Of highway robbery and damaged bridges
1850 – Highway Robbery at Llangua
A land agent by the name of W.H. Apperley was on his way back to Hereford, alone in his gig, when at Llangua he was stopped by three men on a part of the road just above the river.
Mr. Apperley saw the men and guessed their intentions so began to whip his horse, and continued to do so even when one of the men grabbed hold of the reins, with the result that the gig ended up against the hedge on the river side of the road.
The other two men joined the first, and Mr. Apperley realised that he was outnumbered, so jumped from the gig over a fence above the river, and immediately afterwards he heard the horse and gig roll over behind him. He ran for help, and found three men in a nearby cottage who immediately ran back with him……they found the horse and gig near the river’s edge, with the driving box broken open. As the box only contained papers, they had been thrown down, as was the lamp box; the only thing they took away was a letter case in which were some tracings of maps, land valuations, a rent book and six French coins! All these things were of course worthless to the robbers, and were later found strewn in a field half a mile away.
Thankfully the horse was absolutely fine, as was the gig and harness
Mr. Apperley sent a message to Abergavenny police then carried on to Hereford, ruing the fact that on the only occasion he neglected to take his six barrel pistol with him, he should be accosted.
The description of the robbers
One had on a long dark coat down to his heels; black hat; sandy hair and whiskers, and was about 5 foot 10 inches.
Another was short and stout, and looked like a navigator, dressed in blue striped frock and cap, and was around 5 foot 7 inches.
The third man was roughly the same build with the appearance of a collier, and had on a long flannel frock.
1856 – Flooding damages Llangua Bridge
After heavy rains, floods removed part of Llangua Bridge on the Monmouthshire side of the river, and carried away the pitching; they also made a hole seven feet deep under the arch on the Herefordshire side of the river.
A few months later it was stated that the Herefordshire side of the bridge had been repaired, but the the rest of the bridge on the Monmouthshire side was in a precarious state. The fear was that unless repairs were promptly carried out, the bridge would be totally swept away with the next flood, causing huge unnecessary expense to Herefordshire.
Monmouthshire claimed that the Herefordshire side was in nearly as bad condition as their side, and they wanted both counties to join forces in building a whole new bridge. The argument raged, with Herefordshire saying that their side was in perfectly good order thank you very much.
Eventually, Monmouthshire caved in and agreed to repair their side of the existing bridge.