17 CUSOP (A.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXI, S.W., (b)XXXVII, N.W.)
Cusop is a parish on the Brecknockshire border of
the county, 15 m. W. of Hereford.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands on the W.
side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
rubble and ashlar with some calcareous tufa; the roofs
are covered with stone slates. The church, consisting
of Chancel and Nave, was built in the 12th century. It
was restored in 1857, and the North Vestry, South
Porch and the W. wall of the nave are modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22¾ ft. by
19 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a
13th-century lancet-window, and there is a similar
window in the S. wall. The early 12th-century
chancel-arch (Plate 7) is semi-circular and of two
plain orders; the responds are of the same section
and have chamfered imposts, plain except for one
stone (Plate 8) on the S. side which has crude foliated
ornament and pellets on the chamfer. N. of the
arch, on the W. face of the wall, is the square-headed
upper doorway to the rood-loft, now blocked.
The Church, Plan
The Nave (47¼ ft. by 23 ft.) has in the N. wall a modern
arch to the vestry; near the W. end of the wall is a
window of late 13th-century character, almost completely restored; it is of two pointed lights; the early
12th-century N. doorway, now blocked, has plain
jambs and a massive stone lintel, 18 in. deep, supported
by chamfered shoulder brackets. In the S. wall are
two windows, the eastern similar to that in the N. wall
and completely restored; the 12th-century western
window is of a single round-headed light; the S. doorway is modern.
The Roof of the chancel is of two bays with three
trusses, one of which has a tie-beam and collar, and the
others collars only; it is perhaps of the 17th century.
The roof of the nave is probably of similar date, and is
of five bays with six tie-beam trusses and scissorbraces.
Fittings—Bells: two, inaccessible. Floor-slabs: In
chancel—(1) to John Gunter, 1677, with shield having a
conventional design; (2) to James Butler, 1711; (3) to
Hannah, wife of Thomas Gunter, 1711–2. Font:
tapering cylindrical bowl, rim with shallow diapering
and rest of surface with trellis-pattern, 13th-century,
but ornament probably modern. Pulpit: modern,
but incorporating some 17th-century panels with interlacing arches, lozenge and foliage patterns. Miscellanea: In porch—two stone mortars with lugs.
a(2). Cusop Castle (Plan, p. xxxv), earthwork, 140
yards S.W. of the church, consists of an irregular ovalshaped court with remains of a ditch on the N.E.,
the counter-scarp of which has been largely destroyed
by a modern road. The ditch on the N. and N.W.
has been entirely destroyed by the road, leaving only
part of the scarp to the court. On the remaining
sides is a scarp with a berm, below which is a steep
natural fall of the ground. Traces of what would
appear to have been the entrance to the courtyard
appear near the middle of the N.E. side.
a(3). Mouse Castle (Plan, p. xxxv), motte and bailey,
on the top of a hill, ¾ m. N.E. of the church. The
motte was no doubt originally circular, and about 43
yards in diameter, but the earth has been excavated
from its sides, which for 7 ft. of their height are now
precipitous. Surrounding the motte is a broad ditch
which may have served as a small bailey, and surrounding it is a fragmentary rampart; there is a further
outer rampart on the N.E. and E. The surrounding
ground slopes downward rapidly in all directions except
to the N.E., where for a short distance the slope is
The following monuments are of the 17th century,
and of two storeys with attics. The walls are of stone
rubble and the roofs are covered with stone slates or
Condition—Good or fairly good.
a(4). Cottage, two tenements, opposite the N.W. gate
of churchyard, 60 yards N.W. of church, has been much
a(5). Trevaddoc, house, nearly 1 m. E. of the church,
has a large projecting chimney-stack with stepped offsets
built against the S.W. gable. Inside the building, on
the ground floor, is an original timber-partition with a
segmental-headed doorway at either end, each with a
battened door on strap hinges. Adjoining the chimney
in the N.W. wall is an old stone stair.
b(6). Pentre Higgen, house, 1¾ m. S.E. of the church,
has a barn at the S.W. end, the doorways of which
have massive chamfered frames. Inside the building,
on the ground floor, is an original partition.