Dulas Court is an 18th century mansion house built on the site of a 16th century house, which was rebuilt and improved for Colonel Feilden in the mid 19th century;  it is now a Care Home.
In 1827 Dulas Court was put up for sale by auction by the owner Mr. Parry, and was described as “ a large, substantial mansion house with outhouses and buildings; 333 acres of land comprising arable, meadow and pasture with woodlands; also the Advowson or Presentation of a Minister to the perpetual care of the parish of Dulas, the present incumbent whereof is 89 years and upwards. Also the manor or lordship of Kavanback with all the rights and appurtenances thereto belonging”.
“The estate is very compact and is capable of producing sufficient fruit to make 100 hogsheads of cider a year. It is well supplied with water and has a constant stream running through the centre”.

James M. Parsons Hopton

In 1845 James Parsons Hopton married Miss Poole, the eldest daughter of Edward Poole of The Homend, and the occasion was reported with great rapture – it was very evident how highly esteemed the Hopton family was.


The village of Ewias (Ewyas) Harold was transformed after a good month’s work by the residents – it had been decided that a subscription was needed to carry out all the preparations and people held the Hoptons and Pooles in such high regard that the money was raised in no time at all.
Firstly a fine heifer was bought with a due proportion of cider to regale the labourers of Ewias (Ewyas) Harold and Dulas, and arrangements were made for the poor women and children to feast on plum cake and cider. Every house was decorated, and on the morning of the wedding the bells of the church “pealed forth their brazen harmony” and a battery of cannon at Ewias Harold “thundered forth an invitation to the inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood to hasten to the scene of the approaching festivity”.
“In the air, a thousand streamers flaunted fair,
Various in shape, device and hue –
Green sanguine, purple, red and blue,
Broad, narrow, swallow-tailed and square,
Scroll, pennon, pencil, bandrol there,
O’er every dwelling flew”



There were wonderful arches with inscriptions of good wishes for the couple, and beautiful decorations everywhere.
At 2 o’clock people sat down to an excellent dinner at the Dog Inn after which were the usual speeches and toasts; Mr. Parry’s band was in attendance, and eventually it led nearly two thousand people in procession from the Dog Inn to Pontrilas Bridge where they were received with much cheering. On returning, the band marched next to the carriage playing the favourite airs on these occasions.
Mr. J. Lewis of the Trap House with his good lady liberally plied 200 women and children with tea and plum cake, and the Sunday school children of Abbey Dore were also given tea and plum cake by Mrs. Wm. Gough. Why was it ALWAYS plum cake?!)
Mr. J. Hopton, with his usual kindness gave all his tradesmen and labourers a wonderful dinner at Dulas Court, with a sumptuous dinner also being provided for his tenantry at the Lion Inn, Abbey Dore.


James was a Magistrate and also a Captain in the North Gloucester Militia.

Christmas at Dulas

The poor of the parishes of Ewias Harold and Dulas were always well supplied with both beef and coal, the gift of James M.P. Hopton, and his wife was in the habit of distributing warm clothing to the poor at Christmas.
On Christmas Eve in 1851 for example, more than sixty boys and girls who were scholars of the National School of Ewyas Harold were given a feast of roast beef, puddings etc. supplied by Mrs. James Hopton, after being given the pleasant task of drawing the enormous Yule log which was blazing in the fireplace of the ancient dining room.
On Christmas Day itself, fifty three servants and workmen along with their wives feasted on old English food in the entrance hall of Dulas Court, in the company of their much respected employer J.P. Hopton and his wife.
On New Year’s Eve a ball was laid on for the tenantry and tradesmen.
All in all, it is clear that the Hoptons were a kind and generous family, and were much loved in return.


1853 James Hopton gave up his mountain farm and sold the whole of his celebrated flock of mountain sheep which had been carefully bred by crosses from Jonas Webb’s Downs and Mr. Edwards Shropshire Downs.
He also sold a great deal of livestock from Dulas Court, including 16 prime Herefordshire cows and heifers; fat sheep; ewes and lambs; many horses and 2 pigs. Also a thrashing machine and a broad wheel waggon; also an assortment of farming tools and an excellent gig and harness plus a 4 wheeled carriage.

The death of James Michael Parsons Hopton

James Michael Parsons Hopton died on 8th November 1855 at Cirencester from injuries caused by the upset of his dog cart. He was 46.
James had been driving the dog cart in Earl Bathurst’s park near Cirencester, with his wife and groom alongside. For some reason the horses became spooked and the groom jumped down hoping to reach the horses’ heads in order to calm them, but he never made it and the dog car was overturned with both James and his wife being thrown to the ground with some force. The groom rushed to help the pair who were unconscious, and then sought help – the injured couple were taken home and medical aid was administered, but Captain Hopton had multiple injuries including severe concussion of the brain from which he never recovered.
Mrs. Hopton, although seriously hurt did recover physically but was dreadfully shocked by the death of her husband, who was later described as being a senior captain in the militia and much loved by his brother officers and men. In the locality of Dulas, his loss was deeply regretted; he was an affectionate husband and parent; a kind landlord; a most friendly county gentleman and an inestimable friend to the poor.
James died intestate.

