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.