I came across an entry from Kilvert’s Diary recently and just had to share it. Francis Kilvert was an English clergyman remembered for his diaries reflecting rural life in the 1870s. He worked as a curate and then as a vicar in local parishes and his entry for Thursday, March 13th is so evocative – it could almost be written today except of course there is no longer a railway station at Credenhill. He was born in 1840 and died, aged 39 in 1879 and although I can’t find the year of this entry I suspect it was about 1870 when he was curate of Clyro.
“A lovely and cloudless day. Walked with Sam to Kinnersley Station to catch 11.45 train to Hereford. I got out at Credenhill with Mr Fowle and Charlesworth. We three walked to Credenhill Church, then up by Credenhill Court and along the hillside under the wood to Brinsop. Lovely views of the Black Mountain with snow patches, the Garden Fawr and the Skyrrid, a very striking and picturesque peak. Little Brinsop Church lay peacefully below among the meadows of the Brinsop Vale. Lunch at Brinsop Vicarage, then Charlesworth left for the train to Hereford. In the afternoon I walked with Mr Fowle to the Church and then across the meadows to Brinsop Court. We met a fine old lady walking with a tall staff as high as her shoulder. A young woman in a scarlet cloak was with her. A fine sunset gleam lit up the grand old manor house and the lawn and the two snow-white swans on the flowing water of the Moat. On the lawn grew the cedar planted by William Wordsworth the poet. Young Mr Edwards (the tenant of the farm which belongs to the Ricardo family) was carpentering in the greenhouse. He courteously took us into a noble sitting room Turkey carpeted and nicely furnished with a fine painting of the poet over the chimney piece. And here dear Dorothy Wordsworth spent much of her time.”
“A grand old Quaker lady with white hair, the mother of the tenant, sat by the fire nursing a little girl, while a dark young lady, vivacious and pleasant, the mother of the child knelt on the hearthrug by them, a pretty family picture. Mr Edwards showed us the grand old banqueting hall reached by a flight of exterior steps from the courtyard. It is now a granary. Opposite were the Chapel and Armoury. Some of the old men on the farm can remember a wagon load of armour and arms being taken away when the Danseys, the former lords of Brinsop, sold the property and vacated the Court.”
“Mr Edwards said he had heard his father say that when he first came down to Brinsop out of Radnorshire he rode across the moat over the old drawbridge. Back to Brinsop Vicarage to tea and then I was driven to the Credenhill station to catch the 8.10 train. Walked home from Kinnersley. A sharp frost and the N.W. Wind bitterly cold.”
The magic of Brinsop, especially on a sunny day, conjures up images of Kilvert and his time here.