43 LAYSTERS (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)VIII, S.E., (b)XIII, N.W.)
Laysters is a parish on the Worcestershire border
5½ m. N.E. of Leominster. The church and a house
called Cinders are the principal monuments
The Church, Plan
b(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew (Plate 11)
stands near 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
Nave was built in the 12th century but was perhaps
lengthened towards the W. at a later date. The Chancel
was re-built probably in the 13th century, and the West
Tower was probably added at the same period. The
church was restored in the second half of the 19th
century, when the S. wall of the chancel was re-built;
the Organ Chamber and South Porch are modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (14½ ft. by
18 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a
modern arch to the organ-chamber, and further W. the
head of a 13th-century window, now blocked. In the
S. wall is a modern window and W. of it is a blocked
13th or 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs
and two-centred arch. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (39½ ft. by 18 ft.) has two modern windows
in the N. wall; further E. is a blocked 17th-century
window with a wooden frame and mullion; between
the modern windows is a blocked 12th-century window
of one round-headed light with a groove cut round
the opening; there are traces, visible internally, of the
destroyed N. doorway. In the S. wall are two modern
windows; the 12th-century S. doorway (Plate 44) has
moulded jambs, shouldered lintel, plain round arch
above and a plain sunk tympanum.
The West Tower (8½ ft. square) is of three storeys with
a hipped roof and a square lead-covered capping. The
plastered tower-arch is plain, round-headed, and of
uncertain date. The S. and W. walls have each a
restored window of one pointed light. The bell-chamber has square-headed loop-lights, two in the S.
and one in the W. wall.
The Roof of the chancel is of three bays and probably
of the 17th century, it has collar-beam trusses, and below
the easternmost truss of the nave is a tie-beam with
curved braces. The late 14th-century roof of the
nave is of eight bays with collar-beam trusses; the
collars have curved braces, and the wind-braces are
cusped to form quatrefoils; the wall-plates are moulded.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st and 3rd from the
Worcester foundry, c. 1450, and inscribed respectively
"Sancte Petre ora pro nobis" and "Sancta Maria ora
(pro) nobis." Font: round tapering bowl, 12th-century,
on later mediæval base, octagonal stopped out to square,
font said to have come from Pudleston. Monuments
and Floor-slab. Monuments: In nave—on N. wall,
(1) to William Yeamans, 1710–1, Elizabeth Yeamans,
1708, and Elizabeth Broughton, 1708–9, stone tablet
(Plate 67) with crude putti and fleur-de-lis. In churchyard—against S. wall of chancel, (2) to Thomas Rea,
1707, and Margaret his wife, 1727, headstone. Floor-slab: In nave—to ... of William Holland, 1644.
Miscellanea: Incorporated in the fittings of the chancel,
a number of turned balusters with capping, probably
early 18th-century and part of former communion-rails.
a(2). Cinders, house and outbuilding, about 1½ m.
N.E. of the church. The House (Plate 29) is of two
storeys with attics; the walls are of stone and timber-framing, and the roofs are tiled. The thick walls of
the lower part of the house, the S. doorway and other
details, indicate that the main block was built in the 14th
century. It was heightened, and chimney-stacks added
probably in the 16th century, and the N. wing was added
in the 17th century. There are other modern additions. On the S. front the entrance doorway has sunk-chamfered jambs and two-centred head of 14th-century
date; further E. is a blocked window of the same date
and of one trefoiled light. On the N. side are two
blocked windows each of one square-headed light, and
there is a late 16th or early 17th-century window of two
lights with a moulded oak frame and mullion. The
two late 16th or early 17th-century chimney-stacks have
enriched brick shafts, one with a form of rusticated
ornament and the other with projecting nibs. The N.
wing has some exposed framing in the upper part.
Inside the building, the late 16th or early 17th-century
staircase has flat shaped and pierced balusters, plain
rails and chamfered newels with moulded terminals.
Some of the ceiling-beams are exposed, and there are
two doors of 17th-century panelling.
The Outbuilding, S.E. of the house, is of the 17th
century, timber-framed, and mostly weather-boarded.
A building, called a chapel and perhaps of mediæval
date, is said to have stood a short distance to the S.
of the house; it was destroyed in the 19th century, but
a sketch of it shows the niche or window-head of
curved triangular form, now re-set in the garden wall,
S. of the house.
b(3). Wilden, house and outbuildings, 1,400 yards
N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with
attics; the walls are of stone and timber-framing, and
the roofs are slate-covered. It was built early in the
17th century, and is of T-shaped plan with the cross
wing at the N. end. The cross-wing was probably
re-built in the 18th century, and there are additions of the
same period. A little timber-framing is exposed, as are
some of the ceiling-beams. The original staircase
has moulded grip-handrails, turned balusters, and square
newels; at the top are some flat shaped balusters.
The Outbuildings, S.E. of the house, include a 17th-century tallat with lower walls of stone and open
b(4). Great Heath, house and outbuilding, nearly
1 m. W.S.W. of the church. The House is of two
storeys, partly of stone and partly timber-framed;
the roofs are slate and tile-covered. It was built
early in the 17th century, and has a later wing on the
E. side. The cider-house on the N. contains a mill and
press of 1771. Some framing and ceiling-beams are
The Outbuilding, N. of the house, is of late 17th or
early 18th-century date. It is partly of stone and
partly of exposed timber-framing.
b(5). Woonton Court, nearly 1½ m. W.S.W. of the
church, is of two storeys, partly of stone and partly of
exposed timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It is a
long, low building of which the L-shaped block in the
middle dates from early in the 17th century with later
extensions on the E. and W. Inside the building are
some exposed ceiling-beams.
b(6). Whitehouse, house and outbuildings, 250
yards S.S.E. of (5). The House is of two storeys,
partly of stone and partly of exposed timber-framing;
the roofs are covered with stone slates. It was built
in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the S. and W. There are various
modern additions. Some ceiling-beams are exposed
inside the building.
The Outbuildings, S. of the house, are probably of the
17th century, much altered. In the E. part is a cidermill and press (Plate 80); the framing of the press is
probably of the 17th century.
b(7). Mound, 30 yards S. of the church, is of circular
form, 25 yards in diameter at the top and rising some
9 ft. above the bottom of the surrounding ditch. A
trench has been dug into the mound in modern times
and only partly filled in.