Lugwardine Court was originally known as Rockfield House, and was built in the latter half of the 18th century but was pretty much rebuilt in 1810 by the Rev. J. Freeman. It sat on a hill and has glorious views of the surrounding countryside.

 

 

lugwardine court

 

 

 

 
These days, the glorious surrounding parkland and gardens have been lost to modern houses and the site of the building itself is a school.
In 1824 the house, still known as Rockfield House, was offered for let by the Freemans, and was described as a substantial mansion with stabling of offices of every description for the accommodation of a large family.
There were two walled gardens, well stocked with fruit trees, lawns and shrubberies, as well as two orchards.
The accommodation included entrance hall; drawing room; dining room; breakfast parlour; butler’s and other pantries, servants hall; kitchen; Brewhouse; dairy. There were eleven bedrooms, two dressing rooms, water and other closets.
Outside was a good coach house with granary over; two three stalled stables; a cider mill; two barns and other outbuildings.
A good point was the fact that coaches passed daily from Hereford, through Worcester to London.

John Gardiner Freeman

The Freeman family returned to Rockfield House and remained in residence for many years.
John Gardiner Freeman was the Chairman to the Board of Guardians of the Hereford Union, and was evidently well respected in the community. In 1855 he was presented with an elegant candelabrum and epergne combined, wrought in massive silver and standing around two and a half feet high. The base was a tripod, the claws of which were ornamented with leaves of acanthus, and from which sprang a triangular shaped obelisk presenting three shields.The first shield was inscribed
“presented to John Gardiner Freeman Esq. by the Guardians and Ratepayers of the Hereford Union, in testimony of their respect and esteem for his private worth and his valuable services as Chairman of the Board of Guardians for a period of nine years and upwards. Hereford, May 1855”
The second escutcheon was engraved with the armorial bearings of Mr. Freeman, and on the third, his initials. From the centre of these rose two entwined vine branches, surrounded by the tendrils of the hop. Five shoots, laden with fruit, stretched out from the centre of the vine and terminated in five elegant candelabra. The parent stem continued upwards with the foliage spreading out in a crown supporting a glass vase.

1841 census – Rockfield House Household

John Freeman 35
Jane Gardener 85
Ann Freeman 60
Jane Hatcher 30
Ann Hatcher 6
William Lewis 25
Joseph Lewis 22
Ann Jones 20
Ann Phillips 20
Mary Gough 23
Martha Tandy 22
Eliza Jones 20

1851 census – Rockfield House Household

John Gardener Freeman 46 Landed Proprietor b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Mary Ann Freeman 48 Wife b. Cusop, Herefordshire
John Watkins Freeman 17 Son b. Monmouthshire
Mary Ann Freeman 11 Daughter b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Maria Watkins 74 Mother in Law, annuitant b. Warwickshire
William Lewis 33 Butler b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
William Morgan 27 Groom b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Charlotte Morgan 26 Cook b. Herefordshire
Ann Higgins 28 Housemaid b. Ashperton, Herefordshire
Ester Bevan 21 Kitchenmaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Thomas Hughes 23 Agricultural Labourer b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire

1861 census – Rockfield House Household

John Gardener Freeman 56 Landed Proprietor b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Mary Anne Freeman 58 wife b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Maria Watkins 84 Widow, mother in law b. Birmingham
Anne J. Hutchins 26 Niece, fundholder b. Somerset
Eliza C. Hutchins 22 Niece, fundholder b. Somerset
Elizabeth A. Walker 42 Nurse b. Liverpool
Maria Spurling 49 Cook b. Essex
Mary Beaden 26 Housemaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Selina Brunt 18 Kitchenmaid b. Somerset
Robert Lewis 20 Coachman b. Bosley, Herefordshire

 

The Crofts at Lugwardine Court

Sir Herbert Croft bought Rockfield House from the Freeman family, and in 1866 decided to rename it Lugwardine Court, due to there being another Rockfield House near Monmouth which was causing confusion.
The Croft family are better known for their bigger and grander residence…….Croft Castle.

1871 census – Lugwardine Court

Herbert G.D. Croft 32 Member of Parliament b. Acton, Middlesex
Georgiana E.L. Croft 25 Wife b. Sidney, New South Wales, Australia
Herbert A. Croft 2 Son b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Janet G. Croft 4 Daughter b. Middlesex, London
Edward Munday 22 Footman b. Wiltshire
Henry Preece 29 Coachman b. Withington, Herefordshire
Laura Wheland 42 Cook b. Worcestershire
Mary Wells 28 Nurse b. Worcestershire
Amelia Strange 19 Nurse b. Berkshire
Elizabeth Richards 17 Kitchenmaid b. Herefordshire
Ester Ambrose 22 Housemaid b. Wiltshire

 

1881 census – Lugwardine Court

Herbert G. Denman Croft 42 Baronet, JP b. Acton, Middlesex
Georgiana Eliza Lucy Croft 35 Dame b. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hugh Matthew Francis Croft 6 Son b. Lugwardine Court
Sybil Helen Croft 4 Daughter b. Lugwardine Court
Lucy Barbara Croft 3 Daughter b. Lugwardine Court
William Denman Croft 2 Son b. Lugwardine Court
Owen George Scudamore Croft 10mths Son b. Lugwardine Court
Elizabeth Nelson 30 Cook b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Sarah Ann Collins 20 Housemaid b. Monmouthshire
Harriet Herron 23 Housemaid b. Bishopstone, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Parker 17 Kitchenmaid b. Bodenham, Herefordshire
James Huff 19 Footman b. Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire
Rose Ellen Purchase 17 Nursemaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Mary Ann Tamil 15 Nursemaid b. Castle Carey, Somerset
Hannah Ayre 37 Nurse

1891 census – Lugwardine Court

Herbert G. Denman Croft 52 JP, Barrister at Law, Baronet b. Middlesex
Georgiana Eliza Lucy Croft 45 Wife b. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hugh Matthew Francis Croft 16 Son b. Lugwardine Court
Sybil H. Croft 14 Daughter b. Lugwardine Court
Lucy Barbara Croft 13 Daughter b. Lugwardine Court
Jasper B. Croft 6 Son b. Lugwardine Court
Susan Griffiths 28 Cook b. Salop
Emily Elleman 20 Parlour Maid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Elleman 18 Nursemaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Emily Shaw 23 Housemaid b. Penscombe, Herefordshire
Elizabeth William 18 Kitchenmaid b. Withington, Herefordshire
Charles Hale 16 Groom b. Ross on Wye, Herefordshire
Emma Clayton 55 Housekeeper b. Burghill, Herefordshire
Ellen Weaver 21 Cook b. Marden, Herefordshire

 

1911 census – Lugwardine Court

Richard Charles Southall 36 Butler b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Mary Probert 36 Cook b. St. Weonards, Herefordshire
Beatrice Jane Brush 26 Housemaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Elsie Emily Skyrme 19 Kitchenmaid b. Canon Pyon, Herefordshire
Phillis Audrey Marlow 17 Housemaid b. Radnorshire
Margaret Amy Miles 16 Nurserymaid b. Devonshire
Reginald Davies 23 Footman b. Ross on Wye, Herefordshire
Elenor Croft 7 Owner’s Daughter b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
James Herbert Croft 3 Owner’s son b. London