Visit Ledbury and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Ledbury, Herefordshire. Almost on the borders of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, Ledbury stands on the lower slopes of a ridge running parallel to the nearby Malvern Hills which lie to the East of the ancient town. It is situated on the A438, roughly midway between Tewkesbury and Hereford and is a good centre for exploring an exceptionally beautiful part of England. Ledbury is traversed by a long street with its angled Market Place dominated by a delightful black-and-white Market House, timbered in herringbone pattern, raised on 16 columns of oak timber. The windows have leaded panes. It was built between 1617 and 1655. Cobbled Church Lane connects the Market Place and the church and epitomizes Tudor and Stuart streets. It has half-timbered houses with overhanging upper stories and a well-used and lived-in air that enhances its beauty. Almost opposite the Market House is St Katharine's Hospital founded in the 14th century by Bishop ffolliott. Only the red-stone chapel, with some stained glass and some tiles, belongs to this period; of the remainder some was rebuilt by Smirke in 1822 and the rest in 1866. The famous Feathers Hotel nearby is one of the best of the many good half-timbered buildings of which Ledbury is justly proud. First place of honour must, however, be given to the five-gabled Ledbury Park built by Lord Biddulph in 1590. Along the Worcester road is an early 19th-century extension and the garden wall skirts along Southend. From this house Prince Rupert directed a successful engagement with the Parliamentarians in 1646.
By New Street is another old inn, The Talbot, which possesses a beautiful panelled room with an overmantle, all of which dates from 1596. On the opposite side is The Steppes, equally old but partly restored. The mostly 14th-century Church of St Michael claims pre-eminence among all the parish churches of Herefordshire. It has an unusually wide nave and side aisles. The nucleus of the original church is Norman, as can be seen from the chancel arcade with its round pillars supported on sturdy square bases. The west door has a round arch and late Norman zigzag work. The north porch is Early English and a jamb of the door still bears the incision of a consecration cross. the upper story of the porch seems to have been added in the 14th century The detached early 13th-century tower of the church has an 18th-century recessed spire 202 ft high built by Wilkinson of Worcester to replace an earlier timber spire. A great deal of the glass in the church is Victorian, by Kempe, though there are some very early fragments, particularly in the north chapel which also possesses a fine effigy of a l3th-century priest in full eucharistic vestments. The church is rich in monuments, especially of the Bidduiph family. The Renaissance Skynner Tomb is a particularly interesting piece of humanized funerary sculpture. The five slightly bearded sons and five Stuart-capped daughters kneel beneath the canopied slab with the two beruffed parents kneeling with a plump baby in long clothes between them. At the east end of the north aisle is a monument to Edward Moulton Barrett who is buried here. He was the unbending father of Elizabeth Barrett Browning who was brought up at nearby Hope End, where at 15 she had the accident which was to aggravate her long illness. Three nearby houses are of considerable interest. The 15th-century Woodhouse Farm, gabled with tall chimneys, has a great hail and buttery. The five-bayed Dingwood Park, approximately l ¾miles South SouthEast from the town centre, was built about 1700 and has elegant stucco ceilings with flower and vine designs. Poet Laureate John Masefield was born in a Ledbury house called the Knapp in 1878.
Eastnor, a village in lovely countryside, is just 2 miles East of Ledbury on the A438 and has black-and-white cottages set against a tree-lined green. There is a pyramid-roofed well with interesting terracotta panels. In 1812 the 1st Earl Somers built a romantic baronial castle reminiscent of the Marcher days of Edward I. It was completed by the architect Smirke in 1814. He built a great hail 60 ft long and 65 ft high in the centre of the castle. The drawing-room was both designed and furnished by A. W. N. Pugin. The castle, which is open at advertised times to the public, is set in a fine deer park. This is beautifully wooded and has many rare trees. The collection of armour, paintings, tapestries and objets d'art is quite outstanding. The parish church, though a Norman foundation, is practically entirely the work of Sir G. Gilbert Scott who rebuilt the church and rectory between 1849 and 1852. The 14th-century tower was rebuilt but a late Norman south doorway was left intact. One of the church's acquired treasures is a superb embroidered Venetian red-velvet altar-frontal. A pleasant walk may be made 1 mile eastwards to Bronsil Castle which is a genuine but romantic ruin of the crenellated fortress of Richard Beauchamp, treasurer to King Henry VI. Little remains but the inner moat, which is still filled with water, and part of the gatehouse. The tall obelisk nearby was raised by Earl Somers to the memory of his son, who died in battle at Burgos the year building commenced on Eastnor Castle. Two miles to the East lies the greater part of an Iron Age hill-fort marked by the twin summits of Midsummer Hill and Hollybush.
Nearby cities: Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester
Nearby towns: Bromyard, Malvern, Newent, Ross-on-wye, Tewkesbury
Nearby villages: Ashperton, Bishops Frome, Bosbury, Bromsberrow, Canon Frome, Castle Frome, Castlemorton, Checkley, Colwall, Cradley, Cradley, Crow Hill, Dymock, Eastnor, Eldersfield, Evesbatch, Foy, Golden Valley, Hasfield, Kempley, Little Malvern, Little Marcle, Madresfield, Malvern, Malvern Link, Malvern Wells, Mathon, Much Cowarne, Much Marcle, Ocle Pychard, Pauntley, Putley, Ryton, Staunton, Stoke Edith, Stoke Lacy, Ullingswick, Upleadon, Upton Bishop, Welland, Woolhope
Have you decided to visit Ledbury or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Ledbury bed and breakfast (a Ledbury B&B or Ledbury b and b)
- a Ledbury guesthouse
- a Ledbury hotel (or motel)
- a Ledbury self-catering establishment, or
- other Ledbury accommodation