62 PUDLESTON (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. XIII, S.W.)
Pudleston is a small parish 4 m. E. of Leominster.
The church is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of St. Peter (Plate 10) 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 and the spire
is shingled. The West Tower, in spite of its early features,
is perhaps not earlier than c. 1200. The Chancel was
probably re-built in the 13th century. The Nave and
North Aisle were re-built in 1813, the South Aisle added
in 1850, and the chancel restored in 1857. The North
Vestry and South Porch are modern.
The tower is of some architectural interest.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft. by
16½ ft.) has a modern E. window, replacing a three-light window now re-set as the E. window at Middleton
on the Hill. In the N. wall is a doorway, an arch
and a window, all modern. In the S. wall are three
windows, the easternmost of early 14th-century date
and of two lights with a modern head; the two other
windows are 13th-century lancet-lights, the first re-set
in place of a doorway, the lines of which are shown by
straight joints in the walling. There is no masonry
The Nave (35 ft. by 20½ ft.) and the aisles are modern.
The West Tower (8¾ ft. square) is of three stages
finished with a timber spire rising from the middle of a
pyramidal roof. The walls have a pronounced batter
inwards, and the quoins are of fairly large stones set
partly on end; in addition to this the walls are finished
with a rubble plinth and rubble oversailing courses at
the top and the rear-arches of the windows and the
arched recess in the E. wall are all built of rubble slabs
not set radially and widely gapped at the apex; all
these are features indicating an early and even pre-Conquest date, but, on the other hand, there is no indication that the existing lancet-windows are insertions
and must therefore indicate the real date of the tower.
The inserted tower-arch (Plate 13), perhaps of the 14th
century, has plain jambs and a chamfered segmental arch;
the early walling stops at about the width of the tower
on the E. face. The N. and S. walls of the ground stage
have each an early 13th-century lancet-window. In
the W. wall is a 12th-century doorway (Plate 44) with
jambs of two plain orders, moulded and enriched imposts and an arch of two orders, the inner plain and the
outer with cheveron-ornament; the chamfered label has
an enrichment of palmette leaves; the tympanum is
modern. The second stage has, in the E. wall, an
arched recess of rough segmental form built of thin
rubble slabs and of faulty construction at the crown;
the arch is set back from the face of the responds on each
side; only the slabs at the crown are continued through
the wall; within the arch is a lancet-window set
looking into the tower. The N. and S. walls have each
a lancet-window. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a
window of two lancet-lights.
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st inscribed in Lombardic
capitals, "Johannes amice xpe," said to have come
from Whyle Chapel; 3rd inscribed, "Sