Press Release

Herefordshire’s medieval importance at the heart of a Rare Visit to Hergest Court, Kington organized by Friends of Kington and Huntington Churches

On Friday 9 June, the Friends of St. Mary’s, Kington and the Friends of St. Thomas à Becket Church, Huntington held a joint event at Hergest Court, Kington.

It was of little surprise that this visit attracted nearly 100 people.  This famous landmark, so well known to all who pass it by, possesses some of the most fascinating history in the Welsh Marches.

Organised by Fiona Shone and Rod Symondson at the invitation of the owner, Richard Banks, the event attracted people from all over the county and beyond. Everyone very much appreciated and enjoyed the welcome and personal introduction given at the beginning of each tour by Richard Banks and his parents Elizabeth and Lawrence.   The tours themselves were run by Allan Lloyd, the historian and Geoff Steel, the geologist. 

Stories were told of the many legends, which still exist today.  ‘Black Vaughan’ is likely to have been Sir Thomas Vaughan, who was killed in 1469 fighting for the Yorkists.  His grim death and subsequent horrors were explained, which is said to have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to write ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, about the Black Dog of Hergest.    Geoff Steel likewise took visitors on a steep climb to see the original castle and pointed out all the interesting architectural features outside.

Each of the groups were rewarded at the end of the late afternoon with the sumptuous tea, provided by the Friends of both churches. 

“Our history is important and we were delighted to host the Friends of the two Churches and help raise much-needed funds for them.  We very much intend for this to be a regular event,” said Richard Banks of Hergest Court.

Visitors said it was the most perfect day and many appreciative letters were received from visitors after the event.   They were delighted with both parts of the visit and said that the atmosphere was lively and friendly in the tea tent. Visitors were exchanging ideas there between tours and many commented that they not realised what a wealth of history there was just on their doorsteps.