Dulas Court for Sale in 1857

In 1857 Dulas court along with 333 acres of land was put up for auction, and the following year all the household furniture was put up for sale:
“principally in deeply carved oak and marqueterie; comprising suitable appointments for two reception rooms and four bedrooms, selected at great expense and of corresponding character, presenting an opportunity rarely met with to purchase articles of this description.
Tapestry suitably fitted for four bedrooms; Turkey and other carpets; the furniture for seven other bedrooms; 14 goose feather beds in good condition; sets of blankets, counterpanes with usual appointments; Indian and other china; cut and engraved glass; a large collection of sporting requisites; large and small telescopes; numerous pieces of deeply carved oak; oil paintings; prints and engravings; sundry lots of gold coins from Charles 1st; ditto of silver from Edward 6th; ditto of copper; various ditto of medals; library of books; superior old port; 50 dozens of bottled cider; kitchen and culinary articles; stoves, engines etc.
Following this sale, a whole wealth of wines; Madeira; Sherry, brandy etc. as well as paintings; telescopes; rifle; spirit level and sundry other effects which were unsold before, an auction was arranged for later in the month of May.

Robert Feilden

Lt. Col. Robert Feilden was born in 1824 in Canterbury, Kent, being one of the Rev. Robert Mosley’s three sons.


He became known as the Warrior Son, and led the advance guard at the Seige of Sebastapol whilst serving in the 44th Regiment of Foot.

He married Louisa Willis in 1858 and although the couple had five children, she tragically died after giving birth to a stillborn baby in 1868.

When he took over Dulas Court he set about major renovations and improvements, and also had a church built within the grounds.


In 1861 Robert Feilden resigned his commission as Captain in the 1st Herefordshire Rifle Volunteer Corps in order to be appointed Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st Administrative Battalion.

Battallion Drill at Kington

The third battalion drill of the season of the Herefordshire Rifle Volunteers took place in August 1863 in Kington.  The Volunteers were not so numerous as was expected, but the companies of Hereford, Leominster, Ross, Ledbury and Bromyard arrived by train in the morning, where many of the Kington Volunteers with their great little brass band were waiting.

The Battallion marched into Kington commanded by Col. Feilden who had also arrived by train with the Hereford brass band.

Kington welcomed the Battallion with pretty decorations, each shop sporting patriotic flags:  (this is an interesting snapshot of the shops at the time)

Kington Shops in 1863

Duke Street

Mr. Davies, Grocer

Mr. Cook, Nag’s Head

High Street

Mr. Meredith, draper,

Mrs. Wishlade, butcher,

Mr. T. Luntley, Tailor

Mrs. Stanway, chemist

Mr. J. Morris, shoemaker

Mr. Pearce, chemist

Mr. T. Skarratt, draper

Mr. H. Skarratt, jeweller


Mr. A.E.Purchase, grocer

Mr. Powell, Lamb Inn

Mr. H.W. Morris, chemist

Mr. Parker, draper

Mr. Welson, wine vaults

Mr. Price, White Horse

Mr. H. Hatton, butcher

Mr. Hurry, printer

Mr. Davies, baker

Mr. James Peene, ironmonger

Mr. John Boulter, boot maker


In 1863 he was nominated for the office of High Sheriff, a post that he later took up.
He died at Dulas Court in 1874


Dulas Court Household 1851

James M.P. Hopton 42 Magistrate, Farmer b. City of Hereford
Mary Williams 39 Housekeeper b. Kinnersley, Herefordshire
Ellen Holly 21 Cook and housemaid b. St. Devereaux, Herefordshire
Sarah Holly 17 Laundrymaid b. Bacton, Herefordshire
Ann Watkins 20 Dairymaid b. Abbeydore, Herefordshire
Thos Leal 14 Servant b. Worcestershire
Thos. Pendry 20 Cowman b. Herefordshire
Thos. Jones 50 Carter’s boy b. Dulas, Herefordshire

Dulas Court Household 1861

Robert Feilden 37 Lieutenant Colonel, Army, retired b. Canterbury, Kent
Louisa W. Feilden 25 Wife b. London, Middlesex
Herbert R. Feilden 2 Son b. Witton, Lancashire
Frances L. Feilden 0 Daughter b. Witton Lancashire
Edward G. Streatfeild 34 Visitor, Army Captain, retired b. Sevenoaks, Kent
Mary Francis 46 Housekeeper b. Shropshire
Eliza Mitchel 37 Nurse b. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Mary Guildford 25 Lady’s Maid b. Adderbury, Shropshire
Elizabeth Westcott 35 Housemaid b. Highbury, Devon
Elizabeth Rowe 18 Housemaid b. Shropshire
Mary Hague 18 Kitchen Maid b. Blackburn, Lancashire
John Hoey 38 Butler b. Ireland
John Nicholas 34 Coachman b. Holmer, Herefordshire
Thomas Watkins 13 Errand Boy b. Herefordshire

Dulas Court Household 1871

Robert Feilden 47 Lt. Colonel, 44th Reg. retired, widower b. Canterbury, Kent
Herbert R. Feilden 12 Son b. Witton, Lancashire
Robert B. Feilden 6 Son
Geoffrey Feilden 5 Son
Frances L. Feilden 10 Daughter b. Witton, Lancashire
Evelyn C. W. Feilden 8 Daughter b. Herefordshire
Martha A. Bailey 33 Governess b. Middlesex
Ann Peat 48 Housekeeper b. Leicestershire
Mary E. Whitworth 57 Nurse b. Stepney, Middlesex
Martha Goodman 32 Housemaid b. Middlesex
Eliza Griffiths 19 Domestic servant b. Cheshire
Elizabeth Whale 20 Domestic servant b. Wiltshire
Harriet Rogers 18 Domestic servant b. Broadway, Worcestershire
Rhoda Woodley 18 Domestic Servant b. Oxfordshire
Hannah Hampson 17 Domestic Servant b. Salop
James Lewis 22 Coachman b. Audley, Herefordshire
John Tailor 19 Footman b. Salop

Dulas Court Household 1881

John T.C. Stacey 53 Clergyman Church of England without Cure of Souls b. Cardiff, Glamorganshire
Emilia Blanche Stacey 38 Wife b. Cardiff, Glamorganshire
Mary Stacey 18 Daughter b. Kittisford, Somerset
Jane Stacey 16 Daughter b. Whitchurch, Glamorganshire
Isabel Stacey 9 Daughter b. Tockington, Gloucestershire
Thomas Stacey 7 Son b. Tockington, Gloucestershire
Frances S. Cookson 26 Governess b. London, Middlesex
Benjamin Daniel 50 Head Gardener b. Cardiganshire
Albert Payne 34 Butler b. Oxfordshire
George Neville 22 Footman b. Gloucestershire
Mary Daniel 55 Cook, temporary b. Fishguard, Pembrokeshire
Clara Susan Dingle 27 Lady’s Maid b. Devon
Mary Handley 19 Childrens’ Maid b. Hereford, Herefordshire
Jane Trills 32 b. Hereford, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Tucker 23 Housemaid b. Somerset
Fanny Grubb 19 Laundrymaid b. Herefordshire
Sarah Vale 20 Schoolroom Maid b. Herefordshire
Fanny Magness 18 Kitchen Maid b. Herefordshire
Margaret Williams 14 Housemaid b. Glamorganshire


Dulas Court Household 1891

Cecil Butler 45 Living on own means b. London, Middlesex
Alice Butler 34 Wife b. Woolwich, Kent
Cecilia F. Butler 3 Daughter b. Warwickshire
John William Dowsan 31 Butler b. Yorkshire
Mary Barnes 51 Cook b. Essex
Emma Hunt 21 Nursery Maid b. Warwickshire
Annie E.L. Curtis 23 Laundress b. London, Middlesex
Emma Croft 41 Lady’s Maid b. Kent
Edward Jones 12 Poultry Boy b. Herefordshire
William S. McEvan 17 Garden Labourer b. Scotland
William G. Walker 17 Stable Boy b. Herefordshire
Mary Lorkin 27 Housemaid b. Scotland
Annie Jenkins 23 Housemaid b. Herefordshire

Dulas Court Household 1901

John C.J. Drake 66 Retired Army Officer b. Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Lydia M.J. Drake 66 Wife b. Topsham, Devon
Mary E.H.J. Drake 38 Daughter b. Topsham, Devon
Gertrude C.J. Drake 33 Daughter b. Topsham, Devon
Ellen Simons 37 Housemaid b. Priddington, Oxon
Fanny Ball 47 Lady’s Maid b. Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Aida E. Morris 20 Cook b. Welsh Newton, Herefordshire
Henry Westrope 39 Butler b. High Wycombe, Bucks


Dulas Court Household 1911


John Charles T. Drake 76 Widower of independent means b. Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Gertrude Cecilia J. Drake 42 Daughter b. Topsham, Devon
Charles Horden 20 Servant b. Norwich, Norfolk
William Holt 17 Servant b. Arncote, Oxon
Alice Preece 29 Servant b. Burton, Salop
Sidney McMhen (?) 54 Servant b. Leicestershire
Edith Holt 21 Servant b. Arncot, Oscot
Kate Bartlett 18 Servant b. Great Bridge, Staffordshire
Edith Prosser 16 Servant b. Herefordshire
Elsie Hart 18 Servant Popes Hill, Gloucestershire