The original Aramstone House dated back to the early 17th century, when it was owned by the Marrett family, then it passed to the Woodhouse family through marriage.  Francis Woodhouse rebuilt the house in around 1730 and it stood in gorgeous grounds close to the River Wye.  Outside features included an ice house;  a cold bath, glasshouses and a dovecote. Continue reading

Aylton Court, a large Georgian house built of brick, was originally owned by Miss Eliza Miles, of Clifton, Gloucestershire and in her final years, Firbeck Hall near Tickhill in Yorkshire. When she died she left the estate at Aylton to her cousin Philip William Skinner Miles. Over the years it was rented out to various tenants some of which are shown below, and recently it was up for sale as a large family house – good to see that it has not been split into flats or turned into a hotel. Continue reading

Thomas Harley, a man who had made a fortune supplying the British army, decided that he needed a house to reflect his wealth and standing; he first employed Capability Brown who chose the ideal location for what was to become Berrington Hall – one which would afford wonderful views across to the Black Mountains in Wales as well as swathes of Herefordshire countryside. Continue reading

The original building on the site of Bodenham Manor was pulled down when the Rev. Henry Arkwright was appointed as clergyman of Bodenham in 1842 by his uncle John Hungerford Arkwright who was the grandson of Sir Richard Arkwright of cotton spinning fame.
A new house, The Vicarage, was built in 1843/44 which belonged to the church, and Henry Arkwright with his fast growing family moved in in 1850 – he stayed there until he died in 1889. Continue reading

Herefordshire is rich with glorious castles, some of which admittedly are in ruins, but Bollitree Castle cannot be counted among their number as it is more of a house masquerading as a castle;   it never had anything to do with defence and was a mere folly which was added on to a Queen Anne mansion.  The stable block however has always been considered to be rather splendid, and is now Grade 11 listed. Continue reading

Brinsop Court was originally built in the 13th century, but of course has been much extended and renovated since then. It lies some six miles from Hereford in glorious Herefordshire countryside and has a rich history, which includes the “fact” that St. George killed his dragon at nearby Brinsop Church. Continue reading


Broadfield Court began life in the 13th century, and in the 14th century was owned by a monastic order. By the 16th century the house was privately owned and in 1770 the estate was settled on Robert Phillipps. Over the following years, the house was allowed to fall into disrepair until it was purchased by John H. Burchall who began renovations in the 19th century. Continue reading

Brockhampton Court near Fownhope in Herefordshire, is not to be confused with Brockhampton Estate which is located near Bromyard.

The original house, a rectory built in the mid eighteenth century and lying close to the Ross on Wye to Hereford road, was known as Upper Court and first was owned by the Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral before being sold to the Skyrme family whereupon it passed down through the family until it was again sold to William Stallard in 1833.
Continue reading

The Manor of Burton Court dates from around the 11th century, but the present house originated in the 14th century with rebuilds in the nineteenth century. Further work was carried out in 1912. The following photograph was kindly provided by Edward Simpson of Burton Court, which is enjoying a new lease of life as a hugely popular venue for weddings, as well as providing facilities for conferences etc. Continue reading

In the sixteenth century, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Manor of Nether Frome was purchased by Richard Harford of Bosbury, (later Sir Richard, described as a “Usurer” in parliament) and when he died, his widow Martha leased it to Michael Hopton from Ludlow whom she eventually married, and they built what was known then as the Strong House, a moated building, which event saw the beginning of some 300 years of Hopton ownership of the site. Michael Hopton himself died on 1st April 1668. Continue reading

The original Croft Castle is thought to have been built in the eleventh century by Bernard de Croft, a Norman Knight, who was succeeded by many eminent Crofts, including Hugh de Croft – murdered in 1317 by the Herefordshire Lacys whilst trying to negotiate peace in Ireland. Continue reading


Dormington Court dates from the early 17th century, and became much larger when  an extension was built in the early 18th century.

It is part timber frame and part brick, and originally boasted a superb stable block;   it is now a hotel and  many of the original farm buildings have been bulldozed and replaced with a housing estate. Continue reading

Eastnor Castle is quite simply – beautiful!   Constructed from sandstone quarried from the Forest of Dean, this magical building positively glows in the light of the rising or setting sun and enchants from every angle; it enjoys magnificent views of the surrounding countryside and the Malvern Hills, and still has a large herd of red deer in the park. Continue reading

Elton Hall was rebuilt in the mid 18th century, although it kept the bones of an earlier half timbered house, and Elton estate was in the occupation of Thomas Andrew Knight, who was an important agricultural and horticulture developer. At Elton he created a walled garden where he performed some of his many experiments with fruit trees etc. More about Thomas Andrew Knight can be found here at Downton Castle. Continue reading

Fownhope Court started life in the 17th century, with renovations and alterations in the 19th and 20th centuries. I believe that the Court was owned by Sir William Gregory in the mid 1600s, but it was later sold to the Lechmere family who remained there right through to the 1900s. Continue reading

Background – before Garnstone Castle was built.

In the mid 16th century the Garnstone estate was granted to trustees by James Tomkyns for his own use along with his wife Margery, and his descendants remained there until 1661.  At this time it became part of the settlement made upon Anne Tomkyns on her marriage to Roger Vaughan, and it was sold to Colonel Birch, a successful officer in Cromwell’s army.

