The Manor of Stoke Edith was owned by Sir Henry Lingen 1612-1662, a Royalist Cavalier.

The history of Stoke Edith starts with Paul Foley the Speaker, a man of great integrity, who died in 1699 at the age of 54;  he was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas, Member for Weobley Herefordshire – these two were responsible for building the mansion known at the time as Stoke Court.  Thomas was an accomplished architect, and it is thought that he may have drawn up some of  the plans himself, under the guidance of Sir Christopher Wren.


Thomas represented Hereford from 1702 to 1715, and was Commissioner of Trade and Plantations  during the reign of Queen Anne.  When he died in 1737, his son Thomas Foley took over Stoke Edith;  he was member for the city of Hereford in 1734 and for the county from 1741 to 1744.  When he also inherited the estate of his cousin Thomas Lord Foley he was raised to the peerage as Baron Foley of Kidderminster.His second son, the Hon Edward Foley, MP for Worcestershire inherited Stoke Edith and at his death in 1803 the estate went to his eldest son, Edward Foley MP for Herefordshire.  Edward married Lady Emily Graham.




Paul Foley 1645 – 1699

Paul Foley was a younger son of Thomas Foley,

Paul Foley  took over Stoke Edith House in 1695 and set about rebuilding it, – it was more or less finished by the late 17th century.  One of the leading landscape gardeners, George London, was employed to sort out the grounds and he planted a wonderful Elm avenue as well as a coniferous walk.  His terraced gardens at Stoke Edith were hugely admired nationwide, and he managed to connect the house and gardens to the surrounding countryside with his wonderful walks.

He was an MP for Hereford and in 1695 was elected Speaker in the House of Commons.


Paul Foley died of Gangrene in 1699 and his son Thomas took over the estate as well as the Hereford seat.


Stoke Edith Manor - credit to







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 Lady Emily Foley

Lady Emily Graham was born 23rd June 1805, and on 16th August 1832 married Edward Thomas Foley.  Edward died in 1846 and as they had no children he left all his estates to Emily who wholeheartedly took on the duties of a country landowner.  She made sure that all the estate cottages were kept in good order and that they were big enough for the workers who lived in them;  she kept the rents low.  Elementary schools were maintained on the estate, and she was patroness of several almshouses in different parts of the country.  She was a devout attendant at her local church and a staunch Conservative.  She kept Stoke Edith Court in true traditional manner, no mean feat given its vast size, and adorned the walls with many valuable paintings.

Lady Emily Foley owned a great deal of the land around Malvern.  Malvern was known for its curative waters from 1842,  and it was also becoming the “in” place to live, with building land at a premium.  Lady Emily was open to selling some of her land, but only on condition that each house built had to include an acre of land on which many trees must be planted.  To this day the result of this can be seen throughout Malvern.

Clearly Lady Emily Foley was passionate about the countryside, and when the railway line was planned from Malvern to Hereford across land owned by herself, she insisted that cuttings be excavated so that the ugly trains could not be seen.   She decided to have a station built at Stoke Edith, purely for the use of her family and guests, and trains were obliged to stop there whenever she required them to.

She was not very keen on the tunnels running from Ledbury through to Malvern, and would use her coach and horses if going in that direction – but she had a lovely waiting room built for her own use at Malvern, so that whilst waiting for the ongoing train to London she did not have to mix with the riff raff!  This room became Lady Foley’s Tea Room.

Lady Emily was known as “the lady paramount of Herefordshire” and “the sovereign patroness” of public institutions in the county.  She was certainly greatly admired and well respected by all who knew her

She died at Stoke Edith in 1900 after a very short illness.

She was succeeded on her death by Paul H. Foley


The impressive house was variously known as Stoke House;  Stoke Edith Manor and Stoke Park.



