BOSBURY is an extensive parish and very picturesque village, distant about 4 miles N. of Ledbury, and 13 E. of Hereford; in Radlow hundred, Ledbury union, county court district, and petty sessional division, and Bosbury and Colwall polling district and electoral division of the county council. The population in 1871 was 1,005, in 1881, 989: inhabited houses, 223; families or separate occupiers, 242; area of parish, 4,734 acres ; annual rateable value, £7,097. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are lords of the manor, and Mrs. R. B. Mynors, J. Harford Pitt, Esq., of Temple court, Walter Pitt, Esq., of Canon Frome, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, are the principal landowners. The soil is a deep heavy clay, and produces excellent cider and hops. Bosbury was once a place of considerable importance. Its Saxon name was Bosanberig, or Bosas town. According to Leland, Bishop Athelstan died here in 1056. The Norman prelates also lived at Bosbury. It was the favourite residence of the great Bishop Cantilupe, St. Thomas of Hereford, and his friend and successor, Bishop Swinfield, died here in 1316. The parish is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford, and rural deanery of South Frome; living, a vicarage; value £400, with residence and 6½ acres of glebe; patron, the Lord Bishop of Hereford; vicar, the Rev. Samuel Bentley, M.A., of St. Catherines College, Cambridge, who was instituted in 1879, and is also rural dean of South Frome.
The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected in the twelfth century. It has undergone three restorations in 1851, in the Rev. J. Underwood’s incumbency; in 1859, under the Rev. Berkeley L. Scudamore-Stanhope; and was completed in 1871, under the Rev. J. E. Cheese. The total cost of restoration was about £3,100, nearly the whole of which was defrayed by voluntary subscriptions. The tower is a massive square structure containing six bells and a clock, and is detached from the church. There are seven instances of this in Herefordshire, the other six being Garway, Holmer, Ledbury, Pembridge, Richards Castle, and Yarpole. It was originally surmounted by a wooden spire. Entering the church by a Norman doorway, the interior is seen to consist of a long nave, divided from its side aisles by six pointed arches, resting on round pillars, with capitals, characteristic of the Transition period. The clerestory windows, the triple lights of the west end, and the very beautiful lancet windows of the side aisles, are of the same date (about 1180). An interesting fan tracery screen of oak divides the nave from the spacious chancel, which was entirely rebuilt by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at the last restoration, when an organ-chamber was built on the north side of the chancel for the reception of a splendid organ, presented to the parish by Mrs. Hope, sister of Mrs. Higgins, of Bosbury house, at whose cost, also, the chamber and warming apparatus were erected. The case is of pitch-pine, and the front double diapason pipes are richly coloured. Messrs. Speechly and Ingram, Camden works, London, were the builders. Encaustic tiles adorn the chancel door. There are two very curious and well-preserved sepulchral monuments on either side of the altar; one representing a recumbent figure of John Harford, with the date 1573; the other having figures of Richard Harford, son of the former, and his wife. The old pre-reformation open seats in the nave have been preserved. There are some fine specimens of ancient carving inserted in the pulpit. On the south side of the nave is the chantry of Sir Rowland Morton, a beautiful specimen of late Pointed architecture, temp. Henry VII. This chapel is embattled on the exterior, and is lighted by windows of the shape and tracery of the time when it was erected. Near this, is the oldest inscription in the church, painted on the wall in old characters, in memory of the father of Bishop Swinfield, who died in 1282, but the inscription is almost illegible. The font, near the west end of the church, deserves notice, being of large size, square, and supported on five short pillars, and is of thirteenth-century date. A still older one is preserved, forming a very rude round cavity of sandstone, which is presumed to be of Saxon origin. In the churchyard is a well-restored cross of red sandstone. The parish registers begin with the year 1558. There is a grammar school for boys, endowed by Sir Rowland Morton with lands yielding a rental of £108 per annum. There is also a national school for girls. The number of children under instruction at both schools is 127. The Wesleyan chapel at Stanley hill is a neat brick building, erected in 1863. The Primitive Methodists have a chapel at Swinmore. Among the objects of curiosity in this parish may be mentioned "the ancient oak-room at the Crown Inn, where the Harford family once resided, which is wainscoted round, and above the fireplace, under carved circular recesses of Jacobean date, are placed the arms and quarterings, duly blazoned, of the Harfords and their relatives. Singular enough, the oak wainscoting on one side of this room had been transferred to the church to make a reredos, but in the late alterations, being deemed inappropriate, it has been sent back to the place from whence it came. The Swinfield Lodge of Oddfellows hold their meetings in this room. Temple Court, the residence of John Harford Pitt, Esq., was formerly a preceptory of the Knights Templars, and afterwards of the Knights Hospitallers. There are interesting monumental slabs of each preserved in the church.
The gatehouse, and a room where the original ceiling of massive parallel oak beams are still entire, are the only remains of the Bishops palace, which was taken down about the year 1572. From a claim for dilapidations against the executors of Bishop Scory, in 1586, preserved in the British Museum, it appears that the Court hall was 80 feet long, 40 feet broad, and the height between the foundation and the wall-plate 20 feet. There was also a stage-hall 40 feet long and 20 feet high, kitchen and brewhouse. In this episcopal hall many most important matters were transacted. Here, on the feast of St. Gregory, 1278, Bishop Cantilupe challenged the judges who had been appointed by the Court of Rome, to decide upon the cause between the see of St. Asaph and that of Hereford, and appealed to the apostolic see. This he did in all due form, in the presence of many witnesses. First he read the appeal in Latin, but afterwards expounded it to them in French, and was careful to have it recorded that this was done in his hall at Bosbury, before dinner.
Bosbury House is the seat of Capt. Willoughby B. Mynors, J.P. It is a spacious red brick and stone mansion in the Italian style, with balustrades and portico; and contains a rare collection of valuable early-printed books, MSS., drawings, engravings, curiosities, and articles of virtu.
POSTAL REGULATIONS.Sarah Kendrick, Sub-Postmistress. Letters arrive by mail cart from Ledbury at 7.10 a.m.; despatched thereto by letter carrier at 4 and 5. 30 p.m. Letters can be registered. This is a money order office and savings bank. Telegraph office and post town, Ledbury.
Parish Church (Holy Trinity).Rev. Samuel Bentley, M.A., Vicar;
J. Harford Pitt, Esq, and Mr. Joseph Cummins, Churchwardens;
Charles Bettington, Parish Clerk.
Grammar and National School (Boys).Mr. John Knight Job, Master.
National School (girls).Miss M. A. Arrowsmith, Mistress.
Primitive Methodist Chapel.Ministers various.
Wesleyan Chapel, Stanley hill.Ministers various.
Assistant Overseer.Mr. John Knight Job.
|CARRIERS TO HEREFORD.|
Wed. & Sat.
Coach & Horses
CARRIERS TO LEDBURY.
| 5 0|
CARRIERS TO WORCESTER.
|Swan with Two Necks
The Old Peacock
| 6 30|
CARRIER TO MALVERN.
|Mrs. Cartwright||Mon. & Fri.||Red Lion||2 0|