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Private collection




Original documents


Abstract of deeds and documents relating to Little Blackhill Farm, Llanveynoe

Place name:

Llanveynoe, Craswall


1805 - 1986


 6 February 1877 . Agreement for rental of Blackhill Farm [sic] between
1) John Price of Abergavenny, Carpenter
2) Vere [sic] Smith of Craswall and James Smith of Llanveynoe, Farmers
[The signature ‘Vear Smith’ here and elsewhere gives the correct spelling.]

1) agrees to let to 2) ‘all that farm and lands with the buildings thereto belonging called Blackhill Farm situation in the township of Crasswall’ for one year and longer by agreement at the rent of  £58 per annum. Conditions specified for the tenant include, inter alia,  agreement to cultivate and manage the land in a husband like manner according to the most approved method of agriculture, to make a summer fallow of one third of the tillage land for wheat and to plough it three times, to keep all hedges and ditches in good and proper repair and not to cut down any timber or timber-like trees, to keep and preserve all under wood and take care of all gates and stiles, to consume all hay and straw on the premises and other fodder and to spread and bestow all manure. The tenants also agree to pay all parochial taxes and to keep the buildings in good repair. A portion of the land is reserved for use of the landlord: ‘It is hereby expressly understood and agreed that the said John Price reserves the little farm house with the sawpit and a portion of the ground adjoining thereto nor exceeding one rood and eleven perches or thereabouts for his own use and the same no part of the present letting.’

17 May 1877 . Copy of the Will of John Price of Westbourne Place in the town of Abergavenny, Carpenter (died 18 May 1877).

Provisions for John Price’s property include a bequest of £600 and also his leasehold messuages, tenements and dwelling houses, the one in his own occupation and the other in the occupation of his tenant George Gower, unto his dear wife Elizabeth Price, and all his freehold and leasehold messuages, one messuage being in the respective occupation of my tenants James Smith and Vere Smith situate in the parish of Clodock, and also the corn rentcharge for the same premises unto John Clayton of the parish of Burghill, Farmer, being the husband of his cousin Hannah Clayton.
Signed by HL Baker, Solicitor, Abergavenny
George Gower, Engine Driver, Abergavenny
Proved at Llandaff on 18 June 1877. Testator died on 18 May 1877.

25 October 1877. Letter from HL Baker, solicitor in Abergavenny, to Mr John Clayton.

‘Dear Sir,
[Heading:] Little Blackhill
On receipt of your Letter this morning I called on Mrs Price who handed me the Plan which I now enclose to you. [The plan referred to is missing.] You had better take great care of it as it appears to have been very well prepared by Mr Fosbrooke. The Surrender of Admittances to the copyhold will afford information as to these Lands and give all particulars. I have made a copy of the late Mr John Price’s Will for you and send it herewith. Please acknowledge receipt of the Plan and Copy Will. Yours truly HR Baker

16 September 1879. Assessment of Inland Revenue due on succession to the property by John Clayton of Burghill, farmer.

Information given in a proforma for income tax assessment notes freehold and leasehold land held by John Clayton of Burghill, farmer. Income tax payable on the total holding was £26.12.10p.

Description of property
‘Old messuage or cottage and barn with 20a 2r 0p of freehold land forming part of Little Blackhill or Tyr Blackhill Estate in the Township of Craswall in the County of Hereford in the occupation of Messrs Smith.’  Saleable value £420. Gross rack-rental or annual value £16.5s.
Leasehold :
‘Two pieces of Arable & meadow land 5.2.25 called Jenkins fields also part of Tyre Blackhill Farm...aforesaid being leasehold under the Marquis of Abergavenny...’ Saleable value £55, gross rack-rental of annual value £4.15s.
A messuage or farmhouse and farm buildings and 46a 0r 16p of land further part of Little or Tyr Blackhill Farm...being leasehold under the Marquis of Abergavenny...’ Saleable value £370. Gross rack-rental or annual value £37.

