Project Info


The River Wye


Eaton Tregoz and Hole in the Wall, Foy


From at least the 13th century Eaton Tregoz seems to have been the principle settlement in what is now Foy parish. The site of the settlement seems to have been at the place now known as Hole-in-the-Wall.

Hole-in-the-Wall may be Turlestane in Domesday which was one hide within the king's manor of (Much) Marcle. Turlestone is 'hole-stone' and may have easily become Hole-in-the-Wall. at the time of Edward the Confessor Turlestane paid 50 lumps of iron (L massas ferri) and six salmon. This was now in 'the forest', probably the Forest of Dean.

Somewhere in the area  once stood Eaton Tregoz Castle. A licence to crenellate (permission to build fortifications) was granted to William Grandison in 1309.

In 1280 John de Tregoz endowed the chapel of St John the Baptist at Eaton Tregoz, where in 1325 William de Foy became priest.

The site of  this castle has for long been uncertain but it was certainly on the left bank of the Wye (English Foy) rather than on the right bank, the peninsula in the meander of the Wye where Foy hamlet and Ingestone stand (Welsh Foy). One of these sites is at Hole-in-the-Wall (see below), the other is at the Hill of Eaton where it has also long been suggested there was an Iron Age promontory fort.

Foy, Ingeston, Hole-in-the-Wall, Eaton Tregoz and Hill of Eaton on Isaac Taylor's 1754 map of Herefordshire.

The double outlined rectangle in the centre is Taylor's symbol for a prehistoric camp.


Bryant in 1835 clearly identifies Eaton Tregoes as being at 'The Hole in th' Wall'. He is equally certain about the castle site - Site of Castle is marked above 'Chantry'.

'Site of Camp' is marked in the centre.


Foy, Hole-in-the-Wall and Hill of Eaton on the OS 1880s 1st edition.

The 'Camp' is again shown.


A study of aerial photographs has now shown traces of Bronze Age ring ditches on the Hill of Eaton site. It was probably these features which led to the mis-identification of the site both as a promontory fort and of the castle: the site of Eaton Tregoz Castle is almost certainly at Court Farm, Hole-in-the-Wall.

It seems unlikely that Eaton Tregoz was a castle in the conventional sense. In many cases where licences to crenellate were granted they were never followed by any actual construction work. Often buildings which were constructed or fortified following the granting of a licence were fortified manor houses rather than true castles, such as Acton Burnell in Shropshire, where Robert Burnell, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, was granted a licence in 1284.

An Inquisition Post Mortem of 1420 has a description of the manor house or castle of Eton Tregoz:-

'One hall, one great chamber, at the end of the hall, and under it a buttery and pantry; a parlour with a chamber adjoining, a chapel with a chamber adjoining, a chamber called John ap Harry's Chamber, a kitchen, a bakehouse, a brewery, a great stable, a great barn, a chamber over the lower gate, a chamber over the outer gate, a great oxhouse, with divers other tiles houses built on the site of the manor there, which are worth yearly nothing beyond repairs...'

Such a description may well be that of a fortified manor house.

The origins of Eaton

Eaton means 'River Settlement' and before 1066 Edtune was held by Earl (later king) Harold Godwinson. At Domesday in 1086 it was a manor of Alfred of Malborough, a member of a Norman family which had settled in England in the time of Edward the Confessor.

Alfred's uncle Osbern Pentecost had built the first castle in Britain at a place which was to become known as Ewyas Harold. It was Ewyas Harold which was the caput or main seat of the honour. In 1086 Edtune had 2Ĺ hides which paid tax and there was one plough in lordship. There were nine villeins and six bordars with seven ploughs between them. Its value had decreased from fifty shillings in 1066 to forty shillings.

The second element of  the name Eaton Tregoz comes from the Tregoz family, who originated in Troisgots, Manche. William de Tregoz of Billingford, Norfolk, was born in about 1150 and married Agnes in about 1268. Their son, Robert I de Tregoz, married Sybil, daughter of Robert II de Ewyas in about 1197 and thus acquired Ewyas Harold and its lands at Eaton.

Robert I de Tregoz and Sybil's son, Robert II de Tregoz, Lord of Ewyas Harold, was born in about 1206. Robert II married Juliane de Cantelou in about 1238. Robert was killed fighting on Simon de Montfort's side at the Battle of Evesham in August 1265.

Robert II de Tregoz and Juliane's son John de Tregoz, Lord of Ewyas Harold, was born in about 1245. John married Mabel Fitz Warin daughter of Fulk Fitz Warin and Clarice d'Auberville in about 1262,  and the pair produced two daughters, Clarice (born about 1267) and Sybil (born 1270). It was John de Tregoz who was granted an annual fair to be held at the manor.

