Christmas Day and Fire

1863 – Christmas Day in Eastnor Church

The church was decorated beautifully with holly, ivy, laurel and other evergreens, along with more than 40 candles which were set about the church in metal sconces.

A wonderful decorated scroll was inscribed with black and red letters on a white background “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given”

The sermon was well received.

1877 – Flower Show at Eastnor is a Washout

Ledbury Horticultural Society held their annual show, after a break of a couple of years, in the grounds of Eastnor Castle, and the weather was not looking good on the eve of the show.  This was nothing however to what happened on the day.

The day began with heavy rain clouds covering the sky, and people were only encouraged to continue with their preparations by the occasional glimpse of sun.

Early in the afternoon a heavy shower was a prelude of things to come – in the shape of terrific thunderstorms with torrential rain, which managed to get through the tents.

Nothing daunted, visitors flooded to the show, and were rewarded by some late sun.

Classes in the revamped show included those for nurserymen and gentlemen’s gardeners but there were few takers which was disappointing;  furthermore, their exhibits were rather below standard.

It was the cottagers who rather swept the board with their produce.

1891 – Fire at Eastnor Castle

A fire broke out at Eastnor Castle just after Christmas;  it started in the library and two valuable pieces of tapestry representing summer and winter were badly damaged before the flames could be put out.

The tapestry formed part of a set of four pieces which came from Fontainebleu, and were worked during the time of Louis XV.

A large company of people were being entertained when the fire was discovered.

1895 – Coming of Age of Lady Henry Somerset’s Son

Eastnor rejoiced in the coming of age of Mr. H.C. Somers Somerset, only son of Lady Henry Somerset, the owner of Eastnor Castle.

Lady Somerset presided at a dinner for the tenantry in the great hall, and after the meal Mr. W. Coleman, Estate Agent, presented Mr. Somers Somerset with a set of six silver gilt bowls, and on behalf of the cottagers and employees on the Eastnor estate, with a silver inkstand and illuminated address signed by 125 subscribers.

Mr. Somerset was hugely appreciative of the gifts and assured the company of his intention to carry on the traditions of his mother’s family.

Lady Somerset also made a speech and said that she had spent around £30,000 on the Herefordshire and Worcestershire estates, and £60,000 on repairs.  Because of this, she had had to tighten her belt somewhat in order to remain at Eastnor Castle.

Some three years later, the Hon H.C. Somers Somerset was thrown from his horse near the Castle, and sustained serious head injuries.

See also Eastnor Castle

1898 – New Fountain on Eastnor Village Green

Lady Henry Somerset presented a fountain to Eastnor village, and she and Arthur Somers Cocks, heir to the Eastnor Estate, along with Verena Somers Cocks, walked to the site of the fountain on the green for the official opening.

The Rev. H.S. Sanders gave the address, and said that the villagers were now able to drink the water from the Malvern Hills – reputed to be the best in the UK.

The fountain standing in the centre of the green was on four huge oak pillars, with three entrances and an ornate covering.  On the wall over the well were two pottery panels,modelled by Lady Henry Somerset, depicting Christ and the woman of Samaria.

Alongside the well, there was provided a drinking trough for cattle and horses, and two smaller ones for dogs.