And The Surrounding District

All Saints, Hollybush was built in 1869 as a chapel within the parish of Castlemorton. Hollybush, at the extreme southern end of the Malvern Hills and on the border of three dioceses, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, was both extremely remote, and very poor.

It was built very cheaply, thanks to donations of money from local benefactors, and gifts of common land from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, of stone from the Eastnor estate (courtesy of Lord Somers), and the hard labour of local farm workers who pulled the stone from the quarries to the chapel site. The builder was a Mr Smart.

The following extract from the Worcester Journal, describing the benediction of the newly constructed chapel at Hollybush gives an idea of the remote and impoverished situation of the area.

This fascinating pdf describes the social agenda and history of the building church. It also describes a picture of a remote community on the borders of three counties.

This article mentions that 'The Church of Latter Day Saints' recruited thirty families. A significant loss for such a remote rural community.


"Can it be a source of wonder, then, that a district lying so open to attack by the powers of evil should have been selected a few years ago by the Mormons, who made a raid upon it and carried off thirty families to the Salt Lake! Perhaps this catastrophe was the best thing that could have happened, as it at once bestirred the church people of the neighbourhood to a sense of their duty, and an effort was made to amend the condition of these poor people."   The Church was particularly active in this area, it's first Chuch 'Gadfield Elm' lies at the bottom of the hills near Staunton.

The History of the Mormons in the are is a significant part of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire history.  Mormon Newsroom, history of recruiting in Herefordshire.


Church of All Saints, Hollybush, Worcestershire

Hollybush Church and Mary  Elizabeth Adolphine Selwyn  (born 1813, died 1881)

It was largely due to the fund raising efforts of Mary Selwyn (who lived opposite the church at Glenberrow) that Hollybush Church opened on November 3rd, 1869.

Mary Selwyn was particularly concerned about the lack of a place of worship at Hollybush and, like others, alarmed that 30 people from the area had been enticed away by the Mormons to Salt Lake City.

Together with Catherine, Countess of Beauchamp, Mary dedicated the stained glass window in the east end of the newly built church to her parents Townsend and Charlotte Selwyn. This dedication is commemorated on a plaque below the window.

This link will take you to the excellent  research and a group of PDF documents about the building and it's history.