AN INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
IN NORTH-WEST HEREFORDSHIRE
ACCREDITED TO A DATE BEFORE 1714
Arranged by Parishes
(Unless otherwise stated, the dimensions given in the Inventory are internal. Monuments with titles
printed in italics are covered by an introductory sentence to which reference should be made. The
key-plans of those churches which are not illustrated by hatched plans are drawn to a uniform scale
of 48 ft. to the inch, with the monumental portions shown in solid black.)
1 ADFORTON (C.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)II, S.E., (b)VI, N.E.)
Adforton is a township 10 m. N.W. of Leominster.
Grange, which incorporates remains of Wigmore Abbey,
Fairfield and Brandon Camp are the principal monuments.
b(1). Grange, house, outbuildings, ruins and fishpond of Wigmore Abbey, stands about ½ m. E.N.E.
of the modern church. Wigmore Abbey was founded
on this site in 1179 by Hugh Mortimer, for Austin
Canons of the congregation of St. Victor of Paris.
The community was first seated at Shobdon and moved
thence to Eye, whence it was eventually transferred
to the present site. The church, dedicated to St.
James, was consecrated by Bishop Robert Foliott.
The monastery was destroyed by the Welsh, except the
church, in the time of King John. The buildings were
largely reconstructed by Edmund Mortimer, Earl of
March, c. 1379. The existing remains consist of a few
fragments of the nave and transept of the church, a
range of building at right angles to the W. range of the
cloister, a gatehouse range extending W. from it and
a fragmentary building standing on the roadside to the
N. The surviving parts of the church probably date
from the foundation, but excavations undertaken in
1906–7 indicated that the presbytery had been re-built
and largely extended in the 13th or 14th century.
Traces were also found of a long eastern range with a
small chapel, perhaps that of the infirmary, to the S.
of it. The gatehouse and range of building to the W.
were part of the 14th-century reconstruction, as was the
isolated building on the road.
The remains are of interest as being portions of an
important monastic house.
The Church is now reduced to rubble fragments of
the aisleless nave (about 114 ft. by 29 ft.). It appears to
date from late in the 12th century, and apparently had
a stone vault in seven bays. There are remains of the
round-headed eastern entrance from the cloister, now
blocked. The transept has almost entirely disappeared
as has the aisled presbytery and two chapels projecting
E. of the transept. The Cloister (about 86½ ft. square)
adjoined the nave on the S., having the dorter-range
on the E., the frater on the S., and the cellarer's range on
the W. Of these there are now practically no remains.
The Range projecting W. from the cellarer's range,
and now part of the farm-house, is a 14th-century
structure formerly of two storeys but now of three.
The walls are of local rubble with dressings of the same
material. On the N. side the ground floor has two old
windows with chamfered jambs and square heads; a
third window has been re-built externally. On the first
floor, towards the W. end is a late 14th-century window
of two cinque-foiled lights; further W. is a blocked
doorway, destroyed externally. Near the N. end of the
wall, at the second floor level, are the splays of a blocked
mediæval window. The S. side (Plate 82) has, at the
first floor level, a 14th-century window of two trefoiled ogee lights; near the W. end is a 15th-century
window (Plate 82) of three cinque-foiled lights with
vertical tracery in a segmental-pointed head; the embrasure has later side-seats; the internal wall-face below
the sill has four cinquefoil-headed panels, and the sides
of the embrasure have small trefoiled panels. Inside
the building the existing floors appear to be of 16th-century date replacing a two-storeyed arrangement;
the first floor is supported by a central row of posts
with cross-bars and curved braces. The 14th-century
roof was probably of six bays of which the three W.
trusses remain; the first and third trusses have cambered tie-beams, king-posts, collars and raking struts
above; the second truss is of collar-beam type with
curved braces below the collar and struts above forming,
with the collar and principals, three cusped openings.
There are remains of 14th and 15th-century moulded
wall-plates on the side walls.
Wigmore Abbey Site Plan
The Gatehouse (Plate 28) is a rectangular 14th-century
range about 70 ft. long, and has a modern extension along
the S. side. The building is of two storeys, the lower
of stone and the upper timber-framed. Near the middle
is a stone gateway with moulded jambs and segmental-pointed arch; the rear-arch is also moulded; E. of it
are two windows with square heads, one having an
inserted 17th-century mullion of wood; there is a
third square-headed window to the W. of the arch.
The timber-framed upper storey projects on a series
of curved brackets set close together and resting on a
moulded beam and moulded stone brackets; the
framing above is divided into bays by main posts with
curved angle-braces at the top and bottom; the W. part
of the upper storey is now weather-boarded. Inside
the building, to the E. of the entrance, is a moulded
post with curved braces to the wall-plates, and at the
E. end is an original tie-beam with curved braces. To
the W. of the entrance are remains of two trusses with
cambered tie-beams and large curved braces. Opening
from this range, in the W. wall of the adjoining building,
is a short bent passage-way with a chamfered string
at the springing of the former vaulted roof.
