Abbey Dore Herefordshire Family History Guide

Abbey Dore is an Ancient Parish in the county of Herefordshire.

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin: 1634

Nonconformists include: Roman Catholic

Parishes adjacent to Abbey Dore

[su_gmap address=”Abbey Dore Herefordshire” zoom=”11″]

Historical Descriptions

The Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire 1873

During four centuries the Manor of Dore was in the possession of the Abbey of Cistercian monks founded within the limits of the parish by Robert de Ewyas at the beginning of King Stephen’s reign. The lands with which the Abbey was originally endowed cannot be identified with absolute certainty, but in the confirmation of grants dated 17 Hen. III. (1233) mention is made of “terra de Blancharbesal” as part of Robert de Ewyas’s gift, and of “tota plana terra quae est inter Blacapolam et Broc Justini (perhaps Blackmore and Jury brook) et dimidium boscum,” &c. The Abbey was subsequently enriched by numerous gifts of lands and especially by a grant from King John of all the land, wood and open, lying between the river Dore and the brook Trivel. The Granges in the parish still so called at the commencement of the last century were the following :—Hollin Grange, Morehampton, Newborough, Newbrook, Chapell Grange, Kingston and New Grange—and their number and position indicate pretty accurately the extent of the Abbey’s possessions.

As the yearly value of the monastery was little more than £100 it was suppressed as early as 27 Hen. VIII. (A.D. 1536) and the principal lands were granted by the King four years later to John Scudamore of Hom Lacy. The history of that family will be given at length in a subsequent page, and it is only necessary here to remark that John, 1st Viscount Scudamore, restored the old Abbey Church and re-endowed it with the whole tithes of the Parish. The Church was consecrated by Dr. Theophilus Field, Bishop of St. David’s, on March 22, 1634, and remains a fair example of what the religious zeal of the seventeenth century could effect. It is reserved for the present age, when a greater knowledge of architectural principles prevails, to carry out the work which the piety of the past commenced. Part of the monastic buildings, called Lancashire Hall, was converted into a Rectory House, “but this growing into decay and the situation being found unhealthy and inconvenient by Reason of the Water which ran through it every Flood, after the happy Restatiration of the King and the Re-establishment of the Church his Lordship provided a better, obtaining License from Bishop Croft to pull the old one down, and erect a new one, in a more healthy and convenient place; which was accordingly done in A.D. 1665. . . . His Lordship likewise built extraordinary good out-houses here; and assigned Glebe, viz., the scite of the Abbey, Gardens and Orchards, containing five Acres or thereabouts.” (Gibsoris View of the ancient and present state of the Churches of Door, &c. 1727. pp. 42—43.)

The Scudamore property continued with the descendants of the Viscount until 1821, when a partition of the estates between the various co-heirs took place, and 1434 acres in Abbey Dore were assigned to John Parsons, Esq. (who took the name of Higford), one of the great grandchildren and co-heirs of James Higford (see Scudamore pedigree, sub Hom Lacy.} He bequeathed the property to his kinsman and godson, Thomas Freke Lewis, Esq., who is the present proprietor.

Within the parish of Abbey Dore is situated Morehampton, which, as has been already mentioned, formed part of the Abbey lands. It was purchased from the Crown by Stephen ap Harry, who was Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1546 and died in 1555. By his second wife, Jane Wolrych (who was buried in the Cathedral in 1606), he left a son and heir, John Parry, who married Ann, daughter of Thomas Vaughan of Bredwardine, and had an only child, Blanch, who became the wife of her cousin, Rowland Vaughan, of Dulas. Their son, Stephen Parry, exchanged Morehampton with Serjeant Hoskyns for the Manor of Arkeston in the adjoining parish of Kingston (Harl. MS. 6726.) ; and from about the year 1621 (MS. Letters of Serjt. Hoskyns, penes H. Matthews, M.P.) it became the chief residence of the Serjeant, and the occasional abode of his descendants. Morehampton was sold by the late Sir Hungerford Hoskyns in the year 1828 to Mr. Hamp, of Hereford, and was purchased from his representatives in 1870 by William Laslett, M.P. for Worcester.

No trace whatever of the old mansion is now to be seen, and even fifty years ago it appeared to be an ordinary farm-house, with no special features to distinguish it from its neighbours.

Reserving for a later page (see sub Harewood) our account of the Hoskyns family, we will only add a few words on the traditional visit of James I. to Morehampton. Mr. Nichols in his Progresses of King James I. (preface, p. xix.) examines the current story and comes to the conclusion that in all probability the monarch never visited Herefordshire at all, and that he was certainly not at the Hereford races in 1609, when a meeting of veteran morris-dancers really took place in the presence of many distinguished visitors. That event forms the subject of a rare tract entitled, “Old Meg of Herefordshire for a Mayd-Marian, and Hereford Towne for a morris-daunce ; or Twelve morris-dancers in Herefordshire of twelve hundred years old.” (see British Bibliographer, IV. pp. 326. 338.) Fuller, indeed, does not connect this entertainment with Morehampton, simply stating that it was provided by “the ingenious Serjeant Hoskin,” whose name however does not occur in the list of persons present on the occasion. But from some unknown cause, Baronetages and Guidebooks are unanimous in giving to Morehampton the distinction of having provided quarters for the King and a display of centenarianism never paralleled elsewhere. Although loth to rob the Serjeant of the credit of having revenged himself thus upon the King who had imprisoned him, we cannot but regard the incident as altogether apocryphal.

KINGSTONE GRANGE, in the same parish, is a good specimen of an old-fashioned timber-house of the early part of the seventeenth century. William Hoskyns (younger son of Sir Bennet, 1st. Bart.), resided there in 1712, and founded an Alms House within the parish of Kingstone. The estate soon afterwards passed into the hands of the Greens of Cagebrook (see sub Madley) and was conveyed on marriage by a coheiress of that family to the late Mr. J. Gowland, from whose executors it was purchased in 1860 by the Rev. Archer Clive, its present proprietor.

In the list of gentry in Blome’s Britannia (circa 1670) the name of “Giles Brydges, of Jury, gent,” occurs. He was third son of Sir Giles Brydges, of Wilton Castle, Bart, and was buried at Peterstow, l0th December, 1703. The house he inhabited was LOWER JURY, which formed part of the Chandos estates until their sale to the Governors of Guy’s Hospital about the year 1733. It has been lately purchased by Mr. Collinge.

The DYFFRYN, now the property of Mr. A. Clive, belonged for several generations to a branch of the Smyth family, which came from Shropshire and was settled at Credenhill (which see) Foxley and Byford in this county. Peter Smyth, of the Dyffryn, married Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Hereford, of Sufton, and died 14th December, 1671, aged 71. BLACKMOOR also appears to have been a mansion of some importance in the seventeenth century, when it was occupied by some of the Morgans of the Arkstone line. The Parish Register records baptisms of the children of Charles Morgan, gent, in 1640 and 1645, and the burial of William Morgan, gent, in 1660.

Source: The Mansions & Manors of Herefordshire. Rev. Charles J. Robinson, M.A. Printed and Published by James Hull, High Town, Hereford; 1873.

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

Abbeydore, a village and a parish in the district and county of Hereford. The village stands on the river Dore, 2 miles NW of Pontrilas r. station, and 11 SW of Hereford; and has a post-office under Hereford. It is an old-fashioned place, and offers facilities for anglers. The parish comprises 5,390 acres. Real property, £4,593. Pop., 551. Houses, 99. The property is divided among a few. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Hereford. Value, £680. Patrons, the co-heirs of the late duchess of Norfolk. A Cistertian abbey was founded here, by Robert de Ewyas, in the time of King Stephen; and passed at the dissolution, to the Scudamores. The present church belonged to the abbey, was recently repaired, and contains a fine pulpit, some beautiful painted windows, and several ancient monuments. Charities, £44.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A Fullerton & Co. N.d.c. [1870-72].

The National Gazetteer 1868

ABBEY DORE, or DORE, a par. in the hund. of Webtree, in the co. of Hereford, 13 miles S.W. of Hereford, and 2 miles N.W. of Pontrilas railway station. It is situated in the Golden Valley on the river Dore, which is celebrated for its trout, and falls into the Munnow near Roilstone. The Newport, Abergavenny, and Hereford railway passes through the parish. The living is a rect.* in the disc. of Hereford, val. £680, and in the patron. of the co-heirs of the late Duchess of Norfolk, who hold the manor. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious stone edifice, in the Norman style of architecture, with a square tower, and three beautiful stained glass windows. It contains a screen, several monuments and ancient vases, and a remarkable stone coffin of very early date, which was discovered under the church. It formerly belonged to the Cistercian abbey of Dore founded by Robert de Ewyas, in the reign of King Stephen, whose monument may still be seen in the church. There is a United National and Free School, endowed by Watts with £8 per annum ; and the parochial charities amount to about £37. The pop. is small, and employed in agriculture. The union of Dore comprises 28 pars, and tnshps., and the petty sessions are held here.

Source: The National Gazetteer: a Topographical Dictionary of the British Islands compiled from the latest and best sources and illustrated with a complete county atlas and numerous maps. Vol. 1. Virtue & Co. London. 1868.
Note: The asterisk (*) denotes that there is a parsonage and glebe belonging to the living.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Dore-Abbey, or Abbey-Dore, a parish in Webtree hund., union of Dore, county of Hereford; 12 miles south by west of Hereford, on the river Dore, and in the vicinity of the Hereford railway. Living, a rectory in the archd. and dio. of Hereford; rated at £8; gross income £540. Patrons, in 1835, co-heirs of the late duchess of Norfolk. Here is a daily school, partly supported by endowment. Charities, £34 per annum. Poor rates, in 1837, £223. A work house has been erected here for the union of Dore, by the poor-law commissioners, capable of accommodating 100 persons. The Dore poor-law union comprehends 29 parishes, embracing an area of 118 square miles; with a population returned in 1831, at 9,203. Tanner, Not. Mon., states that, “Robert the Ewyas, youngest son to Harold, lord of Ewyas, built here, temp. K. Steph., an abbey of White monks, to the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which consisted of an abbot and eight religious, about the time of the dissolution, when its revenues were worth £101 5s. 2d. per annum Dugd.: £118 2s. Speed. This monastery was granted, 31° Henry VIIL, to John Scudamore.” Acres 5,790. Houses 96. A. P. £4,204. Pop., in 1801, 567; in 1831, 533.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Abbey-Dore, 10 m. S.W. Hereford. P. 542
Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton 1833

Dore-Abbey, co. Hereford.

P.T. Hereford (135) 12 m. SW b S. Pop. 523.

A parish in the hundred of Webtree; living, a rectory in the archdeaconry and diocese of Hereford; valued in K. B. 8l. ; patrons (1829) General Burr and Sir E. Stanhope, alternately. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St. Mary, consists of a nave, chancel, and transept, and has a handsome massive tower. Here was formerly an establishment for Cistertian monks, called Dore Abbey, from its situation being near the river of that name; it was founded in the reign of King Stephen, and John after wards increased its possessions. At the general suppression, it was pulled down, and the materials sold; and a part also of the abbey church, which, however, was restored in 1634, by Theophilus Field, bishop of St. David’s, and it is now the parochial church. The abbey-lands are the property of the Duke of Norfolk.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton. The Irish and Welsh articles by G. N. Wright; Vol. I; London; Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand; 1833.

Parish Records

FamilySearch – Birth Marriage & Death records, Census and Military records – Free

Birth Marriage and Death Records

England, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

England Marriages, 1538–1973

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Grave Indexes

BillionGraves Index

Find A Grave Index

Migration and Naturalisation Records

Migration Records at FamilySearch

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries

Census Records

England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales National Register, 1939

Probate and Court Records

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

Military Records

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920


Abbey Dore Kelly’s Directory of Herefordshire 1909 – Google Books

The Post Office Directory Of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, And The City Of Bristol 1863 – Google Books

Abbey Dore Kellys Herefordshire Directory 1863

Abbey Dore or Dore Cassey Directory of Herefordshire 1858


  • County: Herefordshire
  • Civil Registration District: Hereford
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Hereford
  • Rural Deanery: Weobley
  • Poor Law Union: Dore
  • Hundred: Webtree
  • Province: Canterbury