A Norman castle built by the Kynardersley family, and which now has morphed into an Elizabethan manor.

Previous inhabitants include the exceedingly wealthy Richard de la Bere, son of Sir Kynard de la Bere, who incredibly fathered 21 children (five by his first wife Anne and 16 by his second wife Elizabeth) and who fought at the Battle of Crecy in 1346; the Vaughan family in the 16th century.

Roger Vaughan

In the sixteenth century Roger Vaughan remodelled the castle, changing it to a rectangular building with a large moat, and after his death in 1607 the castle passed to his son John. Some ten years later John died, leaving the castle to his own son Boynham but John’s widow sold the castle to Francis Smallman, MP for Leominster, in 1620.

Francis Smallman

Francis Smallman whose beautiful and rather impressivement monument stands in Kinnersley Church. Francis was a magistrate, and like most of the castle owners, was an MP – in this case, for Leominster. Francis died in 1633 at the castle.

There were Morgans and Parkinsons in subsequent years – John Parkinson being notable for selling off some very valuable goods in 1857 and I would dearly love to know the story behind the sale.   These included:

a very large collection of sheffield  carpenter or cabinet maker’s tools, some of which were brand new;  a quantity of ivory, ebony, box, king and rosewood and an elaborately furnished work bench.  Anvils, strong iron vice, gun case;  pistols with powder and flasks.  Twelve first class fishing rods as new by Copham, flies and feathers.

It almost seems that he was a man who took up hobbies on a whim and then grew bored!    Perhaps though there was another more tragic reason.

Robert Lechmere Guppy

Robert John Lechmere Guppy, whose parents had moved to Trinidad, was raised at the castle by his grandfather Richard Parkinson. He became alarmed at the prospect of inheriting the castle, and as soon as he reached 18 he made a swift exit and traveled East, eventually to become shipwrecked on the north coast of New Zealand where he settled and studied the local flora and fauna………he identified and named the Guppy fish after himself.

Captain Parry

T. Macdonald Parry was married to Emily Augusta Strover, and whilst at Kinnersley Castle they had two sons, Thomas and Sidney, to add to the two daughters that they already had, Mary and Emily.

In 1866 Captain Parry relinquished ownership of Kinnersley Castle Estate, and upon doing so was given a claret jug by his tenants and others who held him in great esteem.  The jug was supplied by Mr. Bezant of Widemarsh Street, Hereford.

He was a man of great liberality, and adored sport which he did a great deal to promote.

On the day of the presentation of the jug, there was a severe frost which rather scuppered the plans for some hare coursing and also put off many of his friends from turning up.

At lunch time those present went to the Belle Vue Inn where the landlord provided a good lunch to which some 25 gentlemen “did ample justice”.



April 1940, the castle was put up for sale described as:
Charming and very liveable genuine Elizabethan residence – Halls, 4 reception, 10 principal and 6 servants bedrooms, completely modernised with electric light and central heating. 4 cottages, beautiful gardens and park about 99 acres. 5 mixed and sporting farms, 6 smallholdings. 85 acres of well timbered sporting woodlands containing some fine oak, ash and larch.

A sale was agreed in August 1940, but just a few months later in January of the following year it was sold on yet again.

In 1957 it was once again advertised for sale:

“Situate about midway between the towns of Hereford and Leominster, with capital Mansion, park, sundry farms and accommodation land, the whole comprising about 1,100 acres and producing a net rental of £1,500 per annum.

At one point, Arthur Ronald Nall Cain owned the Castle, he was 2nd Baron Brocket, and he sold the castle on in 1988.

1861 Kinnersley Castle Household

Thomas Reaveley 31 Justice of the Peace b. Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland
Johanna M.W. Reaveley 28 Wife b. Germany
Thomas G.W. Reaveley 8 Son b. Germany
Mimie (?) Reaveley 9 Daughter b. Germany
Mary J.C. Reaveley 10 mths Daughter b. Kinnersley, Herefordshire
Louisa Reaveley 22 Sister b. Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland
John Hooper 35 Butler b. Porlock, Somerset
Sarah Hooper 25 Cook b. Holme Lacy, Herefordshire
Josephine L. Lyon 23 Lady’s Maid b. France
Hannah Calder 18 Scullery Maid b. Leominster, Herefordshire
Eliza Ann Turner 33 Nurse b. London
Ellen Gilbert 24 Housemaid b. Clodock, Herefordshire
Martha J. Robinson 19 Governess b. Oxford
Ann Godsell 23 Kitchenmaid b. Weobley, Herefordshire


1871 – Kinnersley Castle Household


Thomas Reavely 41 Landowner, Justice of the Peace b. Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland
Johanna W.M. Reavely 38 Wife b. Germany
Nirma (?) Reavely 19 Daughter b. Germany
Thomas R. Reavely 18 Son b. Germany
Mary J.C. Reavely 10 Daughter b. Kinnersley, Herefordshire
Alice Seller 26 Governess b. Chester
David ? 30 Butler b. Norfolk
Alice Williams 20 Cook b. Eardisley, Herefordshire
Anna Hofschnidon 44 Lady’s Maid b. Germany
Mary Welland 19 Housemaid b. Winforton, Herefordshire
Arthur Francis 17 Footman b. Eardisley, Herefordshire

1891 – Kinnersley Castle Household

Thomas Reaveley 61 Living on own Means b. Northumberland
Johanna M.W. Reaveley 58 wife b. Germany
George H. Bodley 17 Grandson b. London
Thomas Heward 31 Servant b. Brimfield, Herefordshire
Sarah Bamfrey 57 Housemaid b. Wales
Annie Price 20 Cook b. Hereford
Mary Pugh 82 Housekeeper b. Kinnersley, Herefordshire

1921- Kinnersley Castle Household

Margaret Ann Jellis b. Hereford 1879 Wife
Edith Mary Arrowsmith b. Mansel Lacey, Herefordshire 1903 Servant