Project Info


The River Wye



Past Events - Spring 2006



Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Wednesday 31st May

Transcription of English documents relating to the property of John ap Rees at Ballingham in 1540. Ballingham had been a manor of St Guthlac's priory in Hereford. St Guthlac's and its holdings were acquired by ap Rees (Preece. Price) at the dissolution.

Holme Lacy, Sunday 28th May

Tars Mill and Ramsden Coppice - walk

David Lovelace and Heather Hurley explored the Green Drive, Tars Mill, Bloody Meadow and Ramsden Coppice formerly belonging to the Scudamores in Holme Lacy.


Kings Caple Old School, Wednesday 24th May

'The work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Herefordshire or Finds from the Fields'

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) records archaeological artefacts found by members of the public. Several thousand artefacts are found in Herefordshire each year and this talk revolved around some of the most important discoveries. Peter Reavill (Finds Liaison Officer for the PAS) also talked about the importance of metal detecting to the recovery of artefacts as well as the impact of the Treasure Act. The talk included some of the treasure finds from both Shropshire and Herefordshire.



Peter (centre) has been Finds Liaison Officer in Herefordshire for the past two years in that time he has recorded items found by metal detectorists, fieldwalkers, gardeners and builders







Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Monday 22nd May

Transliteration and translation of Latin documents relevant to the study area.

The group worked on documents of Gloucester Abbey from the first two years of Henry VIII. These gave details of maintenance of hedges and ditches, repairs needed to buildings and overgrazing on common pasture.

Sellack and River Wye, Saturday 20th May - walk

A group of visitors to the Wye Valley was led on a guided walk from the Lough Pool Inn to Sellack church by Heather Hurley.


Thursday 18th May

Investigating the Wye Valley

Woodlands by David Lovelace

Last in a series of four two-hour lectures and field trips for Ross Lecture Club

Led by David Lovelace, members of the Ross Lecture Club visited Trilloes Court Wood, Bolstone. The wood has a well documented history back to 17th century of traditional coppice management producing charcoal for the local iron industry and also bark for tanning.


BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester, Thursday 18th May

Huw Sherlock of Archenfield Archaeology gave an interview on the LOWV project on the Katie Johnson programme - Exploring life across the two counties.

Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Wednesday 17th May

Transcription of English documents

The group worked on some of the Holme Lacy material from the 1641/2 Scudamore Accounts (LC/647/1) from Hereford Library. There were references to pollarding in Holme Lacy Park and a word no-one could work out - 'tynet, tyvet, lynet' - which appears to have the same sense as timber as someone was being paid a fair amount to 'draw it'. The red arrows show the two instances of its appearance.

Enquiries supplied some suggestions for this word


Ross Court, Ross, Monday 15th May, 7.30pm

Transliteration and translation of Latin documents relevant to the study area. The group studied documents from the early 15th century relating to Holme Lacy, Ballingham and Brampton Abbotts.

Linton & District History Society, Larruperz Centre, Ross-on-Wye, Saturday 13th May

The 29th Herefordshire Local History Day School

'From waterways to motorways: impact of transport on rural life'

The Landscape Origins of the Wye Valley had al display of work at this event

and  P J Pikes gave a talk on the development of road transport relevant to south Herefordshire and the study area

Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Thursday 11th May

Investigating the Wye Valley

Wye industry and navigation by Heather Hurley

Third in a series of four two-hour lectures and field trips for Ross Lecture Club


Larruperz Centre, Ross on Wye, Wednesday 10th May, 7.30 pm

Ross on Wye & District Civic Society

The Landscape Origins of the Wye Valley Project -talk by David Lovelace, one of the project leaders


Caplor Farm, Fownhope, Tuesday 9th May

Washing pottery and other finds


Caplor Farm, Fownhope, Thursday 4th May

Investigating the Wye Valley

Archaeology of the Wye Valley by P J Pikes

Second in a series of four two-hour lectures and field trips for Ross Lecture Club


Brockhampton Bluebell Walk, 30th April/1st May

An exhibition of Arts & Crafts including the work of the Landscape Origins project in  Brockhampton Parish Hall.

Ross Market House, Thursday 27th April, 2 - 4 pm

Investigating the Wye Valley

Introduction at Ross Market House by Heather Hurley and P J Pikes

First in a series of four two-hour lectures and field trips for Ross Lecture Club

Contact Eileen Sprayson 01989 566581


Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Wednesday 26th April, 7.30pm

Transliteration of English documents relevant to the study area.

Caplor Farm, Fownhope, Tuesday 25th April 2.00 pm

Recording the finds from fieldwalking exercises

Bridstow Village Hall, Monday 24th April 7.30 pm

The history and archaeology of Bridstow and Wilton -talk by Heather Hurley and P J Pikes 

Fieldwalking, Fownhope, Monday 24th April, 9.30 am

Fieldwalking a field below Cherry Hill Iron Age Camp on the edge of Fownhope village.


