52 LYONSHALL (B.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XVII, N.E., (b)XVII, S.E., (c)XVIII,
N.W., (d)XVIII, S.W.)
Lyonshall is a large parish adjoining Kington on the
E. The church, Lyonshall Castle and the remains of
Offa's Dyke, are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Michael and All
Angels (Plate 8) stands in the middle of the parish.
The walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of
the same material and the roofs are covered with stone
slates. The W. wall of the Nave is of late 12th-century
date, when it appears to have formed the W. wall of
a former tower. The North Aisle and arcade of five
bays were added about the middle of the 13th century,
and later in the same century another bay was added
at the W., probably with a view to the removal of the
early tower. Later in the century the Chancel was
re-built and the North Transept and a small South
Transeptal Chapel were added. The South Aisle
of five bays was built about 1330–40 when the small
S. chapel was absorbed in a larger South Transept at
the E. end of the aisle. The wall forming the present
sixth bay of the arcade was left solid, and it may have
been after this that the original tower was demolished
and the lowest stage of the present West Tower was
built, the original tower-arch being re-set in the W. wall
of the nave. The upper storeys of the tower were
probably of timber until the rebuilding of 1822. The
clearstorey was added soon after the S. aisle was built,
and the North Vestry, now the Organ-Chamber, is
approximately of the same period. The second stage
of the tower bears the date 1822, and the top part was
added in 1872–3, when also the S. aisle and arcade were
lengthened by one bay to the W. The South Porch
is also modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (30 ft. by
17 ft.) has a late 13th-century E. window of three plain
pointed lights, with the mullions carried up to the two-centred head to form the middle light; the splays are
moulded and the rear-arch has shouldered springing
stones; there is a moulded label. In the N. wall is a
modern arch; flanking it are two late 13th-century
windows each of two trefoiled lights with a trefoiled
rear-arch. In the S. wall are two similar windows, but
the western has an ordinary rear-arch; the doorway,
of the same date, has chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head. The late 13th-century chancel-arch is
two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer
continuous and the inner dying on to the responds.
Lyonshall the Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels
The Organ-Chamber has no ancient features.
The Nave (63½ ft. by 17¾ ft.) (Plate 13) has, in the
E. wall, above the chancel-arch, two square-headed
windows of one and two lights respectively; on the
gable is a sanctus bell-cote. The mid 13th-century N.
arcade is of six bays; the eastern five bays have two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the piers are
quatre-foiled with minor shafts in the angles and have
moulded capitals and bases; there is some foliage on the
minor shafts of the second and third capitals; the
responds have attached half-piers. The sixth bay is
a later insertion and has responds without the minor
shafts and slightly different capitals and bases. The
early to mid 14th-century S. arcade is similar in general
arrangement to the N. arcade but the W. bay is modern;
the arches are two-centred and of two chamfered
orders, and the columns are octagonal with moulded
capitals and chamfered bases; the responds have
attached half-columns; above the first column is a
re-set corbel carved with a grotesque man's head. The
14th-century clearstorey has, on each side, four restored
windows, each of one trefoiled light.
The North Transept (15 ft. by 14 ft.) is of late 13th-century date. In the E. wall is a window of one
trefoiled light. In the N. wall is a window of three
cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head with a
The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) had, in the N. wall,
four windows all modern except the third, which is of
late 13th-century date and of one trefoiled light. In
the W. wall is a late 12th-century window, probably
re-set; it is of one small round-headed light.
The South Aisle (8¾ ft. wide) incorporates the S.
transept which is gabled towards the S. The E.
window is modern. In the S. wall are four windows;
the easternmost is similar to the N. window of the
N. transept but is partly restored and has no label; it
was set in a small gable now incorporated in the larger
and later gable; the other windows are modern;
the 14th-century S. doorway has jambs and two-centred head of two chamfered orders. In the W.
wall is a modern lancet with a few re-used angle stones
The West Tower (17 ft. by 11¾ ft.) is of four stages with
an embattled parapet. The lowest stage with the high
battering plinth may be of the 14th or 15th century;
the upper stages are of 1822; the date on the S. wall of
the second stage, and the top of the Tower, is of 1872–3.
The thick E. wall is probably the W. wall of a late
12th-century tower and has a window of that date and
of one round-headed light opening towards the W.;
below it is a re-set tower-arch of the same date, two-centred and of two chamfered orders with chamfered
imposts. The N. and S. walls of the ground stage have
each two single-light windows with triangular heads;
there is also a modern doorway in the S. wall; in the
W. wall is a modern window. Within the ground
stage of the tower are six timber posts with head-beams
which probably formed part of an earlier timber tower.
The Roof of the organ-chamber of two bays has three
collar-beam trusses, the middle truss with arched
braces and the others with tie-beams against the end
walls; the purlins have trefoiled wind-braces; it is
probably of the 14th century. The 14th-century roof
of the N. transept is of trussed-rafter type with king-post trusses forming two bays; between the transept
and aisle is a curved and moulded brace of the same
date. Against the S. wall of the S. transept is a 14th-century moulded beam.
Fittings—Bracket: In N. transept—in N. wall, plain
corbel-bracket. Font (Plate 57): octofoiled bowl and
capitals carved with stiff-leaf foliage, mid 13th-century,
stem and base modern. Monuments: In N. transept—
on W. wall, (1) to James Lloyd, 1693, stone and marble
tablet with moulded frame, scrolls and curved pediment
with shield-of-arms. In S. aisle—(2) freestone effigy
of man in long cloak, left hand on breast and right
hand holding cloak, remains of sword (?) on left side,
probably 13th-century, head missing and figure much
weathered. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess with chamfered jambs, trefoiled head and sex-foiled drain, late
13th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with
trefoiled head and quatre-foiled drain, 14th-century.
Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1571, with that
date on the handle of the paten. Recesses: In chancel—
in N. wall, locker. In N. transept—in S. wall, plain
rectangular recess. Table: In nave—with turned legs
and shaped top-rails incised with line-ornament, early
a(2). Lyonshall Castle, ruins and earthworks,
immediately N.E. of the churchyard, consists of an
inner and nearly circular enclosure comprising the
keep and bailey, a rectangular outer enclosure comprising the inner enclosure and land to the N. and E.
and a further small enclosure on the N. side. Though
not actually mentioned in Domesday the castle was
probably established not long after the Conquest. It
appears to have belonged in succession to the families
of Lacy, Devereux and Vere, and again to that of
Devereux. In 1404 Walter, 5th Lord Fitzwalter, had
orders to fortify it against the Welsh. The inner
enclosure of about ¾ acre is surrounded by a wet moat
and approached by a modern bridge on the S.E.
which may represent the original entrance. The
enclosure was further defended by a curtain wall which
is carried in semi-polygonal form round the keep on
the N. side. This portion is still standing in places to
a height of 8 ft., and at its W. end are remains of a
blocked doorway; two small projections towards the
N.E. probably supported a projecting garde-robe.
There are fragmentary remains of the curtain on the E.
side of the enclosure rising in places to a height of
19 ft. On the W. side the curtain is represented only
by interrupted mounds, and even these are absent on
the S. side. The cylindrical Keep (37 ft. in external
diameter) stands on a low platform with remains of a
retaining wall on the S.W. The keep-walls stand only
to a height of about 5 ft. and have a splayed string-course and a battered plinth; there are remains of
three windows towards the N. and a broad gap towards
the S., probably representing the entrance. There
is little evidence to date the masonry of either the
keep or curtain, but both probably belong to the 13th
century. Traces of a building exist on the W. side of
the enclosure, no doubt built against the curtain on
that side. There is a well towards the E. side of the
enclosure. The outer enclosure or bailey is protected
by a moat and outer bank on the N.W. and N.E. sides
and by a scarp only on the S.E. The N.W. moat is
continued on the side of a second and smaller enclosure
to the N.E., now occupied by farm buildings and having
remains of a moat also on the S.E. The line of the
enclosure on the N.E. has been obliterated.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys,
timber-framed and with tile, stone 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(3). The Wharf, now three tenements, 80 yards S.
of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the E. and S. The E. wing is of
mediæval origin and has remains of two original
crutch-trusses. The S. wing was probably added in
the 17th century.
a(4). Cottage, on the S.W. side of the road, 200 yards
S.E. of the church, has a thatched roof.
c(5). George Inn, in the village, on the N. side of the
road-junction, ½ m. S.E. of the church, was built c.
1600. The upper storey formerly projected on the
S.W. side but has been under-built.
c(6). Maidenhead Inn, and adjoining house, S.W. of
and opposite to (5), have been much altered at various
dates but incorporate, in the W. part, a 15th-century
building. The upper storey of this building projects
on the E. side with a moulded bressummer and close-set
framing below, all now included in the central passageway of the house. The E. part of the house is a 16th
and 17th-century addition.
c(7). House, 20 yards S.W. of (6), has a cross-wing
at the S.W. end.
d(8). House, 150 yards S.W. of (7), formed part of a
larger building. It is of mediæval origin and has a
crutch-truss in the N.E. end.
c(9). Houses, in the S. angle of the road-fork, 50 yards
S.W. of (6), have been partly refaced in brick.
c(10). Cottage, on the N.W. side of the road, 130 yards
N.E. of (5), had a projecting upper storey supported
on curved brackets.
c(11). Brook Farm, house, ¾ m. N.E. of the church,
was practically re-built late in the 18th or early in the
c(12). Cottage, on the W. side of the road at Lewis
Wych, about 1 m. N.N.E. of the church, has an addition
on the S. side.
c(13). Rhyse Farm, house, about 1¼ m. E.N.E. of the
church, is largely modern, but the S.E. wing is of the
d(14). Lower Holme Farm, house, 1 m. S.E. of the
church, has been largely re-built and refaced with
modern brick. The S. side retains part of an original
moulded beam at the first floor level.
d(15). Holme Farm, house and outbuilding, 280 yards
S.E. of (14). The House is of T-shaped plan with the
cross-wing at the S.W. end. There is a modern addition at the N.W. end of the cross-wing. The Out-building, S. of the house, has diagonal framing in the
d(16). Upper Holme Farm, house, ¼ m. S.E. of (14),
is probably of two dates in the 17th century, the N.W.
wing being the later.
b(17). Elsdon, house, nearly 1¼ m. S.S.W. of the
church, has been re-built, but incorporates some 17th-century moulded ceiling-beams. Inside the building
is some panelling of the same date with a fluted frieze.
a(18). Penrhos Court, nearly 1 m. W. of the church,
has been refaced with stone in the 18th century.
a(19). Parkstile, cottage, nearly 1 m. W.N.W. of the
church, has been heightened in the 18th century.
N.B.—For Offa's Dyke, see p. xxx.