15 CLIFFORD (A.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXIV, S.W., (b)XXXI, N.E., (c)XXXI,
N.W., (d)XXXI, S.W.)
Clifford is a parish on the right bank of the River
Wye, and on the Radnorshire border of the county,
16 m. W. of Hereford. The principal monuments are
the church and the castle.
c(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands in the W.
half of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
rubble and ashlar, with some calcareous tufa; the roofs
are covered with tiles and lead. There is a 12th-century window and also a recess in the Chancel, but
whether these are in situ is uncertain. The Nave is
perhaps of the 13th century. The West Tower was
extensively repaired, if not entirely re-built, in the 18th
century. The church was restored in 1888, and the
North Aisle and Organ Chamber and the N. arcade are
Amongst the fittings the oak effigy of a priest is noteworthy.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (34 ft. by
20½ ft.) has a modern E. window and the wall itself is
probably modern. In the N. wall is a modern arch
to the organ-chamber and farther E. a window, all
modern except the partly restored 14th-century jambs
and splays; near the E. end of the wall is a round-headed recess mostly of tufa and of early 12th-century
date, but probably not in situ. In the S. wall are two
windows, the eastern a 13th-century lancet-light set
in 12th-century splays with a modern rear-arch; the
western window is a lancet-light, probably of the 13th
century, but completely restored; farther W. is a
blocked doorway with plain jambs and heavy stone
The Nave (34 ft. by 25½ ft.) has a modern N. arcade
of oak. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost probably of late 13th-century date and of two
pointed lights in a two-centred head, with modern
splays and rear-arch; the sill has been raised; the
middle window is similar, but has been much restored
and altered; the westernmost window is modern, and
below it are the chamfered jambs and segmental arch
of the blocked S. doorway, probably of the 13th century.
The West Tower (about 15½ ft. square) is largely, if
not entirely, of the 18th century, and of three stages with
a battering plinth and plain square string-courses and
finished with a modern embattled parapet. The plain
two-centred tower-arch is probably modern. The N.
and S. walls have each a window, the northern with
a modern trefoiled head and the southern with a
round head. In the W. wall is a modern doorway.
The second stage has in the N. and S. walls a lancet-window, both completely restored; in the W. wall
is a round sinking, probably for a clock-face. The
bell-chamber has in each wall a pair of single lights with
round heads, which were originally bull's-eye openings,
subsequently enlarged into vertical lights; the splays
and segmental rear-arches are original.
The Roof of the chancel is of early 16th-century date
and of four bays with five collar-beam trusses and two
moulded tie-beams; the trusses have moulded braces
forming arches, and the wall-plates also are moulded;
each bay is divided into panels by moulded ribs. The
early 16th-century roof of the nave is of trussed-rafter
type with moulded wall-plates and two moulded tie-beams; the roof was formerly ceiled and has modern
longitudinal ribs. The ground-stage of the tower has
Fittings—Coffin-lid: In tower—top part of slab,
with enriched foliated cross, head in circle, late 13th or
early 14th-century. Font: octagonal bowl cut to a
circle on the soffit, possibly 14th-century, stem modern.
Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In chancel—
in recess in N. wall, oak effigy of priest (Plate 42) in
mass-vestments, feet resting on moulded bracket, late
13th or early 14th-century. Floor-slabs: In tower—
(1) name defaced, date 1666; (2) to J.H., 1705. In
churchyard—E. of chancel, (3) to James Lewis, 1711.
