The tiny village of Turnastone has remained remarkably unchanged and unspoilt over the centuries, although some beautiful barns are now being converted into houses, and the old cottages have been modernised.
It lies nestled in the Golden Valley with the Black Mountains as a backdrop, and is one of the smallest villages in Herefordshire; it boasts just 12 houses and 3 farms, with a total population of around 25. Many of the farms were tenanted from around 1900, by Welsh families from just over the border, but most of the workers were from Herefordshire.
In the early 19th century, the whole parish was owned by just two families – The Robinsons and the Woods, who held the estates of Poston and Whitehouse respectively. Henry Herbert Wood was notable for his kindly nature and generosity, and when he inherited the estate he bought back Dolward Farm which had been sold 60 years earlier and which was tenanted by Thomas Powell. Thomas died during the flu epidemic of 1918 leaving behind his wife Clara and eleven children all under 14. Henry Herbert Wood not only offered to sell Clara the farm in order to secure her family’s future, but when she was unable to raise enough money to do so he gave her the money himself.
The rectory was rebuilt in 1837, transforming it from a mere mud cottage to a decent house!
The Legend of Turnastone
There is a legend which many have heard (but none can prove!) that there were two sisters who were each set on building a church. One said “I vow my church shall be on this side of the river”, and the other replied “I’ll build mine on the other side before you can turn a stone”. Thus the villages Vowchurch and Turnastone were born!
Churches of Turnastone
- St. Mary Magdalene Church - Turnastone
Inside this simple church the King James Bible of 1611 is still in regular use.Read More >