2 ALMELEY (B.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XVII, S.E., (b)XVIII, S.W., (c)XXIV,
N.E., (d)XXV, N.W.)
Almeley is a parish 4 m. S.E. of Kington. The
church with its painted ceiling over the rood-loft, the
Friends' Meeting House, the two earthworks of
Almeley Castle and Oldcastle Twt, the Manor House
and Summer House are the principal monuments.
c(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plates 6, 84)
stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are of local
sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material;
the roofs are covered with stone slates. The N. and S.
doorways incorporate re-used 12th-century voussoirs.
The lower part of the Tower was built c. 1200. The
Chancel and North Vestry were re-built at the end of the
13th century, and the Nave, North and South Aisles and
South Porch were re-built c. 1320–30. The church was
restored about 1865, and the tower in 1903.
The church is of some architectural interest, and the
painted ceiling over the E. end of the nave is an unusual
Architectural Description—The Chancel (35¾ ft. by
18¾ ft.) is of the end of the 13th century, and has a
largely restored E. window of four trefoiled lights with
geometrical tracery in a two-centred head. In the N.
wall is a late 13th or early 14th-century window of two
trefoiled lights; further E. is a doorway with chamfered
jambs and square shouldered head. In the S. wall are
two windows, the eastern similar to that in the N. wall
and the western of late 13th-century date, and of two
trefoiled lights with soffit cusping; between them is
a doorway with double-chamfered jambs, two-centred
arch and re-set moulded label. The early 14th-century
chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders
with a moulded label, head-stops and a male bust at the
apex; the chamfered responds have each a moulded
capital resting on a bust-corbel and supporting the
The North Vestry has in the E. wall a square-headed
two-light window, with a shouldered rear-arch. In
the N. wall is a modern doorway; higher up in the
wall is a late 13th-century window of two pointed lights.
The Nave (54¼ ft. by 22¼ ft.) is of c. 1320–30, and has
N. and S. arcades of four bays, with two-centred arches
of two chamfered orders, springing from octagonal
columns and semi-octagonal responds, all with moulded
capitals and bases; E. of the E. respond is the rood-loft staircase with a lower doorway in the N. aisle
having a flat foiled head and an upper doorway with a
segmental-pointed head. The clearstorey has, on each
side, three windows, two of two cinque-foiled lights with
a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, and the middle one
of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; they are set above the piers of the arcades.
Almeley - The Parish Church of St Mary
The North Aisle (9¾ ft. wide) is of c. 1320–30, and
has an E. window of two trefoiled ogee lights with a
quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are
three windows, the easternmost of four trefoiled ogee
lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head, carried
up into an external gable; the partly restored middle
window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with a trefoil
above; the westernmost window is of two trefoiled
ogee lights; the N. doorway has chamfered jambs and
segmental-pointed head; four voussoirs of the rear-arch have a simple saltire decoration, and are probably
of the 12th century, re-used. In the W. wall is a window
similar to the middle window in the N. wall.
The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) is of c. 1320–30, and
has an E. window similar to that in the N. aisle. In the
S. wall are three windows, the easternmost is uniform
with the corresponding window in the N. aisle; the
other two windows are similar to the westernmost
window in the N. aisle, but the first of these has an
external shouldered lintel; the S. doorway has
chamfered jambs and two-centred head; the shouldered
rear-arch has saltire-decoration on the re-used 12th-century voussoirs. In the W. wall is a late 13th-century window, probably re-set and of two trefoiled
lights with a quatrefoil above; the moulded rear-arch
springs from moulded corbels.
The West Tower (12¾ ft. square) is of three storeys
with a modern embattled parapet. The two lower
storeys, forming one external stage, are of c. 1200, but
the top storey was added probably in the 14th century.
The two-centred tower-arch is of one square order with
remains of a chamfered impost on the S. side; the
N., S. and W. walls have each a plain square-headed
light, altered in modern times. The second storey
has in the E. wall a blocked opening with a segmental-pointed head; the other three walls have each a looplight. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a completely restored window of two trefoiled lights with a
quatrefoil in a two-centred head. Four heavy timber
posts in the corners of the tower are carried up to
support the bell-cage.
The South Porch is of c. 1320–30, and has an outer
archway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head.