Plate: includes a cup of 1710, given by Elizabeth
Williams, the same year, and a cover-paten of the same
date. Sundial: On jamb of S. doorway of chancel,
incised dial, re-set upside down. Miscellanea: In chancel
—in S. wall, sill with base of mullion of window,
re-used. In N. wall of churchyard, in dry rubble
walling, stone with the name and date "Jhon Beri[nson],
1691"; another stone with the same name, and the
date 1694, is lying loose by the steps of the vicarage.
c(2). Motte and Bailey (Plan, p. xxxvi), N. of Old
Castleton, about 2 m. E.N.E. of the parish church and
overlooking the River Wye. The motte, which is flat-topped and about ¼ acre in extent at the base, rises
about 30 ft. above the surrounding ground on N., but
owing to the slope of the ground towards the River,
stands only about 9 ft. above the crescent-shaped bailey
from which it is separated by a dry ditch. The bailey
has a rampart and ditch along the W. side, a rampart
at the S.E. angle, and a ditch along the E. side, but
on the S. this has been destroyed by the construction
of a road; there is an opening between the ramparts
on the S. side. To the E. and W. of the bailey and
divided from it by the bailey ditch are two partly
natural platforms which appear to have had their
scarps steepened artificially and were probably used as
outer courts. The motte and inner bailey cover about
1½ acres, and the whole earthwork, including the two
probable outer courts, is approximately 4½ acres in
b(3). Newton Tump (Plan, p. xxxvi), motte and bailey,
nearly 2¾ m. E.S.E. of the parish church, consists of a
bailey, forming a quarter circle on plan, surrounded by
a dry ditch and with an oval-shaped motte standing
within the N.W. angle; the motte is surrounded by
another ditch. The N. and E. sides of the bailey are
straight, the S. and W. sides being curved. The motte
is about 1/7th of an acre in extent and rises about 16 ft.
above the level of the bailey; the whole earthwork
covers about 1¾ acres. There is an entrance on the
S. side of the bailey, and in the S.E. corner and halfway down the E. side, against the ditch-scarp, are small
platforms. Across the S. end of the field in which the
earthwork stands runs a slight ditch, now dry, which
connects at either end with a stream and pond and
from which run traces of two ditches to the S. side
of the bailey moat. These probably originally conveyed
water to the bailey moat and, with the streams which
encircle the field, would, when the water level was
higher, form an additional line of defence. On the S.
side of the pond is a slight, narrow platform.
c(4). Clifford Castle, earthworks and buildings,
stands on a small cliff or ridge on the right bank of the
Wye, 1100 yards N.W. of the parish church. The
castle was held by the Clifford family in the 13th
century and later by the Mortimers. The surviving
buildings stand on the large motte on the W. side of
the castle; the walls are of local sandstone rubble
with some dressings of the same material. They
form an irregular polygonal court, with a gatehouse
towards the N.E., a hall on the N.W. front and round
towers at the other three angles. There is little indication of a difference in date, and the whole structure
may well have been built at the beginning of the 13th
century. Most of the dressed stone has been removed,
but recent excavations, on a small scale, have revealed
some of the ground plan.
The Gatehouse, of which the lower courses of the gate
and S.E. flanking tower have recently been cleared, had
an inner and outer archway, each of two orders, with a
portcullis-groove between the arches; the stones have
diagonal tooling. The S.E. flanking-tower is entered
by a doorway of which only the base remains; in the
outer wall are the reveals of a window or loop-embrasure; projecting from the internal angle of the tower is
a short length of walling which perhaps supported
an inner arch or extension of the gate-hall. The N.W.
flanking-tower is still covered with earth, but there are
remains of two embrasures. Both towers show a
straight joint with the jambs of the outer archway and
are presumably of rather later date.
The Hall (36 ft. by 17 ft.) appears to have been of two
storeys. The outer face has a battered plinth capped
by a rounded string-course; in the same wall are
remains of a window-embrasure to the upper storey,
and farther W. a projection or corbel on the outer face
of the wall below the string. At the S.W. end of the
hall are remains of a narrow passage with a segmental-pointed arch.
