (fn. 1191) His successors' right of patronage, (fn. 1192) diluted by the various unions of benefices affecting Dymock from 1938, (fn. 1193) was transferred to the bishop in the late 20th century. (fn. 1194)
The endowment of the vicarage in 1247 was mostly small tithes. It was intended to provide 14 marks (£9 6s. 8d.) a year (fn. 1195) but the income was considerably smaller in the early 15th century when the vicarage was customarily valued at £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 1196) The living was worth £9 13s. 8d. in 1535. (fn. 1197) The vicar had an income of £20 in 1603 (fn. 1198) and of £40 in 1650, (fn. 1199) the latter figure being the same as the stipend, including an increment of £10, paid to the vicar from the rectory estate in the later 1660s. (fn. 1200) By the early 18th century the stipend had been increased to £60. (fn. 1201) Grants from Queen Anne's Bounty in 1811 and 1812 (fn. 1202) were used in 1826 to buy land in Newent (fn. 1203) but the vicarage had a value of only £105 in 1856 (fn. 1204) and part of the £60 stipend went to the rector of Preston from 1873. (fn. 1205)
The vicarage house in front of the churchyard was a building of three bays in 1679 (fn. 1206) and was partly rebuilt during the incumbency of Joseph Symonds (1787–1800). (fn. 1207) It was pulled down shortly after Earl Beauchamp gave High House to the living in 1877 in exchange for the glebe in Newent and remodelled it as the vicarage house. (fn. 1208) A cottage in the village given to the living in 1893 by the earl's successor (fn. 1209) was sold in 1920 (fn. 1210) and High House in 1955. (fn. 1211) A new parsonage, known as the Rectory, was built in 1953. (fn. 1212)
The Building of the Parish Church
Dymock is the largest in a group of early Norman churches ascribed to a 'Dymock school' of sculpture. (fn. 1213) The church's size, plan form, highquality masonry and elaborate decoration indicate its importance when built. Its age has been debated but it is now widely accepted that the present building, which once had a central tower, dates from after 1070, its long nave and certain stylistic characteristics continuing Anglo-Saxon traditions. (fn. 1214) The walls of the nave are decorated with pilaster buttresses and a carved string course and, inside, the remains of the sanctuary arch include cushion capitals with primitive upturned and confronted volutes. A doorway on the northern side of the former central tower, perhaps an opening into a stair tower, has a plain monolithic tympanum. There is an original window in the nave south wall. Dymock is one of the few English churches of late 11th-century date to have had a polygonal apsidal end to the chancel. The apse was decorated with blind arcading, two bays of which remain on the south side of the chancel and contain diagonally-set masonry in the tympana. (fn. 1215) Those details derive possibly from Continental churches rather than directly from Anglo-Saxon ones. (fn. 1216)
In an embellishment of the church in the early 12th century, the south doorway was given a new hoodmould decorated with chevrons and a tympanum carved with a distinctive interpretation of the Tree of Life motif. Its jambs, seemingly part of the original building, were carved with capitals, which have volutes and, hanging from them, stepped triangular motifs characteristic of the so-called Dymock school. (fn. 1217)
The Middle Ages
In the mid 13th century Ela Longespée, countess of Warwick, and her husband Philip Basset supported a chaplain performing a daily service in honour of the Virgin, the church's patron saint. Under their grant of the manor in 1257 Flaxley abbey was to pay him a stipend of 8s. 2d. (fn. 1218) The chantry of St Mary's had its own resident chaplain in the mid 14th century (fn. 1219) and its endowments later included its priest's house. (fn. 1220) In the late Middle Ages a local cult of St Chad included an obit celebrated by a chaplain in the church. (fn. 1221) A local spring was known as St Chad's well in 1620. (fn. 1222) Early reverence for another saint may be recorded in the name the 'Back of St Clement's' used in the later 18th century for a place near the church. (fn. 1223)
In the early 14th century the east end of the church was rebuilt on a rectangular plan. In other work in that century its west wall was rebuilt and new windows were inserted in the nave's north and south walls. About 1400 north and south transeptal chapels were added individually and asymmetrically to the nave, the former having a large canopied niche and the latter a piscina. In the early 15th century a west tower was added to the building. Arms displayed on its western buttresses may include those of the Ruyhale family and of John Merbury (d. 1438), lords of Dymock manor. (fn. 1224) The south porch, which is of the same stone as the top of the tower, was also built then. Bells were installed in the tower and in the reign of Henry VIII the parish was in debt to the Worcester bell founder Nicholas Green (d. by 1542). (fn. 1225)
