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Ledbury

"LEDBURY, a parish in the hundred of RADLOW, county of HEREFORD, comprising the market-town of Ledbury, and the township of Parkhold, and containing 3476 inhabitants, of which number, 3421 are in the town of Ledbury, 15 miles (E. by S.) from Hereford, and 120 (W.N.W.) from London. This place derives its name from the Leden, which intersects the parish from north to south. The town, which stands at the eastern angle of the county, and at the southern extremity of the Malvern hills, is situated on a declivity, and consists of three principal streets,  ... The manufacture of silk and broad cloth was carried on here to a considerable extent during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., but at present the principal business consists in the manufacture of ropes, lines, and sacking; and there are also malt-houses and tan-yards. Hops are cultivated, and cider and perry made, in the neighbourhood, and, in productive seasons, a great quantity of the former liquor is sent to all parts of the kingdom. There are some quarries of excellent limestone, and others of grey marble. The Hereford and Gloucester canal, projected some years since, extends only from Gloucester to this town at present, having been left unfinished. The market is on Tuesday, for poultry, butter, and pedlary; and fairs are held on the Monday after February 1st, Monday before Easter, May 12th, June 22nd, October 2nd, and the Monday before December 21st, for cattle, pigs, &c.  ... The parish is divided into five parts, the borough, Wall Hills, Ledon and Hafneld, Wellington, and Mitchell and Netherton; the last four of these form the Foreign of the manor, for which courts leet and baron are held annually, when the constables for the town are chosen: the borough is called the Denizen, and has likewise a court leet and baron annually.  ... . The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Hereford, rated in the king's books at £14.12. 6.: the rectory is divided into the two portions of Overhall and Netherhall: the Bishop of Hereford appoints the portionists, who present to the vicarage alternately. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a spacious and handsome structure,  ...  The Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists have each a place of worship. There are two endowed schools,  ...  [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England  (1831) ©Mel Lockie]

Bibliography

  • Pinches, S. - Ledbury: People and Parish before the Reformation. Chichester, Phlllimore, 2010.
    • ISBN: 9781860776144

     

  • Pinches, S. - Ledbury: A Market Town and its Tudor Heritage. Chichester, Phillimore, 2009.
    • ISBN 978-1-86077-598-7

     

  • Eisel, John and Shoesmith, Ron - The Pubs of Bromyard, Ledbury & East Herefordshire. Logaston Press, 2003.
    • ISBN 1-873827-63-6

    An entertaining book. Almost every other building in Ledbury seems to have been a public house at some time in the past!

     

  • Hillaby, Joe - Ledbury, a Medieval Borough. Published by Ledbury and District Society Trust/Logaston Press, 1997 (2nd Ed.)
    • ISBN 1 873827 05 9
    The definitive history of Ledbury, beginning from its origins in the 8th century following the foundation of the diocese of Hereford in 690 and its choice as the site for a minster church arising from its importance as a crossing place of major east-west and north-south routes. This book contains numerous maps, tables, photographs and lists of names and is an absolute MUST for anyone researching family origins in Ledbury.

     

  • Postle, David - A Glimpse of Old Ledbury. Published by Amber Graphics, Ledbury. November 1988.
    • ISBN 0 9510684 2 3
    Quoting from inside its front cover: "Ledbury must be one of the most attractive towns in the country, largely unspoilt with its cobbled street to the church, and a seventeenth-century market house on stilts. A visitor from the past would find relatively few changes in the buildings, but he would notice the influence of the motor car...the streets are full of cars and lorries, either parked or moving, and this does tend to obscure the beauty of the town. It is difficult at times to appreciate the buildings below floor level!"

     

    David Postle has selected some beautiful photographs of Ledbury and the surrounding villages, concentrating on the first twenty years of the 20th century, before the advent of the motor car, and together with the accompanying text they give a fascinating insight into people, buildings and events of the time - "more than just a book of photographs - it is a glimpse into a way of life that few people are able to remember."

    NB: This book may be out of print, but Ledbury Library has copies so it should be available by Inter-Library Loan (ILL).

 

Biography

  • Ledbury has been home for three famous poets, John MASEFIELD, William LANGLAND, and Elizabeth BARRETT-BROWING. Elizabeth was born in 1806 at Coxhoe Hall in Durham, and in 1809 her family moved to live at Hope End, just north of Ledbury. It was here where Elizabeth started writing her poetry, although she never returned after the family left in 1832, saying that to do so 'would be like seeking to bring together a plucked flower and its broken stalk'.

 

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Ledbury area or see them printed on a map.

Church Records

  • The final page of the Ledbury general register 1686-1744 has a list of Ledbury Births 1696-1706 - "all persons born in the parish of Ledbury and not christened"", which appears to be the result of a single census carried out in about 1706, perhaps recording non-conformists.

 

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Ledbury which are provided by:

Gazetteers

 

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Ledbury has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Ledbury to another place.

Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SO700370 (Lat/Lon: 52.030554, -2.438717), Ledbury which are provided by: