31 HEREFORD, LITTLE (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)VIII, N.W., (b)VIII, S.W.)
Little Hereford is a parish on the N. border of the
county, 8 m. N.E. of Leominster. The church and
Upton Court are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene
stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of
local sandstone with some tufa and with sandstone
dressings; the roofs are covered with slates. The N.
wall of the Nave is partly of 12th-century date, but the
S. wall was perhaps re-built in the 13th century as was
the Chancel; the West Tower was added about the
middle of the same century. The chancel was perhaps
lengthened in the 14th century when the chancel-arch
was re-built. The church was restored in the 19th
The arrangements for the rood-altar are an interesting and unusual feature.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (38½ ft. by
21¼ ft.) has an E. window all modern except the 14th-century splays, rear-arch and jambs. In the N. wall
are two windows, the eastern of c. 1320–30 and of two
trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred
head; the western window is of late 13th-century date
and of one trefoiled light. In the S. wall are two
windows, the eastern of c. 1320–30 and of two cinque-foiled lights with a cusped spandrel in a two-centred
head; the western window is uniform with that
opposite; between them is a 13th or 14th-century
doorway with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed
head. The early 14th-century chancel-arch is segmental-pointed and has two chamfered ribs, one on
each face and dying on to square responds. The
15th-century rood-loft staircase has a square-headed
lower doorway in the S. respond of the chancel-arch
and a similar upper doorway on the W. face of the
Little Hereford, the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene
The Nave (Plate 13) (57½ ft. by 24¾ ft.) has, in the
N. wall, four windows, the easternmost of late 13th-century date and of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil
in a two-centred head; the second window is modern;
the third window is a single round-headed 12th-century
light; the westernmost window is a modern lancet.
In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost
uniform with the S.E. window of the chancel; the
second window is modern and the westernmost a
13th-century lancet; the mid to late 13th-century S.
doorway is two-centred and of three orders, the inner
rounded and the two outer moulded, and with a
moulded label with a defaced stop; the jambs are of
the same section with an impost-moulding at the
The West Tower (18¼ ft. square) is of mid to late
13th-century date and of three stages with a pyramidal
roof. The two-centred tower-arch is of three orders,
the outer plain and the others moulded; the responds
are also moulded, except the outer order; the inner
order has an attached shaft with moulded capital and
base, and the other orders have an impost-moulding.
The N. and S. walls have each a lancet-window. The
W. doorway is generally similar to the S. doorway.
The second stage has a lancet-window in the S. and W.
walls. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, two lancetwindows set close together.
The Roof of the nave is perhaps of 14th-century date
and is of braced collar-beam type with moulded wall-plates; the single tie-beam is probably a later addition.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by John Greene, 1628;
2nd, by Isaac Hadley, 1702; 3rd by Richard Dankes of
Worcester, 1633. Chair (Plate 48): In chancel—with
turned front legs, curved arms, carved rails, arcaded and
carved back with scrolled cresting and the initials B.M.,
c. 1630. Chest: In nave—with plain sides and lid with
moulded edge, 17th-century. Coffin-lids: several re-used
as building material in N. wall of nave, 13th-century.
Door: In W. doorway, partly old and with re-used 13th-century strap-hinges with ornamental ends and crescentstraps. Font: circular bowl of convex section with
plain capping and circular base, 12th or 13th-century.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—
in N. wall (1 and 2), twin recesses (Plate 78) each
with septfoiled and moulded segmental-pointed arches,
with moulded, crocketted and finialed labels and cusped
spandrels, recesses divided and flanked by panelled
pedestals; in eastern recess slab with incised figure of
lady in veiled head-dress, etc., head on cushion, feet on
lion, c. 1340. In nave—in S. wall (3) recess (Plate 78)
with moulded segmental-pointed septfoiled and sub-cusped arch with gabled and finialed label with ballflowers in place of crockets and enclosing a trefoil-headed
niche in the spandrel; recess flanked by tall pedestals
each with trefoiled panels and a gable on the face,
c. 13 20. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Elizabeth, wife
of G . . . Karver, 1673; (2) to John Karver, 1705–6;
(3) to Elizabeth, wife of John Karver, 1691. In nave—
on N. wall, (4) to Roger Dansey, 1658. In churchyard—S. of chancel—(5) broken slab with date 1703;
S. of nave, (6) to Evan Powell, 1710 and Elizabeth his
wife, 1708. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess with triangular
head, trefoiled sub-head and quatre-foiled drain in a
moulded projection, 14th-century. In nave—over S.
haunch of chancel-arch, recess with trefoiled head and
quatre-foiled bowl, cut back, to serve altar on rood-loft,
14th-century; painting on back of various interlaced
designs and the initials B.B., 16th-century. Recesses:
In nave—over chancel-arch, wide recess with two-centred head and moulded shelf, 14th-century, probably
for Rood and attendant figures, with altar below. In
S. wall of nave, externally, blocked arched recess or
opening with plain jambs and two-centred head, probably
14th-century. Sedilia: In chancel—in S. wall, three
recessed seats with chamfered trefoiled heads and jambs
carried forward as arm-rests, early 14th-century, partly
restored. Sundial: On gable of S. porch—wooden
dial with incised figures and iron gnomon, at top,
initials E.D. and I.V. churchwardens, possibly early
a(2). Earthworks (Plan, p. xxix), surrounding and to
the S.E. of the churchyard, are said to represent the site
of the house, etc., of the Delamere family. The enclosure
appears to have been of triangular plan, the base being
formed by the river bank. The other sides have a ditch,
the N.E. side having an inner and outer bank in addition.
