Action Plan for Rowlestone and Llancillo
- EHGPC to seek better maintenance of roads with attention paid to drainage and poor road surface. The provision of adequate salt bins is important.
- EHGPC to consider creating passing places.
- EHGPC to improve bus services to Pontrilas and Ewyas Harold by getting private bus companies and volunteer service round the same table to improve transport network for all age groups in the community.
- Residents support improved sports facilities in Ewyas Harold, and would like to see a swimming pool in the area.
- Residents support re-opening of Pontrilas Rail halt for passengers.
- Residents wish to see the community using the former Catholic Church in Ewyas Harold.
- EHGPC to inform police: Better liaison and advertising of Crimewatch schemes required.
Residents are clear that any development or growth should be gentle and in keeping with the rural nature of the community.
“Rowlestone is a rural farming community set in a beautiful but fragile landscape. Visitors come to walk, to enjoy nature and see natural beauty. This is how we want our parish to remain.”
Rowlestone and Llancillo
Rowlestone and Llancillo are rural parishes in South Herefordshire. Rowlestone has a small settlement around the church, but the majority of dwellings are farmhouses or cottages lying scattered over the countryside. There are 87 residents: 37 men and 44 women.
Llancillo is a community of houses in a rural environment, bordered by the U74413 road and the A465. The church is unused although maintained for historic interest by the Friends of Friendless Churches. There is a castle tump nearby. Access to both church and tump is along a private farm track or by footpath.
The Church The Norman church of St. Peter dates from around 1130AD. It is important artistically and historically. The tympanum over the south doorway shows Christ in Majesty and four attendant angels. The chancel arch is of particular note where two beautifully carved figures dressed in long garments represent St. Peter and his guardian angel. On the opposite side of the arch they are depicted again upside down serving to remind us of how St. Peter was crucified. Services are held bi-weekly attended by a small congregation.
The Castle Mound at Rowlestone Court Farm is a site of antiquity, probably dating from the 12th century. It is thought to have been built during the anarchy of 1136 – 1154 A.D. It may have been one of the 1,114 illegal “anarchy castles” believed to have been demolished by Henry II (1154-1189 AD). There is no public right of way to the Castle Mound.
There is no school, bus service, shop or pub in Rowlestone, and most people travel to Abergavenny or Hereford for shopping and recreation. They use the doctor’s surgery in Ewyas Harold and the Post Office in Pontrilas. The parish does boast a post box and an old-style red public telephone box. There are no recreational facilities for children or young people. There is a delightful small village hall but this is under-funded and under-used.
Car ownership is a necessity in Rowlestone because there is no public bus service at all. Residents have to travel to Pontrilas to catch the bus. Any improvement to existing bus service timetables would be welcome. Residents say they would use the train station at Pontrilas if it were reopened but this is unlikely to happen soon.
Residents complain of inadequate drainage, poor road maintenance, insufficient salt bins and narrow roads with few passing places. Traffic goes too fast, and there has been more commuter traffic since the development of numerous barn conversions.
CRIME AND ORDER
Residents don’t feel they are getting any kind of service, but crime levels are very low indeed. They are in favour of local crime watch and farm watch scheme.
Rowlestone: Some residents feet there is insufficient housing for young families which contributes towards creating an elderly population. The majority of residents feel that modest housing development would be acceptable, but that it should be in keeping with the rural community and not detract from the beauty of the landscape. Poor road access, steep hills and narrow lanes, must be taken into account.
Most of the population is elderly and retired. Farmers and self-employed people make up the bulk of the occupations of younger people. Holiday lets are an important farm diversification.
ACTION as a result of the First Parish Plan (2004)
The GPC arranged for regular sweeping on all roads radiating out from the church for a distance of 100 yards from December 2004.
Better signage was provided by Herefordshire Council.
The Lengthsman undertook to tidy verges from Dec. 2004
The GPC undertook monitoring road drainage.
Broadband communication was introduced in Dec 2004.
Recycling centre either at Rowlestone Village Hall or Ewyas Harold Village Hall. ACTION: GPC and Memorial Hall committee to consider.
The Memorial Hall declined to host recycling facilities, but Herefordshire Council introduced recycling services to residents on their regular rubbish “pick up” day.
Parish Council should support the reopening of Pontrilas rail halt. No progress has been made.
Hill Lane should be down graded to a useable footpath. : The GPC and HC assessed the lane and costs in the region of £30,000 were suggested in 2004. The GPC improved the drainage at the top of Hill Lane so that walkers can more easily access the footpath leading off Hill Lane which is part of the Marcher’s Way. This work was completed in December 2004.