Neolithic flint arrowhead from this field.


Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Monday 10th April

The group worked on material from St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester. Translation and transcription of Latin documents primarily concerning the manor of Brampton Abbotts and the tithes of the church of Foy.

Fownhope, Sunday 9th April

David Lovelace of the Landscape Origins of the Wye Valley project led a group through the woods of West Wood and Fownhope Park to identify ancient boundaries, charcoal burning pits, abandoned quarries and the springtime flora and fauna.

The River Wye Preservation Trust thanks the Forestry Commission and the Wyndham-Lewis Trust for access permission.

With a mixture of hail and sunshine, 17 of us investigated these varied and interesting woods which occupy the limestone and shale hills rising up from the river Wye and which stretch from Mordiford to Fownhope villages. The woods have a complex history of parkland, ancient coppice, charcoal burning, lime quarries and the remains of an iron age fort.  The northern block of woodland, ‘West Wood’ has been managed by the Forestry Commission since the early 1950s and much of it  converted to conifer and sweet chestnut plantations but linear fragments of the original woodland stands of oak, lime and field maple remain along the ridges and tops of the hills. It is FC policy to return its ‘plantations on ancient woodland sites’, known in the trade as PAWS, to their pre-conifer state so it be interesting the follow their progress over the next few decades. From the forest road we climbed east up one of the steep limestone outcrops admiring some large coppice stools of lime and sweet chestnut as we joined the main north-south spine of the hill. Huge quantities of limestone have been dug out of the hill over many centuries gauging out the hillsides leaving the ridge sharp and steep in places. Contorted roots of oaks, yews and the rare wild service tree overhang these steep sided quarries whose last workings may be dated by the size of self-sown yews growing on the quarry faces. We looked at the ‘platforms’ of the charcoal burners, flat areas about 6 yards across with earth blackened by centuries of charcoal making, and some of the many old banks which may mark coppice boundaries, ancient field edges or ownership changes. Some of these ancient linear features can be traced into the farmland to the east where they become boundaries between fields. Stinking hellebores, weird looking plants of two-tone green and red tinged flowers, were at their peak along with the (reputedly) moth-pollinated spurge laurel.

Stinking hellebores


and close-up

We also saw toothwort (scientific name Lathraea squamaria since somebody asked) a parasite growing on tree roots – lime in this case - then wood spurge, wood sorrel and we saw many spotted leaf rosettes of the early purple orchid. The southern part of the woods occupy what was Fownhope Park (first known mention 1353) where there is the fine iron-age fort known for some strange reason as Cherry Hill. The rampart yews trees appear too regular to be natural and are of similar age to those on Credenhill Iron Age camp which are considered to have been planted in the 18th century as a landscape feature. Unlike West Wood with its oak, lime, hazel etc coppice, Fownhope Park Woods seem more park-like, there are only a very few old coppice stools, most of trees being singled stemmed oak and ash less than 100 years old. There is however a huge Lime stool at least 12m in extent which could be anywhere between 1000 and 2000 years old. We had a discussion about natural lime being an indicator of long continuity of woodland back to the Neolithic age but care must be taken since lime trees were also planted from the 18th century for amenity. Nearby Nover wood, just south of the Fownhope park has two lines of limes trees forming an avenue from Fownhope Court seat of the Letchmere family who owned the park and may well have planted limes in it. Later in the walk we traversed the steep northern face of the middle east-west lime stone ridge which is densely carpeted in wild garlic whose white flowers will make a stunning sight when they appear in late May. This flank is also part of the park, whose Victorian oaks are obviously planted. At the bottom of the valley is the best preserved bank in the woods and which is probably the northern boundary of the original park.


We returned along the western flanks of the wood looking out over the meandering Wye filtered through the trees and admiring patches of wild daffodil, then past the ruined house above ‘Evenpits’ and the remains of a Victorian garden to finally emerge back on the lower forestry track. Here recent FC clearance gave us fine views of the medieval ridge and furrow system preserved in the permanent pasture in the Holme Lacy loop of the Wye opposite the confluence with the Lugg.

Woolhope, Saturday 8th April

Launch of the Woolhope Dome Project - David Lovelace gave a talk on the woodlands incorporating some of the areas of the LOWV project.

Caplor Farm, Fownhope, Tuesday 4th April

A session of marking the finds from fieldwalking at Gillow Farm.


Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Wednesday 5th April

Transcription of English documents concerning the study area

The group transcribed a Marriage Settlement dated 3rd July 1611, which was a difficult task because of the legal terms of the period. The settlement was made between John Abrahall the younger of Ingestone and Dorothy Gifford the eldest daughter of Sir George Gifford of Beconsfield, Bucks. The most interesting part of the document was transcribed as follows:

‘All that Capital Messuage farme and teneemant with the appurtenances called or known by the name of Ingestone…………aforesaid in the county of Hereford late in the possession of John Cole or of his assignee or assigns and one other messuage and tenement with the appurtenances in Ingestone ……..late in the possession of John Mutloe or of his assignee or assigns and one other farme and tenement with the appurtenances in Ingestone possession of Richard Mutloe……which said premises are situated live and being within the parish of Foye in the said county of Herefordshire, and also all that manor capital messuage farm tenement with the appurtenances called all known by the name of Eaton Tregoes or by what other name or names so ever the same is known or called or situate lying and being within the  parishes of  Foye and Fownhope…………….and now in the tenure or possession of William Abrahall or his assignee or assigns and also all that parcel of wood and woody ground with the appurtenances called Eaton Parke situated lying and being in Eaton Tregoes aforesaid in the said county of Herefordshire now or late in the possession of the said John Abrahall…………..and also all those two water corne mills with the appurtenances situate and lying  and being in Eaton Tregoes within the said parishes of Foye and Fownhope……..and all that several fishing in the river of Wye unto the said premises……..and all singular messuage mills cottages edifices buildings orchards gardens lands and closes leasows meadows commons pastures feedings waste waters and water courses liberties franchises woods underwoods rents (etc)……………..by the name or names of six messuages six tofts and two mills seven gardens and a thousand acres of land and a hundred and fifty acres of meadow two hundred  acres of pasture and hundred and twenty acres of woods and an hundred acres of furze and heath with the appurtenances and in Eaton Tregoes, Ingestone, Foye and Fownhope and several fishing in the water of Wye’.

Ross-on-Wye Library, 21st - 31st March

Display of the work of the Landscape Origins of the River Wye Project



Ballingham, Wednesday 29th March

Road, Rail and River – a walk of approximately 5 miles led by Heather Hurley

Starting from the Cottage of Content car park (by kind permission of the owners).



Investigating abandoned roads, railway remains, old buildings and the riverside in Ballingham, led by Heather Hurley for Landscape Origins of the Wye Valley.


Click here for images of walk

Caplor Farm, Fownhope, Tuesday 28th March 2.00pm

Another session of washing and marking the finds from fieldwalking at Gillow Farm. This is the largest and most interesting collection of pottery and other finds from the project so far.

Caplor Farm, Fownhope, Tuesday 21st March

A session of cleaning the finds from fieldwalking at Gillow Farm. An enthusiastic group of volunteers arrived to process these finds which included pottery, slag and worked stone.


Large quantities of slag were present suggesting nearby ironworking.


Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Monday 20th March

Translation and transcription of Latin documents of the reign of Henry VII concerning the study area. Documents relating to St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester, and its properties in the parishes of Brampton Abbotts and Foy were translated.

St Owens’s Cross, Treaddow and Chapel Tump, Hentland - Saturday 18th March

A member of LOWV explored a network of footpaths in the St Owens’s Cross area. Starting from Pengethley the continuation of the Red Rail route, considered to be of Roman origin, was followed to St. Owens’s Cross. Due to landscape changes there was little evidence of an ancient road except one remaining side of a hollow-way. At the cross-roads a modern sign now marks the site of the medieval ‘Croose Owen’ which stands opposite the 17th New Inn (see Pubs of Ross and South Herefordshire) which dominates the cross-roads since a large barn of the same period was demolished after a serious road accident.

The Tan House and cottages of that name suggest a tanyard site, but at the time of writing no documentary or archaeological evidence has been found. From the Tan House to Great Treaddow numerous deposits of slag was identified before reaching the listed buildings at Treaddow. The farms and barns stand at a place dating from at least the 12th century and recorded in a 1580 Survey. A visit was made along the lane to Chapel Tump where a collection of cottages are grouped over an ancient site shown as an Old Foundation on Taylor’ map of 1754, marked as a Tumulus by the Royal Commissioners in 1928, and now shown by the Ordnance Survey as a Motte and Bailey.

The Hentland Tithe Map of 1842 reveals a series of pools at Chapel Tump, which may indicate the remains of a moated site. With plenty of water available in 1842 it is surprising to learn that in 1935 the area around St. Owens’s Cross was ‘badly off for water’ and fetched their water from two dip wells known as Bray’s Well and Roman Well at Treaddow (see Wells and Springs of Herefordshire).  On the roadside, between the turning to Chapel Tump and St. Owens’s Cross, is a 19th century milestone ‘1X miles to Monmouth’, which dates from the construction of this turnpike road by the Hereford Trust after the Road Act of 1819 leading from Tuft Wood to Old Forge (see Old Roads of South Herefordshire).

