Middleton-on-the-Hill lies a few miles to the east of the A49 between Ludlow and Leominster.  

Photo: David Parker

With only a few neighbouring houses for company, the church of St Mary, Middleton-on-the-Hill stands more or less alone on a  mound, surrounded by the open farmland of the uplands of North Herefordshire. It has mercifully escaped Victorianisation and maintains a feeling of antiquity, with a churchyard that is  one of those places, so rare nowadays, that is truly quiet.

On the northern horizon the land rises again to meet the South Shropshire hills, with the brooding presences of Clee Hill and Wenlock Edge. Herefordshire has always been a remote, rural  county, and at the time of the Great War it must have been the back of beyond.

Middleton itself is barely a village, more a hamlet, being a scattering of isolated farms at the end of rutted tracks, and  cottages linked by narrow, winding lanes. Its adjacent village of Leysters is a more compact place. The two settlements are very much connected and share both a parish council and a  village hall. Near Leysters church is the Poet's Stone, inscribed for William and Dorothy Wordsworth who visited the village in 1845. (Ben Bydawell)

Photo: David Parker

Middleton-on-the-Hill is one of the Thankful Villages which does have a War memorial - in the form of a lantern. The memorial can be seen in St. Mary's Churchyard.The inscription reads:

A thank offering to Almighty God
"At evening time it shall be light "
for the safe return of all the men from this parish
who fought in the Great War 1914 - 1918
and 1939 - 1945.

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