The village of Llangrove has had many names and spellings, Langrove, Longrove, Longgrove, Longuegroue, Long-grove, Long Grove. In the 14th and 15th centuries the village was referred to as ‘Longegrove’, but the early parish registers of Llangarron mention ‘Long Grove’. By the 1850s the spelling had changed to Llangrove. In 1862 a local directory referred to ‘Llangrove Common’. The parish records from Llangarron (before there was a church at Llangrove) refer to the burial of ‘Elizabeth Evans of the Grove’. In fact, the older residents of the village, now departed, always spoke of ‘living on the Grove’.
The village is not a ‘traditional village’ built around a village green but the centre is marked by the church, the war memorial and the school. The village is sited on high ground. From the north there are perfect views extending to the Malverns and round to May Hill. From the south one can see Symonds Yat and the Doward, round to Welsh Newton Common, then westwards to Garway and the Brecon hills.
The parish of Llangrove is of relatively recent formation, having been carved out of Llangarron in 1856-7. The land for the building of the church and the school was given by Mrs Marriott, the lady of the manor of Goodrich. The fact that she owned land in the centre of the village reflects the fact that the populated centre of Llangrove has been largely formed upon land which was originally a common belonging to the lord of the manor of Goodrich. Extensive encroachment settlement took place on this common, and the adjacent one of Old Grove from the 17th C onwards, though mostly in the later 18th C & 19tth C. By the time of the formation of the new parish, there were many souls in need of a nearer church than the parish church at Llangarron, though there was already a non-conformist element. Long Grove and Old Grove commons were enclosed with the consent of the manor’s ‘meese’ tenants after proposals were initiated in 1815.
The original name of the common was Long Grove, and in 1372 it is mentioned as ‘Longegroue’ with ‘Douwarth’ as underwood ‘containing 100acres; it is made into charcoal every ninth year, and is then worth 10l.’ Old Grove is not mentioned separately at this early date. Old Grove is typical of the wooded commons within the manor of Goodrich, being steeply sloping uncultivatable land. Long Grove is different, mostly being relatively flat land although somewhat exposed at around 140m above sea level. It bears a resemblance in situation to Garway common, which has remained largely undeveloped. Perhaps this is a reflection of the easier attitude to encroachment of Goodrich manor, provided (of course) that the encroachers paid their fines in lieu of rent. Together, Old Grove and Long Grove covered about 124 acres in 1718.
On 7 July 1942, a Wellington bomber (T2962) on a training flight from Edgehill, near Banbury, crash-landed in Llangrove after two of its engines failed. It ended up in a field opposite Christ Church in the village, only narrowly avoiding the church and school. Two of the six crewmen were killed: Pilot Sgt F. H. S. Bush from London, and Observer Sgt R. J. McKean from Glasgow. Other crew members Sgt LC Baker, Sgt TG Baycroft, Sgt A Hill and Sgt HA Hill were all injured in the crash.
The Revd Frank Easton, who had been the Vicar since 1936, rushed to assist the crew, but had a heart attack and died as he cycled home afterwards. He was 59. Sarah Watkins, the church organist, also collapsed and died of heart failure on the way to the crash scene.
A memorial plaque was unveiled 3 October 2010 in Christ Church Llangrove.
Christ Church is currently the only active church within Llangrove. It is located in the village centre on the main route through the village. Built between 1854 and 1856, it is the first complete church building to be designed by George Frederick Bodley (1827-1907) who went on to become one of the major architects of the Victorian Gothic revival. Coursed and square sand-stone rubble, ashlar dressings, C20 tiled roof. Nave, south porch and south aisle, chancel. In the style of c1300. Four-bay nave: three windows with 2-trefoiled lights to south aisle; lean-to roof east of gabled porch. Gabled bell cote to west end. Two-bay chancel with one window of 2-trefoil headed lights and cinquefoil in roundel with hood- mould to west and 3-light window to east with trefoils and cusping to outer lights flanking central trefoil headed light with trefoil roundel above, hoodmould, central stepped buttress and diagonal buttressing to east end. Interior: nave: trussed rafter roof. Open wagon roof to chancel; south arcade: three bays, simple chamfered piers without capitals.
The land was given by Mrs Catherine Marriott, Lady of the Manor of Goodrich, so that the new church could be built. She paid for the whole cost of building and furnishing – about one thousand five hundred pounds.
Christ Church is also a Grade II listed building.