Eastnor (St. John the Baptist)

EASTNOR (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Ledbury, hundred of Radlow, county of Hereford, 2¼ miles (S. E. by E.) from Ledbury; containing 500 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the borders of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, the former bounding it on the east and the latter on the south; it is intersected by the road from Cheltenham to Hereford, and comprises 3185a. 1r. 3p., of which 776 acres are waste. The arable, pasture, and wood, are in nearly equal portions; and the surface is strikingly diversified with hills of every variety of form and elevation, which, being mostly covered with plantations, give it an aspect of richness and beauty: there are numerous springs. The substratum is a grey limestone, in which shells are found thickly imbedded; it exists in large masses, and, being susceptible of a high polish, is much used for chimney-pieces. Eastnor Castle, the residence of Earl Somers, has been rebuilt at an immense expense, on the plan of an ancient baronial castle. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 19. 5., and in the gift of the Earl: the rectorial tithes have been commuted for £360, and certain impropriate tithes for £100; the glebe comprises 61a. 3p. The church, which is in the early English style, contains several handsome monuments of marble to the Cocks family. There are some ancient intrenchments in the parish, and to the east are remains of a castle, consisting of the mote and one of the towers. The place gives the inferior title of Viscount to Earl Somers.

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

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