The first recorded institution to the vicarage was that of John Fillot in 1304. (fn. 1226) William Lestor, who became vicar in 1324, was a French man. (fn. 1227) In 1397 the rector's failure to repair the chancel roof meant that the vicar was unable to celebrate Mass when it rained. The rector, presumably in the guise of Newent priory acting for Cormeilles abbey, had also for three years failed to honour the custom of providing the candle lit during Mass. (fn. 1228) Robert Crawford, rector of Abbots Morton (Worcs.), became vicar by an exchange of livings in 1418 (fn. 1229) and resigned almost immediately with a pension of £4 and accommodation in the vicarage house. (fn. 1230) Thomas Hankins, vicar 1482–1539, (fn. 1231) was to be Dymock's longest serving incumbent. He came from a local family as did John Cam, who by 1517 served as a curate or chaplain for a salary of £5. Both men faced charges of sexual incontinence and in 1526, because of ill health, Hankins was absolved for not attending the consistory court. (fn. 1232) Sir John Bridges (d. 1530) instructed his executors to make a marble tomb at his father Thomas's burial place by the high altar and to provide vestments and altar hangings decorated with his coat of arms. He also assigned 10s. a year for an annual obit. (fn. 1233)
From the Reformation to the Restoration
In the mid 16th century the church was attended by the residents of the more distant settlements and farms in the parish. (fn. 1234) The chantry of St Mary was dissolved in the late 1540s (fn. 1235) and the service of St Chad ceased probably a little earlier. (fn. 1236) The clergy serving in the church included Thomas Whiting, vicar from 1539, and William Greystock, a curate who did not recite the 'Ave Maria' and refused to consecrate bread and water in 1548. At that time some parishioners chattered in the churchyard during services. (fn. 1237) Greystock's learning was deemed satisfactory in 1551, the year he married the mother of his daughter. Whiting, who was unable to recite the Ten Commandments, (fn. 1238) was deprived of the living in 1554. Henry Wakeman, a former monk who was deprived of the neighbouring Preston living for being married, served in Dymock as curate in 1559 (fn. 1239) and until his death in 1569. (fn. 1240)
In 1576 a chalice was still used at the church and the vicar was failing to preach quarterly sermons and to teach the catechism. (fn. 1241) Walter Cowsley, who became vicar the following year, retained the living for almost 50 years. (fn. 1242) By the end of the 16th century several parishioners did not attend church at Easter to receive Communion and in 1612 they included members of some of the leading families, notably the Forsters and Wynniatts. One, Catherine Cam, was said to be a recusant in 1619. (fn. 1243) Richard Morgan, vicar from 1626, was replaced after his death in 1654 by Henry Kirkham, an approved public preacher. (fn. 1244) Under changes introduced by the Commonwealth from 1653, the duties of register (registrar) for Dymock were undertaken by John Cam the younger of the Farm; his recording of births, civil marriages, and burials in the parish register was at first meticulous. (fn. 1245) A Baptist church met in Dymock at that time. (fn. 1246)
Under the will of Revd John Wood (d. 1640) of St James within Aldgate in London a rent charge from Dymock funded sermons in Alstone church in Overbury (Worcs.). (fn. 1247)
The Established Church and Nonconformity after the Restoration
Henry Kirkham subscribed to the Act of Uniformity in 1662 but had resigned as vicar by 1664. (fn. 1248) In the following decades nonconformist sentiment was probably more widespread in Dymock than in any other parish in west Gloucestershire. Sixteen parishioners were declared schismatic in 1670 (fn. 1249) and eighteen nonconformists were recorded in 1676. (fn. 1250) In 1672 three houses were licensed for Presbyterian meetings. One belonged to John Giles, formerly a preacher in Redmarley D'Abitot and elsewhere, (fn. 1251) and the others to John Hawkins and John White, who were among 16 parishioners not attending church in 1683. (fn. 1252) A Baptist meeting, led c.1715 by William Drew, (fn. 1253) dwindled and a Baptist was the sole nonconformist in the parish in 1735. (fn. 1254)
The parish church's congregation was also depleted after the Restoration as residents of outlying places went to churches nearer their homes. (fn. 1255) Between 1667 and 1761 Dymock church was served in turn by Grindal Wilson (d. 1714) and Samuel Savage, both as vicar. Savage, also rector of Poole Keynes (Wilts., later Glos.) from 1721, (fn. 1256) provided full services and was the first minister to have 10s. a year for preaching at Candlemas in support of William Hooper's education charity and testing the schoolchildren on the catechism. (fn. 1257)
