Colwall (St. James)

COLWALL (St. James), a parish, in the union of Ledbury, hundred of Radlow, county of Hereford, 3½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Ledbury; containing 940 inhabitants. This parish is supposed to have derived its name from Collis Vallum, "a fortified hill," which is descriptive of the situation of the place. The Herefordshire beacon, an ancient encampment on one of the highest of the Malvern hills, and the lines of the circumvallation of which are still very distinct, is thought to have been formed by the Britons to repel the Romans; and some antiquaries are of opinion that here Caractacus was taken prisoner. Near the place a coronet of gold was discovered in 1650, said by some to have belonged to a British prince; it was sold for a very large sum. The parish is traversed by the two roads from Malvern to Ledbury, the one through Malvern-Wells, and the other through the Wyche; it comprises 3458a. 3r. 26p. Limestone is quarried, which, as well as other strata, contains fossil remains; and common stone is quarried for roads and buildings. From forty to fifty people are employed in glove-making. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 6. 8., and in the gift of the Bishop of Hereford: the tithes have been commuted for £480; there is an excellent glebe-house, and the glebe contains 61 acres. The church is an ancient structure with a handsome tower, and contains portions in the early and decorated English styles. There is a place of worship for Plymouth Brethren; also a free grammar school, founded in 1612 by Humphry Walwyn, and under the patronage of the Grocers' Company.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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