Colonel Birch was originally a pack horse driver, travelling and trading his own goods, and he was so… Continue reading

Gatley Park along with the manor of Leinthall Starkes were originally owned by the Crown and the park itself goes back to the Middle Ages, but at the beginning of Elizabeth l reign they were given to one William Home; from him through the Croft family until they were conveyed in 1633 to Sir Sampson Eure, a President of the Coucil in the Marches. Continue reading

This is certainly not the biggest or most impressive of the old country houses in Herefordshire, but it does have a certain charm. Dating from the early 19th century, and lying a few miles south of Ross on Wye, it had a succession of owners until the present day where it has gone the way of many other such houses, and is now a hotel. Continue reading

Great Brampton House is a Regency Building on the Site of an older property, probably built for John Pye who sold it in 1825 to Charles Ballinger. In 1853 the house was acquired by the Murray Aynsley family who are thought to have made many of the alterations that leave the house in the basic form which we see today. Continue reading

Hall Court at Kynaston, Much Marcle is a handsome timber framed building, which has mostly been used as a farm house down the years. It is thought that the gardens and orchards were laid out by John Coke who built the house, and who was keen on kitchen gardening as well as exotic or little known plants. Continue reading

Originally King John owned the Harewood estate, and he gave it to the Knights Templar in the 11th century who constructed a chapel and house on the site which amounted to some 30 acres. Later, this became a preceptory of the Knights Templars, and afterwards of the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John Of Jerusalem. Continue reading

By far the most common reason for people coming before the Court was Larceny and there was a wide range of punishments recorded for this crime…………ranging from a few days to several months in gaol, sometimes with a whipping thrown in, or hard labour. Occasionally if it was a second offence, then the sentence was Transportation for a few years. Continue reading

Set in the lovely countryside on the edge of Much Marcle, Homme house in its original state was built of stone, but all that remains now of that building is the tower.  A devastating fire resulted in the house being rebuilt in the early 17th century, and it was further altered in the 19th century.  Today it is mainly red brick. Continue reading

This lovely manor house was once part of the Harley Estate and was used as a hunting lodge; It is also believed to have been lived in by the family of Florence Nightingale, and also Lord Byron who it was believed locally worked on “Childe Harold” here, although to date I can find no concrete proof of this and indeed a lady from “Byronmania” has contacted me saying that it is almost impossible for this to be true.  Lord Byron wrote the piece before he leased Kinsham Court.  She did concede that he could have written other poetry whilst at Kinsham.


Continue reading

Moccas Court was built in the early eighteenth century, and is a very fine, very large brick built mansion. Over the centuries, the Cornewall family retained ownership, but now it has gone the way of so many country houses that are so expensive to maintain and it is used variously as a wedding location; B & B, and party venue. Continue reading

The original 17th century Moreton Court was occupied by John Keysall, a banker of London and high sheriff of Herefordshire in 1794, then from 1816 by William Chute Gwinnett who had served as High Sheriff of the county in 1823, and found fame at Moreton Court as an agriculturist and for his splendid herd of Hereford cattle. Continue reading

Pembridge Castle, originally called Newland Castle sits on the Welsh border and was thought by some to have been built by Matilda de Valery, wife of William Braose, in the late 12th century or early 13th. However, others say that the castle was built by Ralph de Pembridge in 1135. Whatever the truth, the Pembridge family were in residence in 1208 and it was probably at this time that the name changed from Newlands to Pembridge. Continue reading

Pencraig Court is a fairly large house lying between Ross on Wye and Monmouth, with wonderful views over the River Wye, and beautiful grounds; although it is presently being used as a hotel, it hasn’t been altered so drastically that it could not be turned back into a private residence. Continue reading


Penrhos Court at Lyonshall is about a mile from Kington and dates from the 15th century.  Additions to the original farmhouse were made in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was much restored in later centuries.

There is a glorious banqueting hall with a minstrels gallery and crux beams. Continue reading

The original Rotherwas House was built of timber, with the final house being built in 1730 by Charles Bodenham– it was generally described as one of the finest and oldest seats in the whole country, and had the most glorious Elizabethan, Jacobean and Queen Anne panelling which had been transferred from the former house. Continue reading

Shobdon Court was built in the early 18th century when it was bought from Robert Chaplin by Sir James Bateman, and was similar in design to Clarendon House in London; it was hugely improved in the mid 1800s, and then further altered towards the end of the 19th century. Continue reading

The Grange dates back to the 15th century although not in its present form, and was owned by James Halfhide (or Hawfield) before being passed to Anthony Hawfield, Richard Hawfield and John Hawfield successively. More Hawfields followed, but in 1749 Richard Hardwicke owned the Grange and by 1802 the house was tenanted to Robert Drew who eventually bought it.
Robert Drew remained on the estate until 1818. Continue reading

Upper Hall sits out of sight on the hillside above Ledbury nestling beneath Dog Wood, and has origins which go back to the early thirteenth century, undergoing a few name changes over time, originally being known as Aula Superior, then Over Court, Over Hall and finally Upper Hall. Continue reading

History of Wilton Castle

Set Close to the River Wye in Wilton village near Ross on Wye, Wilton Castle itself dates back to the 12th century, whilst the adjoining manor house was built in the 15th century and was altered throughout the Norman, Tudor, Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian periods. Continue reading

Wormsley Grange was built in around the mid 18th century, and is best known for being the birthplace of Richard Payne Knight, the landscape theorist, and his brother Thomas Andrew Knight the renowned horticulturist who planted his hugely successful experimental fruit orchards in the grounds. Continue reading

Related Pages