The W. Tower (Plate 86) is the best preserved of the
three mural towers and has a plinth similar to that on the
face of the hall; the base of the walls has piercings probably indicating the former existence of bond-timbers;
the tower was of two stages and has remains of three
window or loop-embrasures in the ground-storey, and a
doorway with a segmental-pointed head. The upper
storey had two loop-embrasures on the outward side,
one retaining part of its loop; there is a third embrasure
towards the court. Entered from the S.E. angle is a
passage in the curtain leading to a garde-robe, of which
the two discharge-holes with triangular heads remain
on the outside face. High in the curtain is another
discharge-hole, perhaps from the parapet walk. The
S. Tower has been mostly destroyed above ground, but
was of similar form and had a garde-robe entered from
the N.W. angle. The interior of the S.E. Tower, also
of similar form and mostly destroyed above ground,
has recently been cleared and shows the remains of two
embrasures in the outer wall and the base of a doorway
towards the court.
The Earthworks consist of a circular motte, about
½ acre in extent at the base, with a large outer bailey on
the N.E. and a smaller triangular-shaped court or bailey
on the S.W., the whole occupying approximately 3½
acres. The motte, upon which the surviving buildings
stand, rises about 36 ft. above the bottom of a dry ditch
which flanks it on the N.E. and S.W. sides. On the
N.W. and S.E. it was protected by steep scarps, as was
also the small triangular bailey on the side towards the
river and on the S. side; along the S. there is also a
slight ditch with an outer bank. S.W. of this small
bailey and ditch is a crescent-shaped platform which
may have been used as an additional enclosure. The
large, irregular-shaped outer bailey has surrounding
scarps and traces of a rampart at the N. and S.E. angles;
it is connected with the motte by a sloping causeway
which crosses the motte ditch. Within the bailey is an
irregular-shaped rectangular mound which suggests
the foundations of a building with angle towers.
The whole of the N.W. scarp follows the line of the
river and has been further steepened during the construction of the railway which runs parallel to it.
Condition—Of castle, ruined; of earthworks, fairly
c(5). Priory Farm, house, barns and fishponds, ¼ m.
S.S.E. of the parish church. The Cluniac Priory was
founded as a cell of Lewes by Simon Fitz Richard in the
reign of Henry I. The house stands on the site of the
old Priory and incorporates part of a 14th-century
building which presumably formed part of the monastic
buildings. The House is of two storeys with attics and
cellars; the walls are of stone rubble and the roof is
covered with modern slate. The central block is of
14th-century date, the N. cross-wing was added probably in the 17th century, and the S. cross-wing is an
addition of the 18th century. The windows on the
E. and W. fronts of the central blocks are 17th-century
insertions and have oak frames, transoms and mullions.
On the E. front are two projecting chimney-stacks,
apparently of 17th-century date. In the S. wall,
opening into the cellar, is a re-set 13th-century doorway,
with moulded jambs and two-centred head; it has an
old battened door. Inside the building, some of the
rooms have exposed ceiling-beams. In the attic six
bays of the original roof remain. Two of the trusses
are left and are of the collar-beam type with curved and
chamfered braces forming two-centred arches; below
the collars in each bay are two ranges of cusped wind-braces forming trefoiled panels between the purlins.
The Barn, N.W. of the house, is timber-framed, partly
weather-boarded, and partly with interlacing slats
between the framing; the roof is covered with stone
slates. It is probably of 17th-century date and is in
six bays. The Barn adjacent to it is of stone rubble laid
dry. Fragments of worked stone from the old Priory,
lying about the farm-yard, include a portion of the
moulded and cusped springer from a wall-arcade, a
fragment of window-tracery and a moulded capital, all
of which are of 13th-century date.
Immediately S. of the garden are traces of a series of
fish-ponds, and N.E. of them is some irregular terracing
which probably indicates the site of former buildings.
A slight artificial scarp is carried from this site across
the adjoining field towards the S.E. for about 170 yards
where it forms the E. side of another rectangular pond,
which is now dry.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys.
The walls are of stone rubble and the roofs are covered
with stone slates or modern slates. Some of the
buildings have old chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.
c(6). Longhouse, cottage with barn adjoining the W.
end, 500 yards N.E. of the parish church, has a portion
of the N. wall constructed of timber-framing.
c(7). Tan House, nearly 1 m. S.E. of the parish church,
is partly timber-framed and partly of brick and stone.
