Lingen, Herefordshire

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Timber frame cottages at Lingen - - 905424.jpg
Grid reference: SO365670
Location: 52°17’53"N, 2°55’53"W
Population: 152  (2011)
Post town: Bucknell
Postcode: SY7
Dialling code: 01544
Local Government
Council: Herefordshire
North Herefordshire

Lingen is a village sitting amongst the wooded hills of Herefordshire, in the north-west corner of the county two miles from the border with Radnorshire (marked by the River Lugg) and three from the larger village of Wigmore.

It is a small place, and as the censuses reveal, the village population has been remarkably stable for two hundred years. The population was recorded as 247 at the first census, in 1801, and 215 in 2001.

The village is on the Limebrook, which runs into the River Lugg south of the village.

Lingen parish includes the hamlets of Deerfold, Limebrook, Birtley and Willey.

The village today has one public house – the Royal George[1] – and a sub-post office.[2]


The origin of the village's name is uncertain. In Herefordshire both names of Welsh and English origin are commonplace. A suggestion favoured locally derives the name 'Ling' from an Old Welsh word suggesting Place of sparkling water. Ling is also an old word for 'heather' and may be an alternative derivation. The Institute for Name Studies speculates that the name was originally that of a river.[3]



The village lies at the southern edge of the ancient ice sheet and was sandwiched between two large post-glacial lakes; one centred on Presteigne, the other known to geologists as 'Wigmore Glacial Lake'.[4][5]

Early history

Lingen Castle

Occupied since at least the Middle Ages; there is evidence of mediæval strip lynchets on a hillside near the village.[6] The manor is mentioned in the Domesday Book.[7]

The village is close to the substantial Mortimer castle at Wigmore and there is evidence of an early motte and bailey castle in the village. It has not been excavated but the former presence of a stone keep has been suggested, as well as a 12th-century gate-house, with a curtain wall around the bailey.

The manorial lordship was held by the Lingen family until the 17th century.

Limebrook Priory

Located just south of the village centre a nunnery was founded before the reign of Richard I, either by Ralph de Lingen or one of the Mortimers. There is some confusion as to the order to which it belonged, but in the time of Bishop Booth, 1516–35, it was tenanted by Augustinian nuns and subsisted until the dissolution of the monasteries.

The remains now consist of a single ruined building.[8][9]


In 1868 the village was described thus:

LINGEN, a parish in the hundred of Wigmore, county Hereford, 4 miles N.E. of Presteign, its post town, and 3 from Wigmore. It is a small village, situated on a branch of the river Lug, and on the road leading from Leintwardine to Presteign. Near the village are the ruins of a castle. The soil is various, but generally fertile. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Hereford, value £70, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, has a small belfry containing one bell. The charities produce about £5 10s. per annum. There is a small day-school. John Edwards, Esq., is lord of the manor.


St Michael and All Angels Church

The Church of England parish church is St Michael and All Angels. It is a fine, stone-built church[11] which dates back to the 13th century, when it was buit in its original form. The current building was substantially repaired in the 19th century and the bell tower turret has attractive wooden shingles. It was re-dedicated on 22 April 1891 by the Bishop of Hereford.

Methodist Chapel

The chapel opened on 26 June 1877 and remains open to this day.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Lingen, Herefordshire)