Stoke House – 1841

Rebecca Porter b. 1806
Ann Chadwick b. 1811
Eliza Godsall b. Herefordshire 1816
Ann Pulley b. 1821
Maryanne Vaughan b. Herefordshire 1821
James Price b. Herefordshire 1806

Stoke House – 1851

Elizabeth M. Gage b. Sussex 1816 Honourable Annuitant, Visitor
Catherine Atwood b. Shropshire 1773 Gentlewoman Annuitant
Rebecca Porter b. Ashby Parva, Leicestershire 1806 Housekeeper
Mary Baldock b. Stanstead, Hertfordshire 1805 Cook
Caroline Thompson b. St. Nicholas, Herefordshire 1821 Laundry Maid
Katherine Bannister b. Herefordshire 1826 Kitchen Maid
Ann Chadwick b. Dymock, Gloucestershire 1811 Housemaid
Mary Morley b. Callow, Herefordshire 1816 Housemaid
Sophia Phillips b. St. Helens, Worcestershire 1828 Housemaid
Eliza Hart b. Yarkhill, Herefordshire 1825 Stillroom Maid
Ann Haines b. Byford, Herefordshire 1831 Scullery Maid
Adah Rowland b. Merionethshire 1819 Visitor’s Maid
Martha Parker b. Dormington, Herefordshire 1832 Visitor’s Maid
Thomas Hart b. Wilden, Bedfordshire 1808 Under Butler
Henry Hore b. Wrotham, Kent 1823 Footman
Hesther Thomas b. Glasbury, Radnorshire 1788 Charwoman
William Spachley b. Leckford, Hampshire 1827 Postillion
William Bevan b. Stretton Grandison, Herefordshire 1835 Postillion
James Preece b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1828 Messenger etc.
Thomas Cooper b. Petworth, Sussex 1793 Visitor’s Groom


Stoke  House – 1861


James Graham b. London, Middlesex 1848 Marquis, Nephew
Ronald Graham b. London, Middlesex 1853 Lord, Nephew
Alma Graham b. Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland 1855 Lady, Niece
William M. Graham b. London, Middlesex 1807 Lord, Brother
Catherine Lofters b. Ireland 1829 Lady, Cousin
Louisa Klohjs b. Brussels 1824 Governess
Frederick Stangel (?) b. Germany 1829 Tutor
William Bowen b. Streetly, Nottinghamshire 1827 Groom of the chambers
Thomas Pearce b. Birch, Herefordshire 1832 Coachman
John Pearce b. London, Middlesex 1841 Second Coachman
Richard Bushnell b. London, Middlesex 1843 Postillion
Robert Morris b. Rhayader, Wales 1820 Stableman
Robert Boardman b. Norfolk, 1840 Groom
Martha Croxford b. St. Giles, Wiltshire 1821 Housekeeper
Margaret Lycott b. Weston on Trent, Staffordshire 1811 Ladies Maid
Ann Lustin b. West Burton, Oxfordshire Stillroom Maid
Mary Dykes b. Clyro, Radnorshire, Wales 1843 Under Stillroom Maid
Edwin Hoad b. Winchelsea, Sussex 1819 Valet
William Webster b. London, Middlesex 1829 Under Butler
Elizabeth Read b. Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland 1804 Laundry Maid
Sophia Davies b. Edwyn Ralph, Herefordshire 1840 Laundry Maid
Eliza Moore b. Dunmore, Essex 1837 Cook
Eliza Evans b. Rhayader,  Radnorshire, Wales 1839 Kitchen Maid
Maria Hill b. Cheltenham Gloucestershire, 1844 Kitchen Maid
Hannah Cound (?) b. Shropshire 1828 Housemaid
Rose Smith b. Montgomeryshire, Wales 1839 Housemaid
Ann Dutton b. Shotton, Herefordshire 1841 Housemaid
Thomas Evans b. Tarrington, Herefordshire 1838 Assistant
Magdalene Fuller b. Germany 1824 Ladies Maid
Louisa Schrader 1832 Ladies Maid
Emma Stone b. Bristol, Gloucestershire 1809 Nurse
William Wyatt b. Uffington, Berkshire 1835 Footman
Thomas Hayes b. Lincolnshire 1828 Valet
Ann Weaver b. Staunton on Wye, Herefordshire 1790 Charwoman


