History of Caplor
The farm house was described by the Royal Commission of Historical Monuments in 1929 as an 18th or 19th century building in which some earlier chamfered beams and one heavy oak door frame had been reused. Documents from at least the early 17th century show it stands on the site of an earlier building. The barn and granary has grown since the 14th century however in 1934 the barn was destroyed by a fire leaving just the remains of the stone foundations.
In 1684 Edward Andrews released his claim of Caplor Farm, which was left to James Oswald in 1658. In 1758 John Evans, a canon at Hereford Cathedral, acquired the property, after his death in 1772 his wife and children inherited his estates including Caplor Farm and his books Quarto Bible and Harpsichord. His widow later sold Caplor Farm to her tenant John Powell for £1,200 in 1784. John Powell died in 1797 and left a will to his wife and family including ‘my Estate called Caplor and the Camp with the Lands and premises’, ‘one of the best Hogsheads of Cyder produced from my Estate called Buckenhill’ and three dwellings ‘known by the name of Tayler’s, Addi’s and Tandy’s’.
Photographs of the barn taken in 1929 and the farmhouse kitchen taken in 1934 survive as a vivid impression after Morgan Williams acquired Caplor Farm. Since 1922 the holding has been farmed by the Williams family who possess a bundle of fascinating deeds, maps and notes that together with documents in the Hereford Record Office allow its history to be traced.
The farm lies below the north slope of Capler Camp which was occupied as a hillfort during the Iron Age. It is known that after the Roman invasion the displaced population resettled in adjoining valleys, and at Caplor Farm footpaths meet indicating an ancient site. One path reveals remnants of an old sunken route aligning with a crossing over the Wye, and another leads to Lower Buckenhill, the site of the chapel of St. Dubric, where an ancient lane in Woolhope is traditionally known as the Pilgrim’s Way.
Archenfield Archaeology conducted a farm survey at Caplor Farm as part of Landscape Origins of the Wye Valley project. The survey involved the study of documentary and cartographic material together with a walkover and general survey of farm buildings.