8 October 1903. Notice of the reversion of Upper Black Hill rented to Mr Vere Smith. [This letter does not relate to Little Blackhill but to the neighbouring farm also rented by Vear Smith.]

Letter from JH Gilbert Harris of Abergavenny acting for the Marquis of Abergavenny to T Llanwarne of Hereford.
‘I understand you act for the owner of Upper Black Hill rented by Mr Vere Smith at the yearly rent of £45 the acreage being 70 acres. Out of this there are a50 r0 p12 which were lifehold under the Marquess of Abergavenny and as the last life died on the 6 Novr 1902 from that date all rents & profits belong to his Lordship. I have been over the land with the Tenant and he has agreed to rent it at £20 per annum and I shall be glad to receive your cheque for £7.10.0 being one quarters rent due from your client at 2 Feby last. Yours faithfully JH Gilbert Harris.

6 December 1904. Indenture: conveyance for the sale of Little Blackhill Farm.

1) Anna Turner of Y Olde Vicarage, Wellington in the county of Hereford, Widow
2) Vear Smith of Cwm Steps, Craswall

Recites the will of John Price of Westbourne Place Abergavenny dated 17 May 1877 respecting his tenants James Smith and Vear Smith and the rent charge payable to John Clayton of Burghill in Herefordshire. John Clayton died on 16 May 1895 at the Old Vicarage Burghill leaving his daughter Anna Turner (formerly Anna Clayton) his only child and next of kin him surviving. Anna Turner has agreed with Vear Smith for the sale to him for £285 of the freehold portion of the hereditaments known as Little Blackhill and the corn rentcharge formerly belonging to the Earl of Oxford .


Field number





The Orchard
Wern Wheat
Wern wood

Rough pasture
Rough pasture
Arable orchard
Arable orchard
Rough pasture

2a 1r 16p
2a 1r 16p
2a 2r 22p
1a 1r 33p
1a 1r 27p
1a 1r 11p
2a 1r 1p
1a 1r 30p
3a 1r 32p
2a 1r 37p
20a 2r 0p total


7 December, 1904. Mortgage agreement between
1) Vear Smith of Cwm Steps Craswall, Farmer
2) Thomas Llanwarne, Gentleman of the city of Hereford

2) agrees to lend 1) a mortgage of £150 at 4.5% interest per annum on all that messuage in the whole twenty acres and two roods known as Little Blackhill. And also the cash rentcharge formerly belonging to the Earl of Oxford charged upon the said lands.
Schedule of fields totalling 20 acres 2 roods.

7 December 1904.   Agreement and promissory note for a further loan of £27.17s from Thomas Llanwarne to Vear Smith, for repayment at 5% interest

5 January 1906.   Application for loan
Letter from RL Baker solicitor in Abergavenny to D Howell James, Esq.

In consequence of T Llanwarne’s death, RL Baker applies to D Howell James for a loan of £200 at 4% interest on the house and premises called Little Blackhill together with 20 acres of land.  ‘The present owner for twenty years prior to purchasing the property in Decr 1904 was the tenant of these premises at £18 per annum & he also paid the taxes. This application is made in consequence of the Mortgagee’s [Thomas Llanwarne’s] death. I shall be glad to know if you can entertain the advance.  Yours faithfully, RL Baker’

31 January 1906.   Indenture: transfer of mortgage between

1) Thomas Herbert Maddy of 51 Argyle Road, Ealing Dean, Middlesex, Barrister-at-law and William John Humphreys of the city of Hereford, Solicitor
2) Vear Smith of Cwm Steps, Craswall, Farmer
3) David Howwell James of Abergavenny, Bank Manager

Recites mortgage from Thomas Llanwarne to Vear Smith for £150 and interest and a further loan of £27.17.6 and interest. Thomas Llanwarne died 1 January 1905, appointing as his executors Thomas Herbert Maddy and William John Humfreys. Now the mortgage and other loans amounting to £200 at 4.5% interest are transferred to David Howell James, mortgagee.  A proviso is made for fire insurance to be paid in the sum of £200.