In the E. wall is a window with a triangular head.
The Roof of the chancel is of trussed collar-beam type
with curved braces, and is probably of 14th-century
date; it has been slightly lowered from the level of
the original roof, the weathering of which remains on
the W. wall. The roof of the vestry is of c. 1300, and
of two bays with three collar-beam trusses, curved
braces and cusped wind-braces. The early 16th-century roof of the nave (Plate 11) is of seven bays
with scissor-trusses and curved braces; one truss has
a tie-beam. The two E. bays have a boarded ceiling
(Plate 83) painted in yellow, blue, black and red to
imitate square moulded panels with bosses at the intersections, and a Tudor rose in the middle of each panel.
The roof of the tower has three simple king-post
Fittings—Churchyard-Cross: S.E. of chancel—square
base with lower part of octagonal shaft, mediæval;
finished with 17th-century turned oak terminal.
Coffin-lids: In N. aisle—re-used in sill of middle N.
window, slab with round cusped cross-head; in sill
of W. window, slab with cross-head formed of intersecting circles, late 13th-century. In S. aisle—in
sill of S.E. window, slab with head of cross in circle,
late 13th-century. Communion Table: In tower—with
turned legs and plain rails, early 18th-century. Doors:
In N. doorway—battened door in two leaves, perhaps
17th-century. In S. doorway—of nail-studded battens
with trellis-framing and strap-hinges, old round
scutcheon-plate and wooden lock, perhaps 14th-century. In screen under tower-arch—panelled door
with moulded vertical ribs and enriched top-rail,
early 17th-century. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) to
Thomas Harrison, 1675; (2) to Charles Hyett, 1698–9;
(3) to Mary, wife of Thomas Rowdon, 1698. Panelling:
In nave—incorporated in front row of modern pews,
late 16th or early 17th-century panelling (Plate 49)
with rosettes, dolphins, monsters, arabesques and other
enrichments, from former gallery. Piscinæ: In chancel
—recess with ogee head, sill cut back, c. 1300. In S.
aisle—on slab-sill of S.E. window, quatre-foiled drain,
14th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of
1613. Recess: In chancel—in N. wall (Plate 78),
with moulded jambs and cinque-foiled sub-cusped and
round arch, moulded ogee and crocketted label, 14th-century, tomb-recess or easter sepulchre, squint from
vestry in back wall. Sedilia: In chancel—sill of S.E.
window carried down to form stepped seats and splays
corbelled back. Screen: Under tower-arch—made up
of early 17th-century woodwork perhaps from former
gallery and incorporating turned and flat-shaped
balusters, moulded framing, etc. Sundial: On second
buttress of S. wall of chancel—re-set on W. side, part
of incised dial, mediæval.
a(2). Friends' Meeting House (Plate 31), on the W.
side of the road, 1,000 yards N. of the church, is of one
storey, timber-framed and with tiled roofs. It was built
by Roger Prichard (died 1679) as a Meeting House,
probably in 1672, and was given by him to the Society
in 1675 (deed of gift at Leominster). It is a simple
rectangular building with exposed timber-framing in
squares. On the N.W. side is a timber porch, and the
inner doorway has an original chamfered frame with
a shaped board in the head; the battened door has
strap-hinges with ornamental ends. Inside the building there is a gallery at the N.E. end supported on
cased wall-posts and a chamfered longitudinal beam.
The staircase has a square newel with a shaped finial,
moulded handrail and flat slat balusters.
c(3). Almeley Castle (Plan, p. xxviii), mount and
bailey earthwork, S.W. of the churchyard, consists of a
roughly circular motte with a four-sided bailey on the N.
The motte is about 36 ft. in diameter at the top, and
rises some 21 ft. above the bottom of the surrounding
dry ditch. There are remains of a ditch on the E. and N.
sides of the bailey, and 20 yards S. of the motte are two
rectangular sinkings for fish-ponds.
c(4). Oldcastle Twt or Batch Twt, mount and
bailey earthwork, 730 yards N.W. of the church,
occupies the end of a spur with a steep slope on the E.,
W. and S. The motte is roughly circular, 29 ft. in
diameter at the top and rises some 18 ft. above the
bottom of the slight ditch between it and the bailey.
