Iron Church ( Free Church )
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New Street

[Iron Church]
1869 - Vicar suspended.
The vicar of Ledbury Parish Church, John Jackson was suspended from his ministry because of rumours that he had fathered illegitimate children. The rumour is thought to have been started by the local doctor.
1871 - Vicar Reinstated.
Brought the reinstatement of the Rev. John Jackson following a church enquiry that fully exonerated him. Certain parishioners refused to believe that the Rev. John Jackson was innocent and set up an alternative church in a hut in New Street which became known as the "Tin Tabernacle." Some parishioners refused to allow the Rev. John Jackson to bury them! Most of these funerals were conducted at Eastnor.
The unfortunate clergyman was the subject of a London Street ballad entitled "The Frolicsome Parson Outwitted."
The song "The Ledbury Parson" did the rounds for at least a century.
THE LEDBURY PARSON - (Charlie Clissold, Brookthorpe, Gloucestershire, 1978. Recorded by Mike Yates and Gwilym Davies)
In Ledbury town in Herefordshire
They rucked up a row with the parson there.
This pious gentleman, so they say,
Was far too fond of going astray.
So if going astray should be your plan
Just think of the Ledbury clergyman.

This parson he was a roving blade,
He courted the cook and the servant maid;
Gave out his text and winked his eye:
"Come, kiss me girls and multiply."

Now sooner or later the tale went round
That a young chickabiddy had come to town,
And its features did the truth disclose
Of the Ledbury parson's eyes and nose.

They summoned him up and made him pay
One half a crown a week, they say.
So clergymen, my warning take,
And think of the Ledbury parson's fate.

This parson got in a terrible rage,
He swore to the child he never would pay;
And to cure his sins he preached and prayed
With Lizzie the cook and Kitty the maid.

Then up to the church then toddled the cook,
And in her arms the child she took;
And the parson on them glanced his eye:
"Oh, look, it's your daddy," the cook did cry.

Now this parson said 'twas his desire,
And from the sinful world retire;
And join the mormons he would strive,
And marry one hundred and fifty wives.

Then from the church he got the sack:
They took the surplice off his back,
And they wouldn't allow him to preach and pray
Till ten long years had passed away.

Now, married men, just mind your eye:
Don't get kissing and cuddling on the sly.
Those single chaps might go astray,
But they better get married without delay.
1876 - 1877 - Iron Church
An iron church has been recently erected in New street, at the sole expense of John MARTIN, Esq., J.P., of the Upper hall, for the use of the congregation of the Ledbury Free church, of which the Rev. Gordon J.H. LLEWELLYN is the minister.
RB - I always new the Tin tabernacle as down Bye Street (now the Funeral Parlour)

Jo Edge - Same here, but there was another church down New Street I think it was called the Iron Church!

Brenda Hill - My Gran and Grandad DAVIS were married there at the Iron Church. When my cousin looked at marriage certificate we didn't know where it was, but old Mr Ike MADDERS told her it was down the New Street Next to the Drill Hall. Around this time a lot people from Ledbury Town had fallen out with the Vicar thats why they got married at Iron Church

Laura Jones - Wow scandal then too!
1894 August 14 - Marriage of Thomas DAVIS to Tryphosa CARPENTER at the Iron Church, New Street, Ledbury
1895 - Iron Church mentioned
Holy Trinity chapel of ease is a plain iron structure, built at the expense of the late John MARTIN esq. of the Upper Hall, in 1876, and consists of chancel, nave and aisles; the Rev. Arthur Granville SHIPLEY M.A. of Wadham College, Oxford, is curate in charge.
2021 - Visit this excellent website for more details on the Iron Church Ledbury History

Related Links
John MARTIN ( Benefactor )
Thomas DAVIS ( Married )

1897 - 1980 A Retrospect Tilleys Almanacks - Herefordshire History
Photographs are credited to the owners where possible
Comments in italics are from the Old Ledbury Facebook Group
Cuttings from Old Ledbury Reporter Newspapers