This tiny village with its stunning views was actually named after Lady Godiva’s sister, Wuliva who owned the manor in the 11th century.
Churches of Woolhope
- St. George's Church - Woolhope
The church of St. George is elevated on a small hill in the middle of the village, and was built in the 12th century.Read More >
People of Woolhope
News from the Past Woolhope
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.Read More >