This tiny village with its stunning views was actually named after Lady Godiva’s sister, Wuliva who owned the manor in the 11th century.

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Buildings of Woolhope

  • Wessington Court

    Wessington Court, Woolhope
    The original house was 17th century, built before the Reformation, and much improved by the Gregory but it was demolished and rebuilt in the 19th century by Henry William Booth.

    1851 – Wessington Court Household

     

    Henry William Booth 35 Landed Proprietor b. Stanstead Abbotts
    Augusta Hope Booth 36 Wife b. Monmouthshire
    Mary Georgina Booth 13 Daughter b. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
    Alice Elizabeth Booth 7 Daughter b. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
    Frances Agnes Booth 6 Daughter b. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
    William Cowper Cooper 40 Visitor, Magistrate and Barrister b. Middlesex
    Georgina Cowper Cooper 40 Wife of above b. Monmouthshire
    W.P. Cowper Cooper 14 Son of above b. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
    Mary Dawes 40 Governess b. Clarendon, Wiltshire
    Louisa Haville 35 Housekeeper b. London, Middlesex
    Margaret Francis 30 Nurse b. Brampton Bryan, Herefordshire
    William Pawley 40 Butler b. Devonshire
    Phebe Smith 25 Cook b. Guiting Power, Gloucestershire
    Kitty East 17 Nursemaid b. Guiting Power, Gloucestershire
    Alice Turner 39 Housemaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
    George Bowler 27 Coachman b. Wiltshire

    Shortly after the above census was taken, the Booth family left the estate and many of the contents of Wessington Court were put in an auction on 15th September 1851:

    “Costly town made furniture in rosewood and mahogany;  lofty four post and French canopy bedsteads, clothed in moreen and chintz;  hair and wool mattresses;  feather beds;  mahogany winged wardrobes;  chests with drawers;  wash hand and dressing tables;  telescope dining tables;  Spanish mahogany sideboard with marble top;  mahogany side tables;  dining room chairs with loose seats;  sofas stuffed with horse hair;  library tables;  Brussels carpets;  Druggetts;  cocoa fibre matting and Dutch carpets;  splendid carved oak furniture, comprising sideboard, sarcophagus, sofa, chairs and tables;  oil paintings in gilt frames by Carlo Dolce, Backhuysen, Brughel, G. Morland, Vangoen, Bort, Stork, Campion.

    Handsome model fenders with stags and chains, rosewood drawing room furniture, handsome china vases, chimney glass in gilt frame, chintz and moreen window curtains;  dinner, breakfast and coffee services of china;  kitchen requisites, barrels, tubs, garden tools, saddles and bridles, single harness, a George the 4th pony phaeton, a well built dog cart by Collins of Oxford.  Four well bred short horn cows.”

    I think that such a list makes it possible almost to imagine how the house would have looked at the time.

    Thomas P. Williams bought the estate, but in 1859  went on to rent it out, selling much of the contents, as follows:

    “Elegant and costly furniture, including a magnificent suite in walnut.  Spanish mahogany and rosewood made to order, carved oak cabinet, plate chimney glass, splendid piano forte, arabian bedsteads etc.  Also, double and single barrel guns, a superior swiss rifle;  air gun;  brace of high bred pointers;  horses;  full sized clarence and dog cart, phaeton, harness, one pig and other valuable effects.”

    At one point in the 1860s, the MP for Herefordshire, Mildmay and his wife, stayed at Wessington Court and when forcibly reminded of the plight of the poor in that area,  Mrs. Mildmay lost no time in distributing food and clothing which was gratefully received.

    In 1862 the Wessington Court estate was put up for sale and was described as a substantial Mansion, planned with great taste and beautifully placed on a hill with wonderful views.

     

    1871 – Wessington Court Household

    Burchall Helme 35 Retired from Army b. Standish, Gloucestershire
    Mary Helme 24 Wife b. London
    Evelyn Helme 1 Daughter b. St. Georges, London
    Susannah Helme 63 Widow, Visitor b. Walthamstow, Essex
    Harold Helme 21 Visitor b. Stroud, Gloucestershire
    Emily Collyer 21 Visitor b. Hertfordshire
    Margaret Barrow 49 Visitor b.Lancashire
    John Knight 36 Butler b. Norfolk
    Thomas Hancock 28 Coachman b. Devonshire
    Henry Stovell 16 Footman b. Surrey
    Ellen Tomsett 24 Cook b. Challock
    Eliza Goodgame 33 Housemaid b. Oxfordshire
    Sarah Weston 23 Nurse b. Hertfordshire
    Elizabeth Jones 18 Kitchenmaid b. Kinnersley, Herefordshire
    Susan Jackson 16 Housemaid b. Herefordshire
    Sarah Telling 55 Lady’s Maid b. Cirencester, Gloucestershire

    1881 – Wessington  Court Household

    Ann Jane Keates 50 widow b. Everton, Lancashire
    Gertrude Mary Keates 22 Daughter b. Liverpool, Lancashire
    Lucia Frances Keates 19 Daughter b. Liverpool, Lancashire
    Lucy Burdock 34 Lady’s Maid b. Surrey
    Elizabeth Cross 14 Kitchenmaid b. Woolhope, Herefordshire
    Lucy Grocock 20 Kitchenmaid b. Leicestershire
    Mary Ann Patterson 23 Housemaid b. Yatton, Herefordshire
    John Stainsby 23 Footman b. Yorkshire
    Margaret Moody 35 Housekeeper b. Salop
    George Fiander 35 Butler b. Dorset

     

    1911 – Wessington Court Household

    William Kendal 45 Caretaker b. Ferryside, Carmarthen
    Ellen Maud Kendal 42 Wife b. Devonport
    Arthur James Kendal 17 Son, farm labourer b. Hereford

    The singer Roger Whittaker lived from some time in half of the Wessington Court house.

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