On the N.W. side little of the ditch remains. Near the
middle of the S. side is a small mound with traces of
an enclosure on its E. side, both ditched on the sides
away from the river. The mound rises about 4½ ft.
above the level of the inner enclosure, which again is
3 ft. above the ground in the outer enclosure.
b(3). Upton Court (Plate 18), 1¼ m. S. of the church,
is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are
timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It was built late
in the 16th or early in the 17th century on an irregular
plan and has a later wing at the E. end. On the N. front
much of the timber-framing is exposed; the original
part has a cross-wing at each end, the upper storey of
which formerly projected, but has been under-built;
the framing is fairly close-set and set in herring-bone
fashion. The two-storeyed porch has similar framing
in the upper storey which projects on moulded bressummers. The sides of the porch have original shaped
flat balusters. The W. end is gabled and has herring-bone framing; the upper storey formerly projected
but has been under-built. The S. side has been refronted
in brick c. 1700. The main W. chimney-stack has
grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building, some
moulded or chamfered ceiling-beams are exposed. A
room and staircase in the E. original wing are lined with
mid 17th-century panelling. The hall has later 17th-century panelling, and over the fireplace is a painting
of a house and gardens. The W. staircase is of late
17th-century date and has turned balusters and a
moulded handrail. The S.W. room has panelling of
c. 1700 and a fireplace with a moulded surround;
above it is a panel painted with a hunting-scene.
a(4). Manor Farm, house, about 1 m. N.N.E. of
the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics;
the walls are partly of brick and partly timber-framed
and the roofs are covered with tiles and slates. The
middle block was built early in the 17th century and
the S. wing added shortly after; this was later extended
to the S. and an addition made to the N. of the original
block. At the same time the early wing was largely
refaced in brick and two small porches added. The W.
front has a late 17th-century porch of brick and of two
storeys with a semi-circular gable; the lower storey
has a three-light window in each side wall; between the
storeys is a corbelled cornice and the upper storey has a
four-light window to the W. and two-light windows in
the sides. The adjoining bay on the N. has a gable,
probably of semi-circular form but overgrown. Some
timber-framing is exposed on the E. front. The porch
has a cornice and a broken pediment above the arched
entrance. A door in a modern addition has a 17th-century iron scutcheon and handle. Inside the building, the N.E. room has early 17th-century plaster
trabeations; another room and the W. porch are lined
with early 17th-century panelling. The staircase (Plate
73), of the same date, has flat shaped balusters and
moulded handrails. Some rooms on the first floor
have ceilings with moulded plaster panels, and there are
some exposed ceiling-beams.
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 framing
and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(5). Cottage, N. of Bleathwood Common and 1½ m.
N. of the church.
a(6). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, 120 yards
N. of (5), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending
towards the W. and S.
a(7). Halfway House, about 1¾ m. N.N.W. of the
a(8). Upper House Farm, house and barn, 1¼ m.
N.N.W. of the church. The House incorporates, at the
S.W. angle, a portion of a mediæval building with two
original roof-trusses; these have heavy curved
principals and collars. The Barn, N.E. of the house,
is of the 17th century.
a(9). Cottage, on the S.W. side of the road, nearly
1¼ m. N. of the church.
a(10). Temple Farm, house, ¾ m. N.W. of the church,
is mainly of rubble and brick. In the N. wall is a tall
double-transomed window of c. 1700, lighting the
staircase. E. of the house is a 17th-century barn.
a(11). Cottage, 400 yards N.N.W. of the church, has a
later addition at the S. end.
a(12). Rectory Cottage (Plate 24), 350 yards N. of the
church, was built early in the 16th century with a central
hall-block and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The
S. doorway has a moulded frame and square head on
which is cut a cross and four roundels. The upper
storey projects at the S. end and on the W. side of the W.
wing, where it has a moulded bressummer. Inside the
building are several original doorways with triangular
heads. The fireplaces in the W. stack have moulded
jambs and heads.
a(13). Broadfields, house, about 1¼ m. E. of the church,
is of two storeys with attics and has been much altered.
One room is lined with 17th-century panelling.
b(14). Dogkennel, cottage, 1 m. S. of the church.