PRESTON, near Ledbury, is a parish situated on the borders of Herefordshire, 6½ miles north-north-west from Newent, 3 miles south-west from Ledbury, 9 north-east from Ross and 16 north-north-west from Gloucester, in the Eastern division of the county, hundred of Dudstone, and King’s Barton, union and county court district of Newent, rural deanery of North Forest, archdeaconry of Gloucester and diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, and is intersected by the turnpike road from Gloucester and Newent to Leominster, and by that from Ledbury to Ross. The name is derived from Priest Town, from its having belonged to a religious house from a very early date.
The church of St. John the Baptist is small, and consists of chancel, nave and south aisle, with a low bell-cot at the west end containing 2 bells: the church is Norman, and was restored in 1859, when the south aisle was added: the old Norman doorway remains under a 14th century porch, and the Agnus Dei, with cross is sculptured on its tympanum. The register dates from the year 1616. The living is a rectory, yearly value £140, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol and held by the Rev. Alfred Newton M.A. of St. John’s College, Cambridge. The rectory house is a handsome brick building, north of the church. Preston Court, near the church, is a building of the seventeenth century, now occupied by Mr. William Hartland.
The Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol is lord of the manor. The land belongs chiefly to the see of Gloucester and Bristol. The soil is deep red loam; subsoil clay and rock. The chief crops are wheat, barley, peas, beans, apples and pears.
The area is 884 acres; rateable value, £1,183; the population in 1871 was 82.
Parish Clerk Henry Pullin
Letters through Ledbury, the nearest money order office
Hartland William, Preston Court
Newton Rev. Alfred, M.A. Rectory
Brown Thomas, blacksmith
Gibbs Thomas, farmer, High house
Hartland William, farmer, Preston court
Spencer Caleb, farmer Vilt house