Ledbury Park

New House, a Grade I listed sixteenth-century mansion, whose name changed to Ledbury Park in 1820, is considered the most important domestic building in Ledbury, belonging to Edward Skynner, a clothier, in around 1595. Edward and his wife Elizabeth are buried in the church, with their baby daughter, who was reputedly killed by the last wolf in the district.

In 1680 the estate passed to the Biddulph family, an influence in Ledbury into the twentieth century.

Unusually, for a grand mansion, the building is on the corner of busy streets. During the Civil War, Prince Rupert made New House his headquarters. In 1830, Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria) named an elm tree on the estate. The parkland is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In 1996, the buildings were converted into houses and apartments.

Biddulph Family

1584 - Anthony Biddulph was born in 1584. He was the son of Simon Biddulph and Joyce Floyer and he married Elizabeth Palmer, the daughter of Robert Palmer.

1666 - Anthony Biddulph was born around 1666 and died in 1718. He was the son of Robert Biddulph and Mary Cullen. He married Constance Hall, daughter of Francis Hall (of Ledbury). He held the office of High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1694 and had two sons, Robert and Michael.

1682 - Robert Biddulph was born in October 1682 and died in 1772 He married Anne Joliffe, daughter of Benjamin Joliffe and had two sons, the Reverend Benjamin Biddulph and Francis Biddulph.

1725 - Michael Biddulph was born on 21 January 1725 and died on 6 December 1800 at age 75. He married Penelope Dandridge, daughter of John Dandridge, on 14 September 1757. He lived at Cofton Hall and was father to Thomas Biddulph, Robert Myddelton Biddulph, Michael Frances Biddulph, John Biddulph, Penelope Biddulph, Mary Ann Biddulph, and Anne Biddulph.

1834 - Michael Biddulph, 1st Baron Biddulph was born on 17 February 1834. He was the son of Robert Biddulph and Elizabeth Palmer. He married, firstly, Adelaide Georgiana Peel, daughter of General Rt. Hon. Jonathan Peel and Lady Alicia Jane Kennedy, on 9 August 1864 in St. James's, Piccadilly, London. He married, secondly, Lady Elizabeth Philippa Yorke, daughter of Charles Philip Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke and Hon. Susan Liddell, on 16 July 1877. He died on 6 April 1923 at age 89 in Ledbury and was buried on 10 April 1923 in Donnington.

Michael Biddulph was educated in Harrow School. He was a partner in the London banking firm of Cocks, Biddulph and Co. He held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D. L.) of Herefordshire. He was also a Member of Parliament (Liberal) for Hereford between 1865 and 1885 and a Member of Parliament (Liberal) for South Herefordshire between 1885 and 1886. He was also a Justice of the Peace (J. P.) for Herefordshire and Justice of the Peace for Gloucestershire. He gained the title of 1st Baron Biddulph, of Ledbury in 1903.

1869 - John Michael Gordon Biddulph, 2nd Baron Biddulph was born on 19 November 1869 in London and died on 17 December 1949. He married Marjorie Caroline Susan Mure, daughter of Lt.-Col. William Mure and Hon. Constance Elizabeth Wyndham, on 10 November 1896 in Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, London. He graduated from Christ Church, Oxford University with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and held the office of Deputy Lieutenant of Herefordshire. He was a director of Martin's Bank and held the office of Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire.


The Biddulph family vault, Ledbury cemetery
Inscribed: "This vault was built by Michael Biddulph (Dsa?) in the year 1861 as a burial place for his family; the family vault in the church of this parish having been closed by the council."