Much Marcle

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Coordinates: 51°59′30″N 2°29′58″W / 51.99169°N 2.49948°W / 51.99169; -2.49948

Much Marcle
St. Bartholomew's church, Much Marcle - geograph.org.uk - 895988.jpg
St. Bartholomew's church, Much Marcle
Much Marcle is located in Herefordshire
Much Marcle
Much Marcle
 Much Marcle shown within Herefordshire
Population 646 (2001 census)
OS grid reference SO 658 327
Unitary authority Herefordshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Ledbury
Postcode district HR8
Dialling code 01531
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament North Herefordshire
List of places
UK
England
Herefordshire

Much Marcle is a small village and civil parish in the English county of Herefordshire, between Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury. At the time of the 2001 census the parish had a population of 646.[1]

Historic village[edit]

The Kyrle Tomb, Much Marcle Church

Much Marcle is home to the 13th century Church of England parish church of St Bartholomew[2] with historic carvings and an ancient 'hollow' yew tree thought to be at least 1500 years old.[3] The church contains the tomb of Blanche Mortimer, of the dynasty of Marcher Lords, the Mortimers; the tomb bears the Mortimer coat of arms. She married Peter de Grandison.

The Kyrle Tomb is located in the centre of the chapel of Much Marcle church. The recumbent effigies are that of Sir John Kyrle of nearby Homme House and his wife Sybil Scudamore. Sir John was born in 1568 and served as High Sheriff of the County in 1609. He was created a Baronet in 1627. Later he protested against the payment of Ship Money, and during the English Civil War his sympathies lay with the Parliamentarians. He died in 1650.

Hellens Manor,[4] which sits in the heart of Much Marcle, is a monument to much of England’s history. In 1096 the manor was granted by King William II to Hamelin de Balun,[5] whose family would later witness the signing of the Magna Carta. It contains a wealth of period furnishings, paintings and decorations, as well as a budding Tudor garden. The Manor plays a strong role in the community - it is open to the public and provides a venue for educational, musical and literary events the year round.

The other principal seat is Homme House, surrounded by ancient parkland. There are also two ruined medieval castles in the parish. One is Mortimer's Castle, also known as Much Marcle Castle. The second is Ellingham Castle which is situated at Quarry Wood.[6]

The Wonder[edit]

About three miles NNW of the village, on the eastern face of Marcle Ridge, a massive landslip, estimated at 60,000 cubic metres, took place over three days starting on 17 February 1575. Named 'The Wonder' it was so large that full-grown trees were carried down the slope onto an adjoining property. In his book The Natural History of Selborne, Gilbert White (1720–1793) quotes the words of John Philips who wrote:

"I nor advise, nor reprehend the choice
Of Marcley Hill; the apple nowhere finds
A kinder mould; yet 'tis unsafe to trust
Deceitful ground; who knows but that once more
This mount may journey, and his present site
Forsaken, to thy neighbour's bounds transfer
Thy goodly plants, affording matter strange
For law debates!"

In Victorian times people came from far and wide to view 'The Wonder'. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey map at reference SO6236, but on the ground the site is not readily discernible.[7]

Farming traditions[edit]

Notable local farms include The Bounds, home of Weston's Cider and the multi award-winning "Scrumpy House Restaurant". Other principal farms include Chandois, Street Farm, Great Moor Court, Bickerton, Gammage Ford, Caerswall, Upper Woltan, Walls End and Noggin, all of which are of ancient origin but with buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of the ancient cottages that appear in the 18th century maps no longer exist, although there are several good examples of "black and white" half-timbered buildings that have survived, especially in the village's main street.

In 2012 Noggin Farm won the Flavours of Herefordshire "Sausage of the Year."[8]

Modern times[edit]

The village has an Anglican primary school next to the church's property and a local cider and perry mill producing Weston's brands.

Notable people[edit]

Much Marcle is the birthplace of the serial killer Fred West. The West family continues to farm in the village today.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Parish Headcounts: Herefordshire". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Much Marcle Church (C) Philip Halling :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". Geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  3. ^ "Yew Tree, St. Bartholomew's Church, Much... (C) Bob Embleton :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". Geograph.org.uk. 2005-10-15. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  4. ^ "Hellens Manor (C) Bob Embleton :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". Geograph.org.uk. 2005-10-15. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  5. ^ Sanders, English Baronies, states the manor to have been granted by Henry I(1100-1135),p.66
  6. ^ "Ellingham Castle, Much Marcle at the Gatehouse Gazetteer". Gatehouse-gazetteer.info. 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  7. ^ Probably the best place to view it is by the road junction at map reference SO634365. Take the track leading SSW uphill from this junction. This track was created since the landslip occurred, and slices through the edge of the landslip. On your left there is a drop of about 3 metres to the adjacent field, and on your right is a 2 metre high cross-section to the slip, above which is a patch of rough ground on the top of the slip.
  8. ^ [1]

External links[edit]