The motte has otherwise been much altered by modern
pathways. The bailey to the N. is roughly rectangular
and appears to have had a ditch cut across the base of
the spur at the N. end with a rampart on the side towards
Condition—Damaged by modern paths.
c(5). Manor House (Plate 20), 150 yards W.N.W.
of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed; the
roofs are covered with stone slates. The house is of
mediæval origin, and to it were added, c. 1500, the
E. wing and the porch. The W. end was much altered
in the 17th century. The S. front has exposed timber-framing, that of the porch and the E. wing being close-set. The porch (Plate 43) is of two storeys, and the
outer entrance has a moulded lintel with billet-ornament;
the gable projects on curved brackets and has herringbone framing, as has the gable of the E. wing. Inside
the building, the room in the E. wing has moulded
ceiling-beams, of c. 1500, forming sixteen panels; the
fireplace has moulded stone jambs and a cambered oak
lintel similarly moulded. There is a little 17th-century
panelling. The rest of the house has some exposed
ceiling-beams, including a moulded beam of c. 1500 in
the middle room. In the W. room are some shaped
wall-posts. On the first-floor is a blocked doorway of
c. 1500 with a flat pointed head. There are also two
re-set carved head-stops and a small ogee-headed lamp-niche.
a(6). Summer House (Plate 36), at Almeley Wootton,
1,100 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys with
cellars and attics; the walls are timber-framed and the
roofs are tiled. The S.W. part of the house formed a
mediæval building with a central hall open to the roof
and probably cross-wings at the S.W. and N.E. ends.
In the first half of the 17th century the N.E. wing was
largely re-built, additions made on its N.E. and N.W.
sides, and the hall divided into two storeys; late in the
same century a further addition was made on the
N.W. of the original hall. Some refacing in brick has
been done in modern times and the porch added. The
S.E. front has no ancient features, but the back has
exposed timber-framing and three gables. The two
early 17th-century gables project on moulded bressummers above which is a range of framing with
ornamental braces. Inside the building, several rooms
have exposed ceiling-beams. The central room to the
N.E. has 17th-century moulded ceiling-beams and a
panelled cupboard with guilloche ornament and the
initials R.P. (Roger Prichard, died 1679). The 17th-century N.E. staircase has square moulded newels with
shaped tops, moulded strings and hand-rail and slatbalusters. The original hall has a shaped bracket
supporting a beam of the inserted floor; the early
17th-century staircase has square newels with ballterminals, and flat-shaped balusters. In the staircase-hall part of the blade of an original crutch-truss is visible.
The late 17th-century N.W. room is lined with bolection-moulded panelling of c. 1700 with moulded cornice,
dado-rail and skirting; the fireplace has a moulded
surround and cornice, and a cupboard has doors with
ornamental panels. On the first floor, one bedroom
has a 17th-century shaped bracket to the ceiling-beam,
and another bedroom has an early 18th-century fireplace with panelled surround and moulded shelf. The
roof of the original hall had crutch-trusses with ties;
one truss has a trefoiled opening above the tie, and some
cusped wind-braces remain.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys,
timber-framed and with tiled or slate-covered roofs.
Most of the buildings have exposed external timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(7). Cottage on The Batch, 900 yards N.N.W. of the
a(8). Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road, 50 yards
N. of (6), has a modern addition on the N.W. side.
a(9). Green House, two tenements, on the S. side of
the road, 200 yards E. of (8), has modern additions at
the W. end.
a(10). Lower Wootton Farm, house, two tenements,
on the N.E. side of the road, 1,460 yards N.N.W. of
the church, consists of an L-shaped block at the S.W.
end dating from c. 1600, and a large addition, made to
the N.E. late in the same century. This addition was
subsequently heightened. The S.E. end of the
original block is gabled and the upper storey projects
on shaped brackets; the window below is original and
of five lights with moulded frame, mullions and
a(11). Barn, on the W. side of the road, 120 yards
N.W. of (10).
a(12). Bone House, cottage on the E. side of the road,
80 yards N.N.E. of (11).
a(13). Cottage, on the N. side of the road at Upper
Wootton, 1 m. N.N.W. of the church.
a(14). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 120 yards
S.W. of (13).