Although three of its six bells were replaced or recast in 1707 and 1710, (fn. 1258) the church's interior with the pulpit and reading desk on the south side was basically unchanged after the Restoration. The seating, all proprietary, was insufficient, partitions obstructed the view from the side chapels, the west end was empty of seats and used as a store, and the vestry room off the chancel was too small for meetings. Servants (i.e. agricultural labourers) regularly crowded into the seats and remained seated throughout services; some sat on the communion table and rails in the chancel, placing their hats and staves on the table. On at least one occasion the leaking roof forced worshippers to abandon seats in the chancel. Despite the wish of parishioners led by Richard Hill to preserve the interior, in 1727 the churchwardens obtained permission to make extensive alterations, including the construction of a vestry room and a servants' gallery at the west end. As part of the improvements in the nave the transept arches were rebuilt, a pillar was removed in what may have been a modification of the abutments of the central tower, the roof was ceiled, the south-east window was enlarged, and a new north window inserted. (fn. 1259) A small early 18th-century wooden font was acquired at some point (fn. 1260) and the remaining old bells were replaced in 1726 and 1731 and a sanctus was acquired later. At the end of the century the Wynniatt family had a large gallery filling the east end of the nave, the west gallery was reserved for the singers, and several seats were allotted to the recipients of a clothing charity. A new vestry room was built in the churchyard c.1801. (fn. 1261) Members of leading families of the period such as the Cams, Winters, Wynniatts, and Chamberlaynes were commemorated inside the church and the churchyard monuments included many decorated chest and pedestal tombs, the largest that of William Cam (d. 1767) immediately east of the chancel. (fn. 1262)
William Hayward, vicar 1761–87, (fn. 1263) usually placed the parish in the care of a stipendiary curate. Jenkin Jenkins, rector of Donnington (Herefs.), served the church thus from 1766 to 1780. Evan Evans, who was briefly curate and schoolmaster in Dymock in the mid 1780s, (fn. 1264) became vicar in 1800. (fn. 1265) In 1816 part of the congregation accused him among other things of neglecting his duties, conducting services carelessly, providing one Sunday service instead of two as customary, and turning the churchyard into a nursery orchard. (fn. 1266) Under William Beale, vicar from 1820, Church life continued to be soured by acrimony between clergy and laity after 1822 when, in response to complaints about services and the lack of a resident minister, a curate moved into the vicarage house. Beale (d. 1827) himself served Newent church. (fn. 1267) John Simons, the next vicar, reprimanded labourers for frequenting public houses, wakes, and dances and exhorted them to industry and frugality. (fn. 1268) In the mid 1820s the church held two Sunday services or occasionally one, alternately in the morning and afternoon, and 60 people were regular communicants. Services included a new sung version of the psalms (fn. 1269) and the singers' gallery was enlarged in 1830. (fn. 1270) During the early 19th century there was no regular Sunday school, despite the vestry's appointment in 1819 of a salaried master, (fn. 1271) and in the mid 1820s religious instruction was given during Lent and on four other Sundays. (fn. 1272)
Nonconformity in the Early Nineteenth Century
Sporadic nonconformist activity took place in Dymock by the 1820s. In 1819 a preacher of the Ledbury Methodist circuit registered a house and in 1820 and 1822 a minister from Gorsley, presumably a Baptist, registered buildings in and near the village. A Ledbury man registered a house in 1825 (fn. 1273) and Castle Tump was on the preaching plan of the Gorsley Baptist church in 1831. (fn. 1274) Between 1834 and 1844 eight nonconformist meeting places were registered, including one at Oaksbottom in 1836 and another at Hallwood green in 1838. (fn. 1275) A meeting at Broom's green led in 1834 by Thomas Kington, a missionary from Castle Frome (Herefs.), belonged to a sect called the United Brethren. It built a small chapel in 1837 but Kington's followers in Dymock later met elsewhere (fn. 1276) and in 1840, the year the chapel was handed to the Bible Christians, (fn. 1277) a substantial number joined the Latter Day Saints. (fn. 1278) Several families emigrated to America soon afterwards. (fn. 1279)
From the 1840s to the First World War
In 1851 Dymock church with its 600 seats, half of them free, was attended by only a fraction of parishioners, its Easter Sunday congregations being 182 in the morning and 60 in the afternoon. Some residents of outlying places attended churches nearer their homes (fn. 1280) and on the same day the Bible Christian chapel at Broom's green had a congregation of 26 in the morning and 40 in the evening (fn. 1281) and a Wesleyan Methodist chapel on Bromesberrow heath, built in 1847 by a carpenter James Underwood, had a congregation of 50 in the evening. (fn. 1282)
In 1862 William Charles Henry of Haffield, in Ledbury, built a school church, a single room with an apsidal east end, west of Bromesberrow heath. (fn. 1283) The vicar usually delegated services there to a curate, (fn. 1284) much of whose stipend Henry paid. (fn. 1285) Neighbouring clergy continued to minister to inhabitants elsewhere (fn. 1286) and in 1873 the north-western corner of Dymock at the Leadington and Hallwood green was transferred to Preston for ecclesiastical purposes. (fn. 1287)