24 January, 1911 Indenture; transfer of mortgage between

1) David Howell James of Abergavenny, Bank Manager
2) Vear Smith of Cwm Steps Craswall, Farmer
3) Clara James wife of Allen James of Trevedw, Pandy, Monmouthshire

Recites the previous mortgage indentures. The principal sum of £200 still remains owing but all interest has been paid to date. Now, David Howell James assigns the principal sum to Clara James to be paid by Vear Smith on the same terms as previously.

(nd) 1911  Schedule of Deeds, from Vear Smith to Mrs C James

The following transcript of a memorandum summarises property transactions relating to Little Blackhill. Some of the items noted are missing from the surviving collection of documents.

Schedule of Deeds
relating to the title of Mr Vear Smith to Little Blackhill Farm
situate at Craswall in the parish of Clodock in the County of Hereford.

1805 January 2

1834 August 27
1839 September 4
1877, January 6
1877 May 17
1877, October 25
1879, September 19
1903 October 8
1904 Decr 6
1904 December 7
1904 December 7
1906 Jan 5
1906 Jan 31
1906 May 18
1911 January 24

Release Smith & Others to Thomas Price of Tithe issuing from Little Blackhill in Crasswall
Copy Court Roll Manor of Ewyas Lacy
Copy Court Roll Manor of Ewyas Lacy
Agreement for letting John Price & Vear Smith
Copy will of John Price
Letter from Mr HL Baker to John Clayton
Succession Acccount (with receipt for duty thereon) John Clayton
Letter from Mr JHG GHarris to late Mr T Llanwarne
Conveyance Mrs Anna Turner to Mr Vear Smith
Mortgage from Mr Vear Smith to late Mr T Llanwarne to secure
Further charge, same date & same parties for securing £27-17-6 with P/N
Letter to Mr DH James from RL Baker
Transfer of Mortgage and further Charge from the Executors of late Mr T Llanwarne with (& by direction of) Mr Vear Smith & Mr David Howell James to secure £200 + interest.
Policy of Insurance in the Alliance office + 2 Premium Receipts
Transfer of Mortgage D Howell James Esq by the direction of Mr Vear Smith to Mrs Clara James.


30 March 1915   Indenture; transfer of mortgage between

1) Executors of the will of Clara James, deceased:
Cecil James of Penydre Farm, Llanfihangel Crucorney, Monmouthshire
John Reginald Jacob of Abergavenny, Solicitor
2) Vear Smith of Cwm Steps Craswall
3) Trustees of the Particular Baptist Chapel at Capel-y-ffin in the hamlet of Glynfach, Llanigon, Brecon:
Philip Greenow of The Park, Llanigon Breconshire, Farmer
George Lewis of Wainrhyd, Llanigon, Farmer
David Price of Penmaen, Cwmyoy Upper, Farmer
Thomas Williams of Perthyperton, Clodock, Farmer
Clifford Powell of Chapel Farm, Cwmyoy Upper, Farmer
James Lewis of Tyronnen , Cwmyoy Upper, Farmer
Abraham Lewis of The Castle, Llanigon, Farmer
William Williams of Pantygwyddid

Recites previous indentures. Now, the will of Clara James, who died on 14 December 1914, provides for the transfer from 1) to 3) as mortgagees for the loan to 2) of £200 principal at interest of £5% per annum.

23 December 1921 Conveyance; agreement to purchase between
1) Edward Mountford of Lower Blackhill, Craswall, Farmer,
2) Vear Smith of The Steps Farm, Craswall, Farmer,

1) agrees to sell to 2) for the sum of £20 a parcel of land being part of Blackhill Farm containing 2 roods 6 perches delineated in the map coloured pink. The land had been conveyed to the vendor on 8 June, 1921 from a sale by the Marquis of Abergavenny.


