Almeley village sign
Almeley shown within Herefordshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||HR3 6xx|
|Fire||Hereford and Worcester|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
General description of village
Much of the present village is built around a triangle of roads, with the Parish Church to the south, and on the edge of the built area. Going east from the church is Almeley Primary School. The village hall is at the eastern point of the triangle. Northwards (from the church) are a public house and a post office. At one of the road junctions by the church are the war memorial and a small sculpture depicting Almeley Parish.
Of historical interest are the Oldcastle (on the north-west side of the village) and Almeley Castle just south of the church. A brook, offering a reliable water supply, runs past both castles.
Almeley is mentioned as a small village in the Domesday Book of 1086 and also in 14th century land records "feet of fines". There is an entry for it in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England in 1848. It has a largely fourteenth-century church, and is notable as the birthplace of Sir John Oldcastle, a Lollard sympathizer who was eventually executed for treason in 1417; he is presumed to be the basis for Shakespeare's character of Falstaff.
One of the early Quaker meeting houses is to be found in Almeley Wootton, a hamlet about half a mile north of Almeley village, but within the parish. It was given to the Quakers in 1672 by its owner, Roger Prichard, and is still in use by Quakers today. Two of the Quakers who worshipped there (Roger's son, Edward Prichard, and Edward's brother-in-law, John Eckley) were involved with William Penn in setting up the colony of Pennsylvania in 1682 Almeley Quakers' website. A third castle is situated in the hamlet of Woonton in the Parish near The Mere at a place called Hall Mote. The whole parish has physical evidence of shrunken settlement at Woonton, Almeley Wootton,Hopleys Green, Upcott and Logaston numbering over 100 buildings. There is also map evidence for these lost buildings which appear to have been gone by the Mid 1800,s. Finds in the Parish include Neolithic polished axe heads from Upcott, flint tools from various locations, Roman coins from Spearsmarsh and Eccles Alley, Roman Pottery from the Manor House area near the church and coins of King John, Henry III, Edward I and most periods in between to modern times which shows the parish as a place of continual use for over 4000 years.
United Kingdom census data show that the population of Almeley has fallen overall by about 30% from 1801 to 1971 (from 753 to 521) but the ratio of males to females has remained at 1:1 over the same period. As a rural parish, it is not surprising that its population density has remained low (at about 1 person per five acres) from 1850 to 1950. During this 100 year period the national average rose from approximately 2 people per 4 acres (16,000 m2) to about 5 people per 4 acres (16,000 m2). It is home to a large number of farmers. One in particular travels on the bus to and from Hereford on Wednesdays to see the market.
It received the award of "Best Kept Herefordshire Village" in 1990, and is often visited by tourists exploring the "Black and White Village Trail".
Views of the village
- http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=7577943&queryType=1&resultcount=24210 nationalarchives.gov.uk
- http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=50752&strquery=almeley#s6 british-history.ac.uk
- http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_table_page.jsp?data_theme=T_POP&data_cube=N_TPop&u_id=10085123&c_id=10001043&add=N visionofbritain.org.uk
- http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_table_page.jsp?data_theme=T_POP&data_cube=N_Gender&u_id=10085123&c_id=10001043&add=Y visionofbritain.org.uk
- http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_rate_page.jsp?u_id=10085123&c_id=10001043&data_theme=T_POP&id=0 visionofbritain.org.uk
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