Three Centuries of East Herefordshire Farms and Families

1700 until now By Jean Ila Currie

About Jean Ila Currie

Jean was born in India at the time of the Raj. She had links with Herefordshire from an early age.

Her parents bought a house in East Herefordshire in 1938 whilst on leave and much of her childhood in the post-war period was spent there.

At this time she knew many of the farms and farmers described in the book.

She is an international economist by background with specialisms in international trade and regional economics.

She worked as a consultant for the World Bank, UNIDO and other international agencies, as well as for the British government.

She has always had an active interest in Herefordshire history and is a long-time member of the Woolhope Club.

About The Book

Herefordshire with its beautiful countryside encompasses a remarkable heritage. Remote and lacking mineral resources it escaped the ravages of the Industrial Revolution. On the other hand the soil is largely fertile. A happy result is that the farming families and their farms have had a continuity lacking elsewhere.


The first six chapters of this book describe farming in East Herefordshire from the early 18th to the early 21st centuries. Despite its disastrous roads Herefordshire was already known nationally for its hops, cider and cattle in the 18th century. In the 19th century and first half of the 20th century Hereford pedigree cattle provided the bloodlines for the beef herds of North and South America and Australia. The historically important hopyards of East Herefordshire are making a recovery in the early 21st century.

They are often the descendants of those who farmed this land for many years and sometimes for centuries. The book highlights the history of these farms and families, so that they can be treasured as a remarkable British heritage, and continue, though in modern guise, in the years to come.




The farmhouses themselves often date back to the 17th century and are on sites that are even older. In the last quarter of the 20th century the farmworkers left, replaced by machinery, with the cottages transformed into residences for prosperous professionals normally unassociated with agriculture. Increasingly in the 21st century, the lovely farmsteads themselves, often with hop kilns and extensive farm buildings, are now being sold off.   However many of the farms and their farming families still remain and intend to remain.

Part I chapters 1-6 describe the different farming in East Herefordshire over more than three centuries whilst Part II chapters 7 and 8 describe the farming families with glimpses of their lives. They draw on part 111, a history of 36 different East Herefordshire farms over this period.

Beautiful East Herefordshire

"Some of The 36 Farms Covered in The Book"

Click on the image for more info

Canwood Farm

Stone House farm buildings

Walsopthorne Farm

Lower House Farm Little Marcle

Schowle Court

More Photos Here

Yare Farm





Buy the book

Cheques can be sent to 
Owlstone Developments Ltd, 
Cotswold, Heol-y Parc,
CF15 9NB
price £ 24 inclusive UK postage.

- send e mail with details to or telephone  07895919533



National Archive Bookshop Bessant Dr, Richmond TW9 4DU
Museum of Rural Life 6 Redlands Rd, Reading RG1 5EX 
Cathedral bookshop Hereford Cathedral Hereford HR1 2NG
Ledbury Books and Maps 20 High St, Ledbury HR8 1DS
Rossiter bookshop 7 The High Street; Ross-on-Wye HR9 5HL; 5 Church St Monmouth NP25 3BX; 9-11 Drapers Ln, Leominster HR6 8ND

Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre (HARC), Fir Tree Lane, Hereford HR2 6LA
Hereford Tourist Information Centre Buttermarket Hereford
The Nest Little Verzons Farm, Ledbury HR8 2PZ 

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Jean Ila Currie
Cotwold Heol-y Parc
Cardiff CF15 9NB


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