The village of Kings Caple, nearly five miles from Ross on Wye, gained its name by dint of the fact that during the time of the Norman Conquest the residents were Welsh speaking people who owed allegiance to English kings – as opposed to neighbouring How Caple and Caplefore (Brockhampton) which belonged to the Canons of Hereford Cathedral.
Churches of Kings Caple
- St. John the Baptist Church - Kings Caple
The church of St. John the Baptist at Kings Caple is 13th century, however there were additions in the 14th century which included the tower.Read More >
News from the Past Kings Caple
Buildings Kings Caple
- Aramstone Court History
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.