a(15). Cottage, 160 yards W. of (14).
b(16). House and barn, on the N. side of Hopley's
Green, 1,600 yards N.E. of the church. The House
is of two storeys with cellars and attics; it has been
largely refaced in brick. The Barn, W. of the house, is
b(17). Cottage, now outbuilding at Brick House,
200 yards S.S.E. of (16).
b(18). Cottage, 50 yards S.W. of (17).
b(19). Upper Stocks (Plate 30), house, about 1 m. N.E.
of the church, is probably of late mediæval origin with
N. and S. cross-wings. About 1600 the middle block
was re-built and a staircase added at the back. The
S. cross-wing has been reduced in height and largely
re-built. Part of the middle block and the staircase-wing
have close-set timber-framing. Inside the building the
N. wing retains a central roof-truss with diagonal
braces probably of the 17th century. The staircase has
square newels with shaped tops and slat-balusters.
There is a 17th-century barn, partly weather-boarded.
b(20). Tan House, 350 yards S.S.E. of (19), has been
largely refaced with modern brick.
b(21). Buck Inn at Woonton, about 1¼ m. E.N.E.
of the church, has been refronted in stone.
b(22). Outbuilding, on the N. side of the road, 120 yards
S.E. of (21).
b(23). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, nearly
b(24). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 200 yards
E. of (22), is of L-shaped plan with wings extending
towards the N. and E. The E. wing is a later addition.
b(25). Cottage, 75 yards E. of (24).
b(26). Clarks Field or Gorsty Hall, cottage on the
N.E. edge of the parish, 2 m. E.N.E. of the church. A
barn W.S.W. of the cottage is of the same period.
d(27). Townsend, house, nearly 1¾ m. E. of the church,
is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.W. end.
b(28). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, near
Woonton and 1¼ m. E.N.E. of the church.
b(29). Cottage, 20 yards S.W. of (28).
d(30). Barn at Woonton Farm, 40 yards S. of (29),
d(31). Spring Cottage, on the N. side of the road, 1 m.
E.N.E. of the church, has been largely refronted in
d(32). Hectors Alley, cottage on the S. side of the road,
220 yards W. of (31).
d(33). Cottage, on the edge of the parish at Upper
Logaston, 1¼ m. E. of the church, has a thatched roof.
d(34). Cottage, 50 yards N.W. of (33).
d(35). House, on the N. side of Logaston Common,
1,600 yards E.S.E. of the church, is of irregular plan
and probably of at least two dates. It has been partly
refronted in modern brick. On the S. front is a doorway with a cut and shaped board in the head.
d(36). Cottage, 170 yards S. of (35).
d(37). Cottage, 120 yards S.W. of (35).
d(38). Cottage, on the S.E. side of the road, 720 yards
E.N.E. of the church.
d(39). Cottage, 70 yards S.W. of (38).
c(40). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 20 yards
N.E. of the church, has been much altered and the roof
heightened. Below one of the ceiling-beams is an
original shaped bracket.
c(41). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 80 yards
W.N.W. of the church.
c(42). Castle Frome, house, 230 yards S. of the church,
is of mediæval origin, the E. part, now a barn, being
the former hall with a cross-wing at the W. end. The
date of the hall is uncertain, but two crutch-trusses in
the western part appear to be earlier than the truss
further E. which may form part of a 14th or 15th-century extension. This truss is also of crutch-form,
but has a tie with curved braces below and remains of
cusped struts above.
c(43). Laundry Cottage, ½ m. W.N.W. of the church.
c(44). Little Upcott, cottage, ½ m. S.W. of the church,
is of two dates in the 17th century.
c(45). Lower Upcott, house and outbuildings, 170
yards S.W. of (44). The House was built late in the
16th or early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan
with the wings extending towards the N.W. and S.W.
The N.W. wing was extended in the 17th and 18th
century. The upper storey of the S.W. wing projects
on a moulded bressummer; the angle post on the first
floor level has a weathered attached shaft. The Out-buildings include a barn W. of the house, a smaller barn
S. of the house, and a two-storeyed building N.E. of the
house, all probably of the 17th century.
c(46). Outbuildings, at New House, nearly 1 m. W. of
the church, include a barn and a two-storeyed building,
both of the 17th century.