To the S.E. of the first range is a much-altered 17th-century structure of rubble.
The Building (Plate 82), adjoining the road, is a 14th-century structure of stone with an opening cut through
the middle of it. It appears, from old drawings, to
have been adapted, in post-Reformation times, as an
outer gatehouse. The walls retain a number of square-headed windows and two doorways with moulded
jambs and two-centred heads. Inside the building are
a number of shaped stone corbels.
Incorporated in the modern buildings and lying loose
on the site are a number of late 12th-century and later
carved and worked stones (Plate 17); these include
a bear's head corbel and a delicately carved coupled
capital, perhaps from the former cloister arcade.
The Fishpond, 120 yards N.E. of the house, is a
rectangular enclosure with a retaining bank on the S.W.
and S.E. sides.
Condition—Of house, fairly good.
a(2). Paytoe, house and barn about ¾ m. N.E. of the
church. The House is of two storeys with attics;
the walls are timber-framed, and the roofs are slate-covered. The E. wing is of mid 16th-century date.
Early in the 17th century the main W. part was re-built,
and rather later the S. wing was added. The small W.
wing was built early in the 18th century, and there are
various modern additions. The timber-framing is
exposed and the main corner-posts have curved braces.
The upper storey projects on the N. side of the middle
block. The upper storey also formerly projected at the
W. end. Inside the building the framing and ceiling-beams are exposed. One room is lined with 17th-century panelling, and the staircase N. of the main
chimney-stack has early 17th-century flat-shaped
balusters. The roof of the E. wing is of queen-post
The Barn, N.E. of the house, is partly built of ashlar,
no doubt from Wigmore Abbey, and includes moulded
and worked stones of the 12th and 13th centuries.
Wigmore Abbey, Remains of Monastic Buildings
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys,
timber-framed, and with tile or slate covered roofs.
Many of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b(3). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 125 yards S.E.
of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(4). House, 20 yards N.W. of (3), has been much
b(5). House, E. of the church, is perhaps of late
16th-century date with an early 17th-century and
modern wing on the W. side. The exterior has been
largely refaced. The upper storey projects at the end
of the original N. wing, on curved braces.
b(6). Cottage, S.W. of the church, has a thatched roof.
b(7). Cottage, 250 yards S.W. of the church, has a
b(8). Cottage, 50 yards N. of (7), has a corrugated iron
roof and a large extension at the W. end.
b(9). House, about 50 yards N. of the church, has a
chimney-stack, built largely of material from Wigmore
Abbey; the fireplace on the N. side has two 12th-century angle-shafts with moulded bases and capitals.
The roof is of queen-post type, and on one tie-beam
is some early 17th-century painted decoration of conventionalised flowers in black and white. The plaster
filling of the gable on the N. of the same truss has a
rough painted design of lozenges and circles.
b(10). Cottage, about 200 yards N.W. of the church,
has a thatched roof.
b(11). Fairfield, house 250 yards W.N.W. of the
church, incorporates two bays of a late 14th-century
building with 17th-century additions on the S. and E.
The house formerly extended further to the E. The
17th-century addition on the S. has a projecting
upper storey and gable on shaped brackets. The
main chimney-stack incorporates 12th and 13th-century
material from the abbey. Inside the building, the W.
part has original crutch-trusses with cambered collars.
The eastern part contains an original truss (Plate 39)
of the former hall, with collar-beam and curved braces
and struts above the collar, forming, with it and the
principals, three cusped openings.
b(12). Cottage, 300 yards W. of the church, has a
b(13). Cottage, about 600 yards W.N.W. of the
church, has been much altered.
a(14). Brandon Camp, ¾ m. N. of the church, is a
roughly triangular-shaped enclosure with rounded
angles and slightly curved sides. On the N.W. there
is a steep but short natural scarp, the upper part of which
would appear to have been artificially steepened and a
berm formed. There are slight traces of an inner
rampart as the scarp approaches the apex of the triangle
on the N. The remaining two sides are protected by
a simple rampart without any ditch; there is, however,
a wide berm, outside the rampart, in which there
may have been a slight ditch but which was filled in at
a later date. There are three entrances—that on the
S. which is modern; that on the E. side, consisting
simply of a gap in the rampart; that at the apex on the N.
where there is another gap. The second and third
have probably both been widened so it is difficult
to say if they occupy their original positions; if there
were not originally two entrances the third would
seem more likely to be the original. Gough, in his
edition of Camden's Britannia, states that there were
four entrances, but this would appear to be definitely
Brandon Camp in Adforton Parish.
There is an incorrect plan of this work in General
Roy's Military Antiq's. of the Romans in Britain.
Condition—Fairly good, but scarp on N.W. has been
much damaged by digging.