ROWLESTONE PARISH PLAN

Consultation 2004

 

 

Rowlestone is a rural parish in South Herefordshire.  There is 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.

This Parish Plan is based on consultation meetings and questionnaire.

 

FACILITIES

There is no school, 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. (This is currently under threat.)  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.

 

HISTORY

The Church

 The Norman church of St. Peter dates from around 1130AD  The tympanum over the south doorway shows Christ in Majesty and four attendant angels

 

Services are held bi-weekly attended by a small congregation.

 

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. 

 

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.

 

TRANSPORT

Car ownership is a necessity in Rowlestone because there is no public bus service at all.   Residents have to travel to EH or Pontrilas to catch the bus.  Any improvement to Bus service is a plus.  Residents say they would use the train station at Pontrilas if it were reopened.

 

HIGHWAYS

Residents complain of inadequate drainage and narrow roads with few passing places.  Mud is problem on all roads and in the village centre.  ACTION:  GPC

 

ENVIRONMENT

Poor ditch maintenance and muddy verges cause pollution of the Cwm Brook.  Some residents are concerned about the possibility of pollution from other sources. 

ACTION:  GPC to ask Environment Agency to monitor water quality.

 

Residents have asked for two dog-friendly stiles. ACTION:  Footpath Officer

 

It is considered that Hill Lane should be downgraded from a highway (road) to the status of a footpath or bridleway.  ACTION:  GPC AND HC

 

Better road signage is required as it is easy to get lost down the small lanes in the parish.  ACTION:  GPC

 

A Rowlestone Village sign is required.  In addition a brown heritage sign directing visitors to the Church is required on the A465.  ACTION:  GPC

 

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. ACTION:  Volunteers required.  Newsletter to advertise the schemes.

 

HOUSING

Some residents felt there was insufficient housing, particularly for first time buyers.

This problem contributes towards creating an elderly population in the parish.

ACTION:  GPC to support affordable housing schemes.

 

EMPLOYMENT

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 PLAN

Rowlestone’s Parish Plan has resulted in action already!

 

Better road cleaning in the centre of the village.  (The GPC has arranged for regular sweeping on all roads radiating out from the church for a distance of 100 yards from December 2004.)

 

Better signage.  (On order from HC)

 

Improvements to road verges.  (The Lengthsman will tidy verges in Dec. 2004)

 

Improvements to road drainage.  (The GPC is monitoring the situation.)   

 

Broadband communication  (Introduced Dec 2004).

 

Recycling centre either at Rowlestone Village Hall or Ewyas Harold Village Hall.  ACTION:  GPC and Memorial Hall committee to consider.

 

Parish Council should support the reopening of Pontrilas rail halt. ACTION:  GPC

 

Hill Lane should be down graded to a useable footpath.  ACTION:  The GPC and HC have assessed the lane and costs in the region of £30,000 have been suggested.  In the meantime the GPC is improving 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 should be completed in December 2004.

 

This  Parish Plan  is based on results and suggestions from the Questionnaire completed by residents of Rowlestone Parish at the Parish Plan Cheese and Wine Party 21st April 2004.

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

We have been assisted in the preparation of this Parish Plan by:

 

Department of Forward Planning, Herefordshire Council

Cultural Services, Herefordshire Council

Conservation Department, Herefordshire Council

Learning Partnership Officer, Herefordshire Council

Housing Department, Herefordshire Council

Community Planning, WMPAS Birmingham

Community First

West Midland Constabulary

 

 

APPENDICES AVAILABLE

           

Design Statement

  • Valued buildings list
  • Listed buildings
  • History of the area

Field names

Wildlife checklist

Population data

Census

Report from the Youth Project2004

Report from the Summer Fayre

Report from the Business Meeting2005

Report from the Questionnaire 2005