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"SHOBDON, a parish in the hundred of STRETFORD, county of HEREFORD, 5 miles (E. S. E.) from Presteigne, containing 536 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Hereford, rated in the king's books at £5. 7. 11., and in the patronage of William Hanbury, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, is the burial-place of the Bateman family; it was partially rebuilt, in 1757, by John Viscount Bateman. A court leet is annually held here. Two schools, one for boys, the other for girls, are supported by Mr. and Mrs. Hanbury. Near the church is a mount, called Castle Hill, encompassed with a moat supposed to be the remains of a Roman, or Danish, fortification." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England  (1831) ©Mel Lockie]



  • Pfuell, Ivor - A History of Shobdon. Published by Ivor Pfuell, 1994. ISBN 0-95247900-1
    This book, published by the author himself, documents Shobdon's history from - literally - its very beginnings in geological time through to its heyday during WWII when "the War came to Shobdon" in the form of an RAF school for glider pilots. The BATEMAN family, beginning with Sir James, who acquired the manor of Shobdon in 1705 feature prominently in the history through to the beginning of the 20th century, and the book includes excerpts from letters from Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough to her grandaughter Anne SPENCER who had married Sir James's son, William BATEMAN . In contrast, quotes from an account book of the blacksmith at Shobdon Court, James FULLER (July 1823 to February 1824) illustrate the more prosaic aspects of life, with the author commenting how much the blacksmith's business was dominated by the horse.

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  • Ivor Pfuell, in his book A History of Shobdon [q.v. above], refers to items costed in the Blacksmith's Accounts. These include mending various items such as "two hip straps, traces and a pin for a wagon, irons for a timber carriage, a cartwheel, a pair of body homes, a wagon, dunghook, a pair of harrows, a swarder, a stumping iron, wagon shafts, a stall-gate, a mullin bridle, a turnip hoe, and two spreaders.", and making new items such as "horse fetters, a timber chain... 4 clewts and a nail for a wagon, an iron and cash saddle, spikes for a bolstor... pig rings, a plate and 4 rivets for cart timbers, a new cattle chain and a new elbow strap for a cart"... and of course horse shoes which were charged at different prices, so possibly of varying sizes and quality.
    [Ed: Included as an illustration of relative importance - somehow I don't think accounts featuring piston rings, brake pads, 4 new radials and a radiator hose would hold quite the same fascination!]