History of the Parishes

The Pyons Group of Parishes was formed by the amalgamation of the civil parishes of Canon Pyon and King’s Pyon in the mid 1970’s. Within the two parishes are the settlements of Canon Pyon, Kings Pyon, Ledgemoor, Westhope and part of Bush Bank.

Canon Pyon (current population 276):

The modern village of Canon Pyon straddles the line of the A4110, although historically the
village would have centred on the church, Court House Farm and the Great House, which
lie a mile or so to the west of the village. Here there were also a small number of cottages
which have now disappeared. The Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral were the Lords
of the Manor. The village which grew up along the main road was formerly called New End
and is marked as such on Ordnance Survey maps.

The outstanding landmark in the parish is the tree covered, cone shaped Pyon Hill, which is
privately owned and has a derelict summer-house on the top.

Until the late 1950’s the village had changed little and there were few houses on the west
side of the main road until Canon Pyon Stores and the adjacent bungalows were built in the
late 1950’s. Later the Meadow Drive development extended the village to the south. The
former council house estate of Brookside was built in 1963. In recent years there have
been small developments at Patrick’s Orchard and Valentine Court.

The parish is in a primarily agricultural area with many of the men being employed as
labourers on the local farms or working in agricultural related industries as blacksmiths,
wheelwrights, and carpenters. However during the 1920’s the Yeomans Bus Company
started up at the Crown and remained in Canon Pyon for almost 50 years. Until the 1970’s
Yeomans Garage was an important element in the local economy, giving employment to
many local people and providing business for the local shop and post office.
Canon Pyon originally had two pubs, The Plough and the Nags Head. The latter also served
as the local shop for many years and is still being run now as a public house. The Plough
was converted to residential accommodation a few years ago.

Village amenities now include a shop and post office, a village hall, and a playing field with
facilities for football, cricket and tennis, a BMX track and a children’s play area.
The school was established in 1873 on land given in perpetuity by the Vaughan family and
at a time when each village had its own school. During the last century the village schools
have declined leaving Canon Pyon to serve the whole parish. The school lies to the north of
the village, directly on the A4110 and is still a thriving village school, attracting pupils from
surrounding villages and beyond, as well as local children.

Westhope (current population 266):

The hamlet of Westhope lies within a wooded valley to the north east of Canon Pyon,
leading up to the flat plain of Westhope Common from where there are fine panoramic
views extending from the Malvern’s to the Black Mountains and beyond. The small cottages
scattered around Westhope Hill and in the village were again mainly occupied by
agricultural labourers, many of whom worked at Upper House Farm, owned initially by the
Plevy family and then later by the Yeomans family.

During the 1930’s – 50s Mr Yeomans grew hops which he sold to a brewery in Warrington
and during the hop picking season the village would, for a month or so, be home to
hundreds of Welsh hop pickers and their families. Many were housed in buildings situated
in the orchard and what is now called ‘Summerlease’, remaining there until the early 80’s.
The farm was sold in the 1970’s and the land was bought by Bulmer’s and planted up as
cider orchards.

Most of the small cottages at Westhope have now been enlarged and converted into family
homes. The old farm buildings have been demolished and replaced with large Border Oak
homes, as have the old Hop Kilns. There is a small corrugated iron mission church in
Westhope, which was built in 1888. Regular Sunday services are still held there and it also
now serves as a community room for meetings and social activities.

Kings Pyon (current population 137*):

The village of King’s Pyon is clustered mainly around the parish church but the parish
extends as far as the A4110 to include part of Bush Bank. The parish still has close links
with the Tomkins family and the Hereford breed of cattle. There was formerly a village
school, which has been closed for some years, and a shop and post office. There are two
main farms within the village – Blackhall Farm and Brook House Farm; there are no
community facilities, the village hall having been demolished in the early 1960’s. The small
housing association development at Cuckoo Penn was rebuilt in recent years.

Ledgemoor (current population 137*):

Ledgemoor is a small community with a stone mission church, a public house and a club
room. Many of the men used to work on the Garnstone estate, which still owns some of
the houses in the village. Historically the residents of Ledgemoor have gravitated more
towards the large village of Weobley, some three miles away. There has been very little
development in Ledgemoor apart from the rebuilding of some small derelict cottages to
provide affordable housing.

Bush Bank (current population not recorded**):

At Bush Bank the focal point is now the Bush Inn but previously Bush Bank had a thriving
shop and garage and was at one time the residence of the local policeman, the District
Nurse and the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The former garage has now been
developed into a second hard car business.
(* population estimate split 50/50, ** included in Canon and Kings Pyon numbers.)