Sibyl de Tregoz married William Lord Grandison, in about 1284. The Grandisons were a prominent family with extensive estates including Ashperton in Herefordshire where there was a castle for which William Grandison received a crenellation licence in 1292.

John de Tregoz died in 1300 and his estates were divided among his co-heirs, and Eaton Tregoz passed to William and Sibyl. Their main residence was at Ashperton Castle and their children appear to have been born there - Piers in 1286, Otto in 1288, Agnes in 1290, John in 1292 and Mabel in 1300.

Sybil died in 1334 and William the following year. Their third son, John became Bishop of Exeter in 1327 and remained at that see until his death in 1369. On his death he held property including the manor of Eaton Tregoz.

In 1410 the manor of Eaton Tregoz extended on both sides of the Wye. On the left bank - in English Foy - it included the townships of Eaton Tregoz itself, Sneogeasshe (Snogsash), and Hill of Eaton with two water-mills and a weir, and a deer-park of 144 acres. On the Welsh side of the river were the townships of Foy, Ingestone and Underhill, with the Homme (now Carthage).

Eaton Tregoz in 1369

Below is an Inquisition Post Mortem of 1369 from the National Archives. The inquisition begins with the date, then names the witnesses before going on to describe the property held by John Grandison (de Grandissono) in Eaton Tregoz the day that he died.

This is one of the documents translated during our Monday document sessions in which we gratefully acknowledge the expertise of Sue Hubbard and Janet Cooper, without whom it could not have been done.  Any mistakes are the result of the transcriber, not Sue or Janet.

image courtesy of the Public Record Office - C135 209

1. Inquis capit apud Rosse in Com Hereford coram Willm Ancel Esc dm Reg in Com Hereford Gloc et Marche
2. Wall eisdm com adiacent xxvi die Men Agust anno Regni Regis Edwardii tercii post conqu quadresino ter regni
3. vero sui francia trecesimo virtute brev dom Regis huic inquisitio constitu p sacrum Johes Millyes, Willm de Asshe, Will Marky
4. Henry Smith de Optom, Stephani Comyn, John Loffynges, Will Priour, Thomas Dour, Thoma Trygg, Thomas de
5. Ewyas, John Ewyas et John Redhale qm dic p sac suam qd John Grandissono nuper Epius Exon in brv contentus tenuit
6. de dmo rege in capite in dominico suo ut de feodo die quo obiit manerum Eton Tregoz in com Hereford per service militare in quo
7. quidem maerm est um capitale mesuage quo nichil ultra reprisam Et sunt ibm duo carucate tre in culte que val p anm xs
8. et sund ibd xx prati que p anm xxxs precie cuiuslibet p acr xviii d Et est ibm quedam pastur sepearlis quo val p annm
9. vi viii d Et ibm unus parc cuis hbage nh val ultra sust ferarum Et est ibm quid bosc voc Lyndore in quo nullo
10. est pasture nec gross mereum quod nichil val p annm Et sunt ibm duo mol aquatica que val per anm vis viiid Et est ibm
11. quedam piscaria cm gurgita quo val per anm xls Et est ibm de redditu assise p anm xii li sol terminus st Mich et Ann St Marie
12. equis percionbus Et ibm una curie tent septima in tres septias die tribus et tres cuis placita et perquitiones val per anm xs Et dicut qd pdct John de Grandisson obiit xvi Julies
13. ultimo praeterito. Et dicunt qd Thomas de Grano nepos praed John de Grandisson est heres euis
14. propinquior et etartis trigunta annorum et ampluis. Et dicunt qd prdt John de Grandissono non
15. tenuit aliqua terr necque ten in dominico suo ut de feodo nec in [ser ] die quo obiit in Com Glouc
16. nec in Marchis Wall eodm Com adiacent de dm Rege in capite nec de alique alio.  In cuius rei tetimonium

17. huic inquision sigilla jure praedic sua appenserunt. Dat um die loco et anno supradicto


'Inquistion held at Ross in the County of Hereford before Willaim Ancell the kingís Escheater in the County of Hereford and Gloucester and the adjacent county in the Welsh Marches on the 26th August in the 43 year of Edward III (1369).  By virtue of the king's brief this inquisition constitutes the oaths of (12 named jurors) who say under oath that John Grandissono, formerly bishop of Exeter, held from the king in chief in his lordship, the day that he died the manor of Eton Tregoz in the county of Hereford by military service.  In this manor there is one capital messuage which is worth nothing after the reductions.  There are two carucates of land in cultivation worth per annum 10s.  There are 20 acres of meadow worth 30s, per acre 18d. There is a separate pasture worth per annum 6s 8d.  There is one park of which the grazing is worth nothing over the sustenance of the wild animals (deer?).  There is a wood called Lyndore in which there is no pasture or timber, worth nothing per annum.  There are two water mills worth 6s 8d.  There is a fishery with a weir which is worth 40s per annum.  And from the assize rent there is £12 per annum due at St Michael and the Annunciation of St Mary in equal portions.  There is one court held every three weeks of which the pleas and perquisites are worth 10s per annum.  The jury say that John de Grandissono died on the 16th July last year and that Thomas de Grandisson his nephew is his nearest heir and he is of age being over 30 years old. The jury say that John de Grandissono didnít hold other land in his lordship in Gloucestershire nor in the Welsh Marches in the adjacent county.  To these things the testimony of this inquisition append their signatures at the date and place set down above.'

The witnesses include Thomas de Ewyas and John Ewyas presumably either from Ewyas Harold, the caput of the honour which included Eaton Tregoz, or from Ewyas Lacy, the adjacent area which includes Longtown. Another witness, John Redhale, may have been a member of the Rudhall family who gave their name to Rudhall in Brampton Abbotts parish.

The bosc voc Lyndore - wood called Lyndor - still exists as Lyndor Wood on the banks of the Wye immediately north of Hole-in-the-Wall.

The Wye with Lyndor Wood in the background


Eaton Tregos and Lyndor 'Grove' on Henry Garling's 1823 map of the manors of Yatton, Eaton Tregos and Calborough.


Hole-in-the-the-Wall on the same map


Old postcard of the road between Lyndor Wood and the Wye
courtesy of Tim Ward



These buildings were part of Court Farm. Court farm is now a PGL activity holidays centre.



The old Anchor and Can public house at Hole-in-the-Wall



The range in side the Anchor and can

photo Fenny Smith


The rental agreement between Annabella Clive of  Perrystone, the estate owner, and Francis Broden, a labourer, for 'all that Cottage or tenement with the garden and Orchard thereto belonging and adjoining situated at Hole in the Wall in the County of Hereford aforesaid called "The Anchor and Can" from the second day of February one thousand eight hundred and ninety four of one year and so on from year to year'.
The rent was £6 per annum payable at 10 shillings (50 new pence) on the second day of each month.

document courtesy of Ron Shesmith


The manor descended to the Abrahall family who were holding it in the early 15th century. The Abrahalls came from the township of Abrahall in the south of Hentland parish. The first member of the family to hold Ingestone, together with Eaton Tregoz, was John Abrahall who died in 1442 and was succeeded by his son William Abrahall. When William died in 1487, the manor appears to have been divided between his elder son John, who had Eaton Tregoz and Ingestone, and his younger son Fulk Abrahall, who had the manor of Abrahall in the parish of Michaelchurch. The focus of the manor seems to have switched at some stage from Eaton Tregoz to Ingestone.

On the right bank of the Wye, towards the end of the Foy peninsula in a great loop in the river, is Ingestone. It was earlier a mansion and township and was for centuries the home of the senior branch of the Abrahall family. See Foy page.

Eaton Tregoz appears as the villata de - township of - Eton Tregoys in 1523. In that year the taxable residents were as follows:-

William Bayton
John Bayton
Richard Bayton
Richard Collins
David Hope
Richard Taylor
Thomas Button
Richard Colla

20 shillings
40 shillings
20 shillings
4 pounds
3 pounds
40 shillings
40 shillings
6 pounds

John Painter
Christopher Clark
William Young
Robert Furney
Thomas Gore
William Griffith
John Millward

20 shillings
10 marks
20 shillings
20 shillings
4 pounds
20 shillings
20 shillings
20 shillings

These men would have been the heads of households so there were at least 16 prosperous households in the township at that time. These assessments were clearly rounded figures and some people were too poor to appear on them.

Tax assessment from Herefordshire Taxes in the Reign of Henry VIII edited by M A Faraday: Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, Herefordshire, 2005

In the militia assessments of 1663 Eaton Treagos was assessed as follows

    £ s d  
  John Lord Scudamore                             
John Abrahall esq
Thomas Abrahall gent
George Abrahall
John Furney
James Collins junior
  Tenants at rack under James Scudamore esq    
  Thomas Apperlye gent
James Collins senior
Charles Prosser
Richard Meeke
Walter Powell
John Prosser
Richard Hannis
Richard Cooke

Militia assessments from Herefordshire Militia Assessments of 1663 edited for the Royal Historical Society by M A Faraday


Foy GENUKI pages

Archaeological records from Foy are held on Historic Herefordshire On Line

See also www.wyenot.com/fawley.htm


Back to TOP


Wye Valley History pages

maintained by Archenfield Archaeology Ltd


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