The original 17th century Moreton Court was occupied by John Keysall, a banker of London and high sheriff of Herefordshire in 1794, then from 1816 by William Chute Gwinnett who had served as High Sheriff of the county in 1823, and found fame at Moreton Court as an agriculturist and for his splendid herd of Hereford cattle.

The Appearance of the original Moreton Court

In 1839 Moreton Court was put up for rent, with a glorious description so that we may imagine more of how it looked:
“Situate in the Vale of the Lugg and embosomed in a glad of evergreens and other choice trees, the principal rooms of this desirable mansion look out upon an esplanade of some acres which art and nature have conspired to render fascinating.
An elegant conservatory, replete with rare plants; clusters of shrubs, to which both hemispheres – and especially the far West – have contributed; and the general arrangement of the parterres and walks complete the interest of a foreground which a sunk fence separates from an extensive lawn.
The view, excepting at those intervals of its happily broken outline through which the bold distances of this county, or the mountain scenery of Wales, are clearly perceivable – is terminated by a lofty range of those coppice clad hills, which are the distinctive features.
To sportsmen this vicinity will offer many allurements; for besides that the partridge shooting is good, and the exclusive range of the tenant considerable, the Herefordshire Fox Hounds meet frequently at convenient distances; and the Lugg so distinguished for its trout, grayling etc. flows within a quarter of a mile, affording to the skilful angler, not, as too often happens with other streams, merely an opportunity of alternating between the perpetual renovations of hope and the constant succession of disappointment, but a source of useful supply as well as of delightful recreation.”

Tenants and Owners of Moreton Court

The house had a succession of tenants, and one advert in 1852 gives a short description of the actual original house:

“The house comprises spacious dining and drawing rooms; library; breakfast room and fifteen bedrooms.
There are good stables, and a coach house”

In 1858 the tenant of the time was George Lawrence who was a keen sportsman but his activities were severely curtailed one day when he had an accident whilst shooting partridge. The right hand barrel of his gun burst at the breech, and either a fragment of the barrel, or the charge of shot which had been in it, passed through George’s left hand and tore it to pieces. Medical aid was rapidly sought, but it was quickly realised that it would be impossible to save the hand, and it was amputated at the wrist immediately.

Moreton Court was sold in 1863 to Thomas Evans who had been living at Sufton Court in Herefordshire, who using an architect from Cheltenham, J.H.Knight, rebuilt the house and a very striking and imposing house it was.

Sadly, in 1866 Thomas and his wife had a still born daughter but they did have four surviving daughters plus one son.

Thomas Evans died in 1872 but his wife remained in Moreton Court. When Mr Hill married Thomas’s daughter, Harriet, he moved into Moreton Court and I believe that he purchased the house – it matters not really, because he died leaving Harriet in the house.

Moreton Court was demolished in the 1950s.

1861 – Moreton Court Household

 

George Lawrence 53 Merchant and landed proprietor b. Monmouthshire
Catherine Lawrence 40 Wife b. Glamorganshire
Arthur Lawrence 12 son b. Christchurch, Monmouthshire
Wyndham Lawrence 10 son b. Christchurch, Monmouthshire
Walter Lawrence 4 son b. Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire
Lilian Lawrence 2 daughter b. Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire
Charles Lawrence 8 mths son b. Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire
Charlotte Owens 23 Cook b. Herefordshire
Mary Mansell 21 Housemaid b. Canon Pyon, Herefordshire
Charlotte Watkins 21 Nurse b. Wellington, Herefordshire
John Thomas 21 Groom b. Ludlow, Shropshire

1871 – Moreton Court Household

 

Thomas Evans 67 Magistrate b. st. Johns, Herefordshire
Harriet Evans 45 Wife b. Donnington, Herefordshire
Harriet Evans 14 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Mabel Evans 12 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Catherine Evans 11 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Frances Evans 7 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Thomas C. Evans 6 son b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Ann Hochstetter 24 Governess b. Germany
Eli Oliver 29 Butler b. Hampshire
Edward Gough 35 Coachman
Charles Meredith 23 Footman b. Yarpole, Herefordshire
Jane Bowyer 36 Housekeeper b. Suffolk
Eliza Williams 36 Nurse b. Brilly, Herefordshire
Emma Ellis 20 Ladies Maid b. Denbighshire
Annie Clark 38 Housemaid b. Marylebone, London
Fanny Blake 22 servant b. Worcestershire
Elizabeth Beachy 21 servant b. Madley, Herefordshire
Ann Jandrell 16 servant b. Kings Pyon, Herefordshire
Caroline Gatehouse 18 servant b. Whitney, Herefordshire

1881 – Moreton Court Household

Harriett Evans 55 Widow, land owner b. Ledbury, Herefordshire
Mabel T. Evans 22 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Catherine B. Evans 21 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Frances T. Evans 17 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
John Haseman 26 Butler b. Herefordshire
James Waghorne 44 Coachman b. Sussex
Elizabeth Lane 33 Cook b. Monmouthshire
Mary James 34 Parlour Maid b. Talgarth, Brecon
Elizabeth Harris 20 Housemaid b. Devonshire
Eliza Nurse 18 Scullery Maid b. St. Martins, Herefordshire

1891 – Moreton Court Household

 

Harriett Evans 65 Widow, living on own means b. Ledbury, Herefordshire
Frances Evans 27 daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Mary Powell 49 Domestic servant b. Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire
Florence E. Smith 24 General servant b. Brentwood, Essex
Louisa Jarvis 18 General Servant b. Chester, Cheshire
Thomas Taylor 21 Butler b. Marden, Herefordshire

1901 – Moreton Court Household

 

Sara Frost 37 Widow, Parlour Maid b. Castle Cary, Somerset
Mary Evans 31 Cook b. Arlingham, Gloucestershire
Frances Sutton 26 Housemaid b. Lambourne, Warwickshire
Catherine Hughes 21 Kitchen Maid b. Leominster, Herefordshire
Eliza Ann Adams 20 Housemaid b. Shropshire
Ann Eliza Warman 18 Housemaid b. Worcestershire

1911 – Moreton Court Household

 

Harriett Abiah Hill Widow, private means 54 b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Ursula Harriett Hill daughter 23 b. Ocle Pychard, Herefordshire
Jane Stanbury Housemaid 43 b. Somerset
Marianne Higgs Thornley Cook 50 b. Chepstow
Flora Mary Thornley Visitor 12 b. Cardiff, Glamorganshire