8 July 1933
Conveyance: repayment of principal, all interests and costs
[This document is an addendum to the conveyance of 30 March 1915]

1) Executors of the will of Elizabeth Smith, late of Cwm Steps, Craswall, deceased:
Arthur Farr of Little Cwm Farm, Craswall
Thomas Price of Tregoed, Longtown
2) Trustees of the Particular Baptist Chapel at Capel y Ffyn, in the hamlet of Glynfach, Llanigon:
George Lewis of The Elms, Kingsland, Herefordshire, Farmer
David Price of [blank]
Clifford Powell of Llanthony Court, Llanthony, Farmer
James Lewis of Tyronnen, Llanthony, Retired Farmer
James Lewis junior of Tyronnen, Llanthony, Farmer

In settlement of the will of Elizabeth Smith, widow of Cwm Steps Craswall who died on 18 November 1932, 1) pays to 2) the principal of £200 together with all interests and costs.

10 July 1933 Conveyance of Little Blackhill farm and land
1) Arthur Farr of Little Cwm Farm, Craswall and Tomas Price of Tregoed, Longtown (vendors)
2) Carlemonde Ethel Smith of Little Blackhill Farm, Craswall (purchaser)

Recites the will of Elizabeth Smith and settlement of the previous mortgage. Now, for the sum of £350 1) conveys to 2) ‘all that messuage or dwellinghouse with the farm lands buildings and appurtenances containing in the whole twenty acres  two roods and twenty three perches or thereabouts...set out and described in the Schedule hereto and delineated on the plan’.




8 October 1940
Agreement for the letting of Little Black Hill

1) Carlemone Ethel Smith of the Parsonage Farm, Llanrathal near Monmouth, wife of Alfred Smith (the Landlord)
2) Alfred Howells of Little Blackhill, farmer (the Tenant)

1) agrees to let the farm known as Little Blackhill to 2) with specified conditions relating, inter alia, to keeping the house and property in good repair, maintaining hedges and good husbandry of the land, not converting meadow or pasture land to tillage without consent of the landlord, not to underlet.

1 February 1971 Assent to vesting of Little Blackhill in Elizabeth Rona Oakley

Carlemone Ethel Smith, of Monsons Cross Cottage, Monmouth, died on 7 October 1955. Executors of her will were Elizabeth Rona Oakley of The Darlin, Llangattock-vibon-Avel near Monmouth, Married Woman, and James Thomas Smith of Pont Hendre, Longtown, Farmer, who were also trustees of a trust relating to Little Blackhill set up in the will. Now, Elizabeth Rona Oakley and James Thomas Smith assent to the vesting of Little Blackhill in Elizabeth Rona Oakley.

25 June 1986 Requisition for a search to South Herefordshire District Council

A pro forma application was made by Granvill-West, Chivers & Morgan, Solicitors of Abergavenny for a search for ‘All that farmhouse, buildings and land comprising 20.64 acres, Little Blackhill, Craswall, in the county of Hereford.’ An official certificate of search confirmed the property described. (reference 1135–86).

Other documents

Various dates Documents relating to fire insurance
Receipts for fire insurance for £200 insured at 3s.9d premium for the years 1908, 1909, 1910 and 1912.
A fire insurance policy and covering letter sent to Mr James Lewis Jr, Tyronnen, Llanthony dated 23 March 1916.

15 June 1920 Memorandum of Agreement for the purchase for £875 of properties near Capel y ffin, in the parish of Tregoyd and Velindre. This document does not relate to Little Blackhill.

Two farms and other farmland in three lots were purchased at auction by Thomas Nicholls of The Pendre Farm Abergavenny and James Lewis Junior of Tyronen, Llanthony. As James Lewis was a trustee for the mortgage to Little Blackhill from the Baptist Chapel at Capel y ffin, it seems likely that this document was placed by him in the bundle of Little Blackhill documents. 



Other information about Little Blackhill not included among these documents:

Tithe survey 1840s: Owner John Price, tenant William Farr
Sale by auction 12 July 1856 newsclip : newly erected dwelling house etc &   about 34 [sic] acres in possession of the proprietor.
Sale particulars 2014 smallholding with 20 acres.
Listed building ; Barn late 17/early 18c

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Ref: nw_llv_1003