The original Aramstone House dated back to the early 17th century, when it was owned by the Marrett family, then it passed to the Woodhouse family through marriage. Francis Woodhouse rebuilt the house in around 1730 and it stood in gorgeous grounds close to the River Wye. Outside features included an ice house; a cold bath, glasshouses and a dovecote.
In 1793 The Woodhouses moved away and Aramstone House was advertised for let, either furnished or unfurnished, for 3, 5 or 7 years and described thus:
Description of Aramstone House
Situated on a beautiful dry, healthy healthy spot on the banks of the river Wye in the parish of Kings Caple, a huge red brick mansion, consisting of a breakfast parlour; dining parlour; drawing room; another parlour; library; housekeeper’s room; six bedrooms on the first floor and six in the attic, with dressing rooms and closets. New stove grates and other grates in all rooms.
Servants hall; butlers pantry; kitchen; Brewhouse; dairy; larder and other offices, with servants bedrooms; very large vaulted cellars; and excellent stables for twenty horses. Coach houses for five carriages; two large granaries; a dove house; large walled garden; two hot houses; forcing house; greenhouse; icehouse; cold bath, shrubberies and pleasure grounds.
It took some time before a suitable tenant was found for this impressive house.
1808 – Aramstone House
In 1808, Aramstone House was once again up for rent, then in 1814 John Woodhouse was back in his family seat (or one of them anyway – he also owned Yatton Court in Aymestry), and he remained there for many years before finally putting the house up for auction in 1865, at which time Vice Admiral Hillyar was in residence. He was followed by the Rev. Clement Ley, and I assume (but may be wrong of course) that the house didn’t sell and these two people were tenants.
It does seem that one way and another, descendants of John Woodhouse retained ownership of Aramstone House until the mid 20th century.
In 1861 Aramstone House was being looked after by a caretaker.
1871 – Aramstone House Household
|Robert Wyndham Smith||60||Landowner||b.Monmouthshire|
|Alice Woodhouse Smith||30||Wife||b. Yatton Court, Aymestry, Herefordshire|
|Robert Wyndham Smith Woodhouse||5||Son||b. Bridstow, Herefordshire|
|John Wyndham Smith Woodhouse||4||Son||b. Bridstow,Herefordshire|
|Elija Edward Thomas||27||Coachman||b. Shrewsbury, Shropshire|
|George Davis||25||Footman||b. Bromfield, Shropshire|
|Ann Moore||50||Cook||b. Durham|
|Selina Davis||29||Nurse||b. Wiltshire|
|Emma Davies||22||Housemaid||b. Shropshire|
|Alice Spencer||19||Kitchenmaid||b. Herefordshire|
1881 – Aramstone House Household
|Robert Wyndham Smith||70||Landed Proprietor||b. Monmouthshire|
|Alice Wyndham Smith||40||Wife||b. Yatton Court, Aymestry, Herefordshire|
|Laura Portman||48||Cook||b. Hay on Wye, Breconshire|
|Selina Davies||38||Housemaid||b. Studley, Wiltshire|
|Jane Price||20||Under Housemaid||b. Kington, Herefordshire|
|John Pugh||28||Butler||b. Clunbury, Shropshire|
|Edward Rice||16||Under Groom||b. Gloucestershire|
1891 – Aramstone House Household
|Robert Wyndham Woodhouse Smith||25||Living on own means||b. Bridstow, Herefordshire|
|John Wyndham Woodhouse Smith||24||Living on own means||b.Bridstow, Herefordshire|
|Thomas Jones||71||Retired Farmer||b. Monmouthshire|
|Louisa Jones||39||Housekeeper||b. Abbeydore, Herefordshire|
|Elizabeth White||49||Widow, Cook||b. Gloucestershire|
|Annie ?||32||Parlourmaid||b. Birley, Herefordshire|
|Elizabeth Heatton||17||Kitchenmaid||b. Bridstow, Herefordshire|
|Alfred Evans||16||Stable Boy||b. Peterstow, Herefordshire|
1901 – Aramstone House Household
|William Forsyth||51||Indian Medical Surgeon||b. Scotland|
|Ada Drummond Forsyth||36||Wife||b. Scotland|
|Aileen May Drummond Forsyth||11||Daughter||b. India|
|Eden G. Drummond Forsyth||5||Daughter||b. India|
|James Arthur Robinson||40||India Civil Service||b. India|
|Minnie Bolton||36||Nurse||b. Surrey|
|Mary Ann Griffiths||23||Housemaid||b. Abergavenny, Mondmouthshire|
|Mary Prothero||48||Cook||b. Radnorshire|
|Jane Cooper||15||Kitchenmaid||b.Little Dewchurch, Herefordshire|
|Rose Kathleen Harris||18||Housemaid||b. Kings Caple, Herefordshire|
|Alfred Bishop||17||Houseboy||b. Hoarwithy, Herefordshire|
Mr. Lea in residence; outbreak of fire in the storeroom which destroyed books chairs and other articles. The fire was thought to be caused by mice nibbling matches and causing them to ignite.
1911 Aramstone House Household
|Horace William Plews Waters||44||Retired Army Captain||b.Norfolk|
|Isobella Waters||40||Wife||b. Cheshire|
|Ann Robinson||80||Nurse||b. Cheshire|
|Alfred Mitchell||27||Servant||b. Perthshire|
|Gertrude Jackson||26||Servant||b. Bosbury, Herefordshire|
|Lizzie Hodges||16||Servant||b. Kings Caple, Herefordshire|
|Martha Lotte Dawe||26||Servant||b. Herefordshire|
|Laura Dorothy Girling||25||Servant||b.Herefordshire|
In 1957 the then owner, Mrs. Barbara Wyndham Williams found herself unable to cope with the heavy burden of taxation on the house coupled with urgently required repairs and modernisation and decided to demolish Aramstone unless a new tenant could immediately be found. She estimated that at least £10,000 would be needed for the repairs alone.
However, the Minister of Housing and Local Government held an enquiry to decide whether to confirm a provisional order that he had made to restrict any alteration or demolition of the house.
As a result of that enquiry, the Minister said that nothing should be done until a scheduled article about Aramstone House had appeared in a national Magazine, in the hope that it would provoke interest from a suitable tenant.
Sadly, despite the magazine plug the house remained empty and Aramstone House was demolished later that year; it was not the only one to suffer this fate, and several other wonderful and very old houses were destroyed at this time in history.
Some of the garden features survive, including the ice house and dovecote.