A History of Lindors Country House
Lindors lies approximately one mile on the Coleford side of Bigsweir Bridge. The south front of the house looks down its own valley into the main body of the beautiful Wye Valley, with Offa’s Dyke beyond the wooded slopes of Cleddon and Trellech Hill.
The view to the east is dominated by the castle and church high above, at St Briavels. The small farms and cottages dotted over the hillside make a lovely picture.
The late Mr. W.G. Creswick of St Briavels records that "…I was much struck by the work of King Offa, the Saxon King, who in 760 was responsible for the construction of what is known as Offa’s Dyke that runs from Beachley to the River Dee, to curb back the marauding Welsh. Having a good knowledge of the Dyke locally I was puzzled by the peculiar formation from Moses’ Annetts at Hudnalla to a point where it skirts round Lindors House, then on to Quicken-tree Wood. At some time since 1760 AD the course of the River Wye has changed direction. It appears to run near Lindors House, where the present tennis court is now. The river formerly ran round the Lindors Farm, through Tufts Wood and near the present Bigsweir House. The famous horse shoe bend was obliterated by what was a great flood cutting through the neck of the bend and leaving near the weir what is known as The Island.”
For hundreds of years a farm has stood on the Lindors site. In the valley below St Briavels village a place called Lindhurst, meaning ‘a wood of linden (or lime) trees’ was settled by 1310. Later there was only a single farmstead, which by the 19th Century was usually known, in a corrupt form of the name, as Lindors Farm. A mile or so further north a hamlet called Mork grew up on the Bigsweir – Stowe road around the junction, with the old road descending from St Briavels village through Allen’s grove. Mork Farm, below the junction, was bought in 1846 by James White, a land agent of Coleford, who replaced it with a garden with an ornamental pond on Mork Brook below. A smaller house in a similar style, called Woodlands, was built nearby, on the north side of the road about 1850.
The original part of Lindors house, now known as the Wing, is the first part reached as you come down the drive. The larger part of the present house was added later. Material from older buildings would have been used in construction. The date ‘1660’ (with the letters ‘IMV’) has been seen in the iron frame of the fireplace in the lounge.
After James White died, Lindors was sold in 1873, probably to Mr. Algernon Strickland. Mr. Strickland was the owner during a devastating flood in June 1888 when water and mud caused 'damage computed at between £2000 and £3000'.
He sold Lindors in 1890 to Mr. Frederick Martin, a retired Yorkshire woollen manufacturer, who owned Lindors from 1890 – 1926. The Martins established a fully-functioning country estate based on Lindors with many characteristics that persist to the present day.
These are extracts from the hotel's history book. These are available from reception at a price of £2.50.