And The Surrounding District

Hope Orchard

In 1801 a table was put up in St Gregory’s Church of the lands belonging to the church and poor of the parish, noting that “when or by whom any of [the lands concerned] were given to our church and poor we cannot find”.  The rents of the poors-lands were expended by the parish primarily on the provision of clothes and coals for the poor.

Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring Concerning Charities made on 11 July 1829

Those lands included:

“Poors-land rented by Richard Cocks, esquire: one ground called Hope’s Orchard, and another called Yate’s Close. The whole rent two pounds and six shillings per annum.”

A memorial inscription in the Lady Chapel records that Richard Cocks, seventh son of John Cocks, late of Castleditch, died January 25th 1821 aged 82 years.

The 1885 Ordnance Survey Map shows the orchard, No 326.

In November 1916 a small piece of orchard, the property of The Rt. Hon. Lord Somers  was sold at auction, described as follows:

“Adjoining Hunters Hall Farm, in the Parish of Castlemorton, known as Hope Orchard, containing 1.020 acres (or thereabouts) and numbered 326 on the Ordnance Survey Map. This orchard is let to Mr Thomas Davis on a yearly tenancy from September 29th. It adjoins the main road from Castlemorton to Welland. Apportioned rent £2 per annum, Tenant paying Rates and Taxes. This lot is subject to an apportioned Tythe Rent Charge of 3/7, the value for 1916 being 3/-.”

Mr Davis was then running the Plume of Feathers .

In April 1960 Mr J P Cordery was granted planning permission for one dwelling on the site (which by then included a further strip of land adjacent to the B4208, running down to Syringa Cottage, part of which was subsequently acquired by the WCC for road widening). Mr Cordery may have acquired the land from one Samuel Dean .

“A history of the Cocks Family” by JV Somers Cocks 1967 (revised 1999) ISBN 0-473-06085-X ; a secondary source on the Cocks and Somers families

David Smallwood