The place name “Preston Wynne” is from the old English “preast, “priest” and “farmstead” or “estate” and the name indicates there was a settlement here probably from the mid-5th century (Anglo Saxon).
There are three parts to Preston Wynne: Upper Town on the sandstone hill, Lower Town at the bottom of the hill and a damper area towards the Lugg Valley called “The Marsh”.
The first documentary reference is in the Domesday Book of 1086. The Lords of the village in 1066 were the Canons of St Peters, Hereford and by 1086 the Lordship of the village was in fact still the church in Hereford but the Cathedral.
The Church stands dramatically isolated in Lower Town where undulations and hollows suggest that this is the site of a deserted Medieval village.
The Church dates from 1727 and replaced a former chapel. It was rebuilt on a new site and the ground was given by Humphrey Taylor.
As the location map shows the Church is served by a plethora of footpaths. To the east is a north to south track which was part of the Roman road from Ashton (near Berrington off A49) to Ariconcum (near Bromarsh Ross-on-Wye).
Following the enclosures, the land would have been predominantly agricultural and labour intensive with emphasis on sheep grazing and the growing of crops. Mixed farming including cereals, fruit (apples) and hops has continued to this day.
In November 1919 a large parish room, which had been a Church Army Blending Room, was opened in memory of the men in the two villages who had died in the Great War. It was transported from Essex to Withington Railway Station and later erected at a cost of £690, 9 shillings and 2 pence. It has remained the social centre of the village ever since and was refurbished using Lottery Community Funding in 2002 with a further contribution from the Eveson Trust.
The most prestigious building in the village is a 14th century barn like hall with cross wings on either side. Three centuries later it was “modernised” by division into two storeys and a building of the cross wings. The original hall roof includes some remarkable braces (spere roof truss). The Court was probably the assize court for the region.
Rosemaund, another important farm, was purchased by the Ministry of Agriculture to be one of a dozen Experimental Husbandry Farms (EHFs) in England and Wales. Here on its 170 hectare site is the meteorological station. This was also the scene of the air crash in 1943.
Although some aspects of the EHF remain, many of the buildings have been purchased by the Chase family. It is now an internationally renowned distillery, making vodka and a variety of other spirits from local potatoes and fruit.
The School which was closed in 1973 still sports its tiled motto “We teach them to Heaven”. The shop and post office behind the old red telephone and letter box in Upper Town. The Frenchman’s Inn is just a memory with stones to mark its site.