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Kentchurch Park, Herefordshire :
THE SEAT OF
JOHN LÚCY SCUDAMORE, ESQ.
The situation of Kentchurch is low, being placed in the midst of a narrow valley ; yet the views from the house, looking into the Park, are highly interesting : beyond is Garway Hill, rising to a considerable height above the majestic timber in the fore-ground. Kentchurch Park has indeed been long admired for its wild and picturesque scenery: here may be seen every variety of beauty, from the stagheaded monarch of the forest, the glory of former ages, to the perfect and vigorous growth of a less distant period, while the more remote scenery, interspersed with churches and villages, of which, Grosmont, with its ancient castle stands pre-eminently conspicuous, bounded by the fine and lofty range of the black mountains, forms a happy contrast to the forestlike scenery of the Park itself, and affords one of the finest prospects to be met with in this justly celebrated county.
The Mansion stands about twelve miles south-west from the city of Hereford. Its erection was commenced by the late Colonel Scudamore, father of the present possessor, by whom the building was completed, after the death of the founder, partly from a design by John Nash, Esq., with the addition of a porch designed by Mr. Tudor of Monmouth, Mr. Scudamore's receiver, who, although not a professional man, is considered to be well versed in the style of architecture here adopted. The House stands exactly on the site of the original Mansion of the Scudamores, and the tower is actually part of the ancient structure.
The family of Scudamore is one of the oldest in this county, where they held large possessions in the hundred of Ewyas at a very early period. Of the two principal branches seated at Home Lacy and at Kentchurch, the latter appears to be the elder house. This branch has been settled here prior to the fifteenth century, about which time Sir John Scudamore, of Kentchurch, married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of the celebrated Owen Glendower. The family have for many years represented the city of Hereford, and continued to do so till the present parliament, when Richard Scudamore, Esq., uncle of the possessor of Kentchurch, retired on account of ill health. The parish church contains but one monument of particular note; this is very large, and nearly fills up the whole east end of the chancel. It bears an inscription to the following effect :“ Here lyeth the body of John Scudamore, of Kentchurch, in the county of Hereford, Esq., who married Amy, the daughter
of John Starkie, of Darlie, in the Countie Palatine of Chester, Esq., by whom he had issue nine children, viz., eight sonnes, and one daughter, namely, John, Philip, Richard, Ambrose, Humphrey, James, Jonathan, Edward, and Mary, leaving her with child of the tenth : he deceased on the 30th day of March, Anno Salutis 1616, æt. 37."
The monument is of alabaster, and represents the deceased at full length in a recumbent posture, and these arms :- Quarterly Ist and 4th, gules, three stirrups, leathered and buckled, or. Scudamore. 2d. Lozengy, argent and sable, a bend, gules. 3d. Barry nebulée of four, gules and or, a canton, ermine. Impaling, quarterly, Ist and 4th, argent, a stork, sable. Starkie. 2d. Quarterly, azure and gules, a lion rampant, or.' 3d. Argent, a chevron between three moor-hens, gules.
Other Monuments in the Church connected with the family are the following :-A small mural tablet with this inscription :-“Near this place lies interred Lucy, the daughter of William Scudamore, Esq., by Penelope his Wife, who died 230 March, 1703, æt. 6 months; also John their son, who departed this life August 2d, 1713, æt. 4.” Above is the Arms of Scudamore, impaling, gules, a fess, and in chief, two pelicans vulning themselves, or. Lechmere, of Hanley Castle, Worcestershire.
On flat stones are inscribed, “ Here lyeth Captain Robert Scudamore, who dyed the 12th of July, 1727, æt. 69 and 6 months.” “Walter Scudamore, Gent. Son of John Scudamore, Esq. died 26 Nov. 1682.”
The late Colonel Scudamore married the only daughter of James Walwyn, Esq., of Longworth, in this county, by whom he had one only son, who succeeded to the family estates at Kentchurch, &c., 'after a very long minority, and married the eldest daughter of Sir Harford Jones Brydges, Bart., of Boultibrook, Radnorshire.
THE SEAT OF
· ROBERT BIDDULPH PHILLIPPS, ESQ.
LONGWORTH, formerly called Longford, is in the Parish of Lugwardine and Hundred of Radlow. The present Mansion, which was nearly rebuilt about forty years ago, by Keck, in the time of the father of the present owner, is a neat brick building, pleasantly situated at the distance of a mile from the Hereford and Ledbury Road, and commands an extensive view of the Malvern Hills, and of the Black Mountains towards the east and west, while to the south the Village of Mordeford, embosomed in trees, together with a distant view of the Mansion and finely timbered grounds of Sufton, form a cheerful and interesting picture. At a short distance from the House is Old Longworth, formerly the Mansion-house, though for many years converted into a Farmhouse. It is surrounded by a Moat, and contains nothing worthy of observation, except the Chapel, which, though small, is a very interesting specimen of the early perpendicular style. In a deed of the time of Henry VI., there is mention of this Chapel, though probably it is not of a much earlier period.
The earliest possessors of this Manor, of whom any thing is known, were the Longfords, a family who took their name from the place. In a deed without date, is a grant of lands, by Walter de Longeford to Roger de Houptaine. It afterwards passed into the hands of the Tubervilles, who had purchased several parcels of land there. It then became the property of the Pauncefortes, who kept possession for a short period, as appears by a deed, dated 3d Edward II., whereby Grimbald, son of Grimbald Paunceforte, granted it to Sir Edmund Hakeluit in fee.
The next mention of this Manor, is the conveyance to Joan Lady Beauchamp, by deed, 2d of Henry V. Four years afterwards, namely, in 1418, it was purchased of this Lady by William Walwayn, and till within a few years the original purchase deed was in existence. This William Walwayn was a younger branch of the family of the Walwayns, of Hellens, in the parish of Much Marcle, in this county, who deduce their descent from Philip ap David, Lord of Walwayn Castle, County Pembroke, in the time of William Rufus. He was Sheriff of Herefordshire, in the year 1409, and of Gloucestershire, 1411, and was returned in the list of Gentry, in the 12th of Henry VI.
It appears from a pedigree in the Harleian Library, that towards the latter end of the reign of Charles II., the estate was sold by Nicholas Walwayn or Walwyn, the then proprietor, to Herbert Croft, Bishop of Hereford, who, about six years afterwards, sold it again to James Walwyn, a West Indian merchant, first Cousin to Nicholas before-mentioned. The issue of Nicholas having ended in females, the descendants of James became the principal branch. In their family it continued till the year 1805, when the last proprietor, James Walwyn, Esq., whose father had been Member of Parliament for Hereford many years, sold the Manor and Estate to his maternal Uncle Robert Phillips, Esq., (a younger son of the family of Eaton Bishop, in this County) who, for a short time, represented the City of Hereford in Parliament. He married one of the daughters of Michael Biddulph, Esq., of Ledbury in this county, and of Cofton Hall, in the County of Worcester, by whom he left several daughters, and an only son, to whom the Estate passed on his death in the year 1822.
It is remarkable, that although the family of Walwyn were so long settled here, there is not a single memorial of them in the parish church, though the Register abounds with entries of them from its commencement, in 1538, till the present century.