A central chimney-stack in the W. or main wing of the
house is surmounted by three shafts set diagonally.
c(8). Harewood Farm, house, nearly 1200 yards S.W.
of (7), has most of the upper storey constructed of
plastered timber-framing. It is built on an L-shaped
plan with the wings projecting towards the N.E. and
N.W. The N.W. wing is probably of early 17th-century date, and the smaller N.E. wing appears to have
been added in the 18th century. Inside the building
is an early 18th-century staircase with square newels,
moulded handrail and turned balusters.
d(9). Upper Broadmeadow Farm, about ¾ m. S.E. of
(8), is of two storeys with attics. It has been considerably altered and added to.
c(10). Middle Westbrook, cottage, 1½ m. E. of (7), is
partly of timber-framing with brick infilling and partly
of stone. It is of early 17th-century date. The upper
part of the S. front is timber-framed, as is the whole of
the N. side of the house.
b(11). Lower Middlewood, house and outbuildings, ½ m.
N.N.E. of (10). The house is built on an L-shaped
plan with the wings projecting towards the N. and W.
The S. end of the E. front up to the level of the first
floor has been refaced in modern brick above which the
wall with the gable above is of timber-framing with
plastered panels. In the gabled N. wall are two
original windows with labels, but the lower window
is now blocked.
The Outbuilding has, in the E. wall, an unglazed
window of four lights with solid frame and diamond-shaped mullions.
b(12). Burnt House, cottage, 300 yards N.N.E. of (11),
is partly of stone and partly of timber-framing with
brick and plaster panels.
b(13). Lower Castleton Farm, house and barn, about
½ m. N.W. of (12). The House is built on a long rectangular plan; the E. half is of late 16th-century date
and the W. half is probably of early 17th-century date.
There is an 18th-century western extension, and a later
barn has been added at the E. end. Inside the building,
on the ground floor, the 16th-century part of the house
was occupied by one large apartment with moulded
beams dividing the ceiling into six panels in which the
exposed chamfered joists are laid flat. The Barn, to
the S. of the house, is possibly of late 17th-century date;
the lower parts of the walls are of rubble and the upper
part of timber-framing.
c(14). Old Castleton, house, 130 yards E.N.E. of (13),
is probably of late 17th-century date with later additions.
c(15). Upper Court, house, ½ m. W.N.W. of the parish
church, is of two storeys with cellars. It is built on an
irregular L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. The N. wing dates from the
early or middle part of the 16th century, and the E. wing
is a late 17th-century addition. Projecting from the
middle of the E. side of the N. wing is a small gabled
wing the upper part of which is of plastered timber-framing. In the N. wall of the E. wing is an old four-light window with chamfered mullions. Inside the
building the southernmost room of the N. wing has
c(16). Lower Court, house, 250 yards N.E. of (15), is
built partly of stone and partly of modern brick. It is
possibly of late 17th-century date, but has been considerably altered. At the back of the house is a timber-framed gable with brick and plaster infilling. Rebuilt
in the wall of an outbuilding to the N.E. of the house
is a carved stone (Plate 9), with interlacing pattern in
low relief, of possibly pre-Conquest date.
a(17). Whitehouse Farm, house, now two tenements,
480 yards N.N.E. of (16), is probably of 17th-century
date, but contains material of an earlier period which
may have been brought from elsewhere. Inside the
building, on the ground floor, is a massive timber
partition with wide moulded uprights and narrow
vertical panels; the central doorway has a moulded
frame. Across the ceiling of one of the rooms is an
early 16th-century moulded beam.
c(18). Earthwork, between Hawks Wood and
Mouse Castle Wood, nearly 1½ m. S. of the parish
church, stands on a slight natural spur from the northern
scarp of the hillside with the ground falling in all directions except the S. It consists of a ring, of an internal
diameter of approximately 12 yards, formed by a
continuous bank with a small gap or what may be an
entrance on the S. side.