At the parish church the Cheltenham firm of Middleton & Goodman restored the nave and chapels in 1870 and 1871 and a north vestry and organ chamber were added to the chancel in 1874. The Gloucester firm of Waller & Son conducted later alterations but altogether the gradual changes, among them the scraping of the interior walls, the removal of galleries, the reinstatement of windows, and the introduction of new furnishings, lacked a unified plan. Prominent members of the congregation such as the Thackwells paid for many new fittings, which included a font and a pulpit, and much of the window glass was replaced by stained glass memorials to individual parishioners. (fn. 1288)
During that period the 6th Earl Beauchamp (d. 1891), a strenuous High Churchman, (fn. 1289) had great influence on Church life. As rector he financed alterations in the church's chancel, sharing the cost of the new organ chamber with the congregation, (fn. 1290) and as patron of the living from 1866 (fn. 1291) he appointed a succession of vicars with High Church views. William Baird, vicar from 1867, introduced music for which the barrel organ in the west gallery was unsuited but within two years he had returned to the East End of London. (fn. 1292) Under William Charles Edmund Newbolt (1870–7), (fn. 1293) whose practices faced strong opposition, the church acquired new altar furnishings and plate, the west gallery was pulled down, an instrument was placed in the new organ chamber, and the choir began wearing surplices. Differences with the bellringers culminated in 1873 with their exclusion from the belfry and the formation of a new band; (fn. 1294) new rules were made in 1879 for managing the belfry and encouraging change ringing. (fn. 1295) Under Reginald Horton (1883–1911) (fn. 1296) a pipe organ was donated in 1885 by C.H. Palairet of Berkeley (fn. 1297) and screens were erected at the entrances to the chancel and south chapel. (fn. 1298)
In the late 19th century one or more curates usually assisted the vicar. (fn. 1299) Services continued in Haffield school near Bromesberrow heath (fn. 1300) and Anglicans held missions elsewhere, including Broom's green, (fn. 1301) where they used the nonconformist chapel in the early 20th century, (fn. 1302) and Hallwood green, where in the same period Revd A.P. Doherty from Preston conducted open-air services during the summer. (fn. 1303)
Nonconformist activity was confined to small meetings. Although the chapel on Bromesberrow heath closed, probably on the death of its owner in 1867, (fn. 1304) Wesleyans established a mission to Dymock village in 1875 (fn. 1305) and preachers of the Ledbury circuit held services at Greenway House in 1884. (fn. 1306) The Broom's green chapel, which was not on the Bible Christian circuit plan for 1858, (fn. 1307) was taken over by the Primitive Methodist mission from Gloucester in 1875. The mission, which also held services at Hallwood green and Bromesberrow heath, closed the chapel in 1894. Wesleyan Methodists used it in 1900 (fn. 1308) and it was reopened as an Anglican mission room the following year. (fn. 1309) Baptists were active in Dymock in the early 1870s (fn. 1310) and the Gorsley church began holding services at Four Oaks in 1887. (fn. 1311) A Congregational minister living at Hill Grove in 1901 (fn. 1312) presumably served the church formed in Dymock the previous year. (fn. 1313)
After the First World War
Sidney Marston, who until his appointment as vicar in 1911 had been chaplain to the 7th Earl Beauchamp at Madresfield (Worcs.), (fn. 1314) served Dymock church in person. Elements of High Church ritual that he reintroduced to worship (fn. 1315) were dropped after he left Dymock in 1937. (fn. 1316) Haffield school was used from 1923 for a Sunday school formerly held at Bromesberrow Heath but regular church services apart from harvest festivals ceased in it. (fn. 1317) Bromesberrow Heath was transferred, together with Lintridge and part of Ryton, to Bromesberrow for ecclesiastical purposes in 1935. (fn. 1318) John Eric Gethyn-Jones, who succeeded his father Daniel as rector in 1955, was Dymock's resident clergyman from 1937 until 1967, apart from the war years, and the author of several local history books, including Dymock Down the Ages first published in 1951. (fn. 1319) In the late 20th century Dymock was served with several other parishes by a priest resident in the village and from 2000 it was part of a larger team ministry led by a woman living in Redmarley D'Abitot. (fn. 1320)
About 1920 an evangelical group put up a small wooden hall at Shakesfield. The building, which later was clad in iron and had a porch added, (fn. 1321) was described as a gospel hall in 1939 (fn. 1322) and remained in use in the early 1970s. (fn. 1323) In 1973 a former railway shed on the south side of the village was adapted as a chapel (Western Way Chapel) (fn. 1324) and in 2006 the hall at Shakesfield stood long abandoned. From 1924 the Baptist mission to Four Oaks held its services in a new chapel just within Oxenhall. (fn. 1325)