Now one of those name changes:

Stoke Edith Park  – 1901

Henry George Huntley b. Wiltshire 1858 Butler
Ernest Dale b. Cheshire 1879 Footman
Frederick David Barnett b. Herefordshire 1874 Coachman
Thomas Henry Barton b. Swansea, Glamorganshire, Wales 1883 Hall Boy
Charles Alfred Parotow b. Moseley, Worcestershire 1879 Professional Cricketer
Mary Allen b. Bryanston, Dorset 1833 Housekeeper
Kate Fuller b. Suffolk, 1875 Cook
Esther Elizabeth Lingen b. Bodenham, Herefordshire 1881 Kitchenmaid
Sarah Derestone b. Shropshire 1884 Kitchenmaid
Alice Mary Bishop b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1864 Housemaid
Kate Williams b. Lower Oddington, Gloucestershire 1875 Housemaid
Louisa Elizabeth Vernall b. Cardiff, Glamorganshire 1881 Housemaid

Stoke Park – 1911

Paul Robert Foley b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1911 Son
Alice Bishop b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1864 Housekeeper and head servant
Jane Joiner b. Kent 1866 Nurse
Annie Vaughan b. Glasbury, Brecon, Wales 1885 Housemaid
Ethel Lees b. Cheshire 1888 Housemaid
Nellie Owen b. Northampton 1891 Kitchenmaid
Barbara Ravenhill b. Glosters 1893 Housemaid
Arthur James Benbow b. Shropshire 1883 Footman
Henry King b. Worcester 1891 Footman
Walter George Henry Knight b. Dawlish, Devon 1890 Domestic Oddman

Stoke Park – 1921

Paul Henry Foley b. London 1857
Dora Foley b. London 1882 Wife
Mary Hussey b. London 1864 Visitor
George Loveday b. Oxfordshire Servant
Herbert George Johns b. Ireland Servant
Alice Bishop b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1863 Servant
Eleanor Maud Bennett b. Tettenhall, Staffordshire 1897 Servant
Jennie Sophia Dakin b. Staffordshire 1884 Servant
Mabel Louisa Lamputt b. Hereford 1895 Servant
Martha Jane Owens b. Radnorshire, Wales 1901 Servant
Alice Hodgkinson b. Chesham, Buckinghamshire 1880 Servant
Florence Weale b. Bishops Castle, Shropshire 1903 Servant
Ellen Weale b. Bishops Castle, Shropshire 1907 Servant
Annie Williams b. Stretton, Cheshire 1880 Servant
Emily Elsie Martin b. Buckingham, Buckinghamshire 1881 Servant

The manor was destroyed by fire in 1927,  despite the efforts of Paul Henry Foley, who although in poor health orchestrated the work of his own fire brigade which desperately tried to contain the fire.  Neighbouring fire brigades came to help, at which point Paul Foley collapsed and had to leave the scene.  Although he and others had managed to rescue many items of valuable furniture, china and paintings, the building itself was beyond help and eventually only some of the walls remained.


Fortunately those who were inside the building at the time managed to escape, some having hair raising experiences – Miss Windsor, a Maid, found herself cut off by a burning staircase so climbed on to the roof which was being engulfed by flames.   Paul Foley ordered the men from the fire brigade to concentrate their efforts on saving her and they did by way of a life line just before the roof caved in.    The Housekeeper, Mrs. Bishop, had to grope blindly through the smoke and flames before getting to safety.

Paul Foley seemed to recover, and was well enough to visit London  in 1928 but once there he suddenly died.  He was 71.

The lovely entrance gates and lodge are still intact and currently the grounds are extensively used for shooting.