Monmouth Museum, Friday 17th March

An introduction to the LOWV project was given to the Monmouth Field and Antiquarian Society by Heather Hurley. This was followed by an illustrated talk on the Past and Present Crossings of the River Wye.

Holme Lacy Village Hall, Thursday 16th March

Talk on the history, archaeology and woodland of the area - P J Pikes and David Lovelace

Upper Orchard, Hoarwithy, Wednesday 15th March

Transcription of English documents concerning the study area

Pengethley Rents 1580                                                                              HRO K61/3

The English transcribers of the Landscape Origins of the Wye Valley looked at a Pengethley Survey of 1580, which revealed some interesting field names and the acreage of the manor. Within the documents was the following account:

Rents belonging to the sayde Manor of Pengethly and to be received Yearly mainly by information of Thomas Higgyns the Baliff of the sayde Manor and John Seymour.

Small amounts in pence were collected from lands at the Grove, Peterstow and lands held by Lord Grey of Wilton, Lawrence Vaughan, Robert Apye, Henry Vaughan, Raph Amyne, Thomas Apye; Phillip Seymour, John and Thomas Gunter and William Taylor. It was collected for the following custom:

Item of Thomas Higgyns for the close .appointed for the  finding of Bell Ropes of Hentland that the Bells should ringe at the death of everyone that should chance to depart in the House of Pengethly viz from tyme the corpse being carried from the sayde house to the sayde parish church of Sellack if that the inhabitants of Pengethly may at all tymes take the ropes of the sayde Bells to occupie the same about any business at the sayde manor for the which  he should pa rent.

In Rents resolutes out of the sayde manor

Item to the Earl of Shrewsbury as to his liberty of Irchenfielde          11s

Item to John Smyth                                                                              11s  1/2d

Saturday 11th 7 Monday 20th March - Geophysical Surveying at Capler Camp

On Monday 20th March we completed the geophysical survey that was started on Saturday 11th at Capler Camp, Brockhampton.

On Friday 10th March, grid positions were established by GPS, and on Saturday 11th the survey proper began under the guidance of Anne and Martin Roseveare of ArchaeoPhysica.

Initial results indicated internal features which may be associated with the use of the hill-fort in the Iron Age. One circular feature may be an Iron Age house.

Data from these surveys is quite complex and although some results are immediately apparent, post fieldwork processing will remove 'background' and give a clearer picture of what is below the ground.

Click for Geophysics Survey

Gillow Farm, Hentland, Thursday 9th - Saturday 10th March

Fieldwalking a prehistoric landscape

We fieldwalked one of the most interesting fields in the whole project area.

Cropmarks here suggested that there has been activity here from the prehistoric period.


A different, black and white, view of the marks. The darker marks are prehistoric ditches. A gap in the ditch of the large enclosure, with the ditch in-turned, suggests an entrance. 

We are extremely grateful for the encouragement and co-operation of Phillip Watkins, who farms this land.

The fields are part of Gillow Farm, now separate from the medieval moated manor house at Gillow. In 1279 and 1280 Inquisitions Post Mortem were held after the death of Henry de Pembridge. It was found that Henry held 120 acres of land and meadow in the vill of Kilho/Gilloch which were held by the service of doing suit at [the court of] the king's hundred of Wormelow every fortnight and providing a man for 15 days at his own cost to go with the king's army. In the inquisition of Henry's son Fulk de Pembridge in 1296 there is a 'messuage' (house) at 'Gyllouch'. This is presumably the original manor house.

John Abrahall of Abrahall, who held lands adjacent to Gillow, purchased the estate from the Pembridge heir in 1417-18.

Gillow Bn (Barn) on Bryant's 1835 map of Herefordshire. The barn is now gone but was somewhere in the middle of the field we will be walking over. The kink in the road visible in the photographs above was the point at which the road to Gillow (Gillow Manor) branched off the road between Gillow Barn and Hentland.


This fieldwalking produced much more archaeological material than any other fields we have walked, much of it prehistoric. The finds from here need to be cleaned, marked and analysed. Dates to do this will be posted on this site shortly


Hentland Church earthwork survey, Saturday 4th/Sunday 5th March

Archaeological earthwork surveying

Hentland Church
 photograph © Chris Musson and the Woolhope Naturalists Field Club


Brampton Abbotts, Foy and Sellack, Saturday 4th March

A reconnaissance walk by Archenfield Archaeology and the Wye Valley Trekkers

The Wye by Backney Common


LOWV earlier events


Autumn-Winter 2005/6



Summer 2005




Back to TOP


Wye Valley Events pages

maintained by Archenfield Archaeology Ltd


This project was part-financed by the European Union (EAGGF) and DEFRA through the Herefordshire Rivers LEADER+ Programme.