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The River Wye


Holme Lacy Herefordshire


Holme Lacy is just Hamme in Domesday, from Old English hamm - land in a river bend. It was an estate of the Bishop of Hereford and held of him by Roger de Lacy. It had been wrongfully held by Harold Godwinson (King of England in 1066). Many estates in the country were said to be held wrongfully by Earl Godwin and his sons. Godwin's wife had refused to eat food from estates which he had stolen from the church.

William had returned Hamme to Bishop Walter and in 1086 its population included 16 villeins, 4 bordars, a reeve, 1 male and 2 female slaves, a priest and a Frenchman who between them had 20Ĺ ploughs. The priest implies the existence of a church at Holme Lacy. There were also two ploughs in lordship.

St Cuthbert's church, Holme Lacy and deserted village
Photograph © Chris Musson & the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club


Earthwork near Holme Lacy church. These may be associated with the former village of Home Lacy which is believed to have been in the area of the church. The modern Holme Lacy is on the main road.

The de Lacys connection gave the place the second part of its name. Walter de Lacy had been a member the household of William fitz Osbernís who had been made Earl of Hereford after the Conquest. Walterís holdings included a swathe of land in the south-west of Herefordshire which was Welsh at the time of the Conquest.  This area was known as Ewyas Lacy and probably had its main stronghold at Pont Hendre Castle, near Longtown.  Also in this area is the village of Walterstone, which may have been named after him. 

Walter died in 1085, falling from St Peterís Church in Hereford, during its construction, and his lands passed to his son, Roger de Lacy. Other de Lacy estates were at Weobley, Bodenham, Eardisley, Stoke Lacy and Tarrington. In Domesday Roger held 14 demesne and 50 tenantsí manors in Herefordshire and had large holdings elsewhere.

Holme Lacy Loop and Bridge

Photograph © Chris Musson & the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club



Collecting the toll between the wars


In 1362 the Prior of Llanthony Abbey with other monks, a number of named Englishmen and a 'great multitude of Welshmen' entered the priest Adam Esegar's manor of Holme Lacy 'broke the doors and windows of his houses there, carried away his goods, broke a weir of his newly erected in the water of Wye there and at Fownhope and the sluices of his mill at Hommelacy, and cut the timber of the sluices into little pieces.

The wealth of Holme Lacy was assessed in 1523 as follows

  Thomas Bromwich

8 pounds

  Rees Bennett

266 shillings 8 pence

  John Galesburg

100 shillings

  Thomas Morgan

6 pounds

  Richard Howlit

4 pounds

  Richard Barrel

8 pounds

  James Coke

6 pounds

  Philip Barrel

7 pounds

  James Davies

33  shillings 4 pence

  Richard Tailor

40  shillings

  John Church

40  shillings

  John Gwyn

40  shillings

  David Gitto

40 shillings

  William Wyttard

20 shillings

  Richard Pegyn

3 pounds

  Thomas Pegyn

20 shillings

  William Gave

20 shillings

  Richard Tailor

6 pounds

  Thomas Purser

20 shillings

  Henry Partridge

40 shillings

  Philip Eynon

20 shillings

  Thomas servant of Philip Barrel

20 shillings

  Thomas Griffith

40 shillings

  Ludovic Davies

40 shillings

  Marion Kenven

3 pounds

  Richard Andrew

6 pounds

  David Meyrick

53 shillings 4 pence

  Philip Griffith

20 shillings

  Ieuan Dee

20 shillings

  William Terold

20 shillings

  William Tailor

20 shillings

  Richard Glasebury

40 shillings

  Thomas Glasebury


  William Gaule

6 pounds

  Thomas Cook

6 pounds

  George Wood

20 pounds

  John Caldecott

10 pounds

  John Eynon

20 shillings

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

Holme Lacy became part of the estates of the Scudamore family. At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries Joan Scudamore was prioress of the convent at nearby Aconbury. Ex monks and nuns were given pensions. Joan, aged 60 in 1554 and living at Holme Lacy, as an ex prioress was given the not inconsiderable sum of £9 per annum.

Holme Lacy House

Photograph © Chris Musson & the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club 


An old part of Holme Lacy House

Image from A History of the Mansion and Manors of Herefordshire, Rev Charles Robinson, 1872



Holme Lacy House in the 18th century


John Scudamore was born in 1600 and succeeded his grandfather to the estates of Holme Lacy. He was an MP for the county in 1621 and became a friend of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. When Buckingham was assassinated in 1628 Scudamore, now Viscount Scudamore of Sligo, returned to Holme Lacy for some years before being appointed ambassador to the court of Louis XIII in 1635.

After four years in France Scudamore returned to Holme Lacy in January 1639. There would only be a short time for him to enjoy his estates before the outbreak of the Civil War. Scudamore was one of the county's leading Royalists.

'In 1641, horsemanís petronels, brought from Caradoc, (another Scudamore property) near Ross, to Holme Lacy, were put in order. But from June to September, 1642, his preparations of arms and ammunition were of a more serious kind. Arms were sent for from Llanthony, his seat near Gloucester, and powder in considerable quantity from the latter place. Armourers and saddlers were set to work for several days. Muskets, rests, and bandileers, a carbine, and a petronel, the great saddles, and the coats of mail were fitted up and repaired: a pistol, spanner, and belt, and a bit with a gilt boss were added to the list of equipments.' Webb's Memorials concerning the Civil War in Herefordshire

[a petronel is a firearm for horsemen]

In 1643 parliamentary soldiers destroyed almost all the furniture in Holme Lacy House and cut down many of the trees in the park.

Holme Lacy House is now a hotel.


Marble monument in St Cuthbert's Church to James, son of the John, the first Lord Scudamore. James died in 1668. James is dressed in Roman costume and is leaning on a cushion.



The Home Lacy Earthquake

On 9th November 1852 at 26 minutes past 4 am, an earthquake was felt particularly strongly at Holme Lacy. At the time the Hereford and Gloucester Railway was being constructed through the parish. One of the temporary buildings erected by the company housed horses in the middle, the horse-keeper and his wife at one end, and labourers at the other end. The keeper and his wife were nearly shaken out of bed by the force of the quake and rushed towards the other end of the building to the aid of the labourers, imagining that they must have been injured. Fortunately they met the other group half way, coming in turn, to the couple's rescue.

St Cuthbert's church, Holme Lacy

Image courtesy of Hereford City Library



This was Bylgeslege in 1055 and means 'clearing in a bag-shaped hollow. In that year Harold Godwinson held truce talks here with Gruffydd ap Llywelyn and Earl Aelgar who had recently attacked and taken the city of Hereford.


Click to view walk around Holme Lacy, Bloody Meadow and Ramsden Coppice May 2006


Click to view walk around Holme Lacy, the river and the old railway February 2006


Holme Lacy GENUKI pages

Archaeological records from Holme Lacy are held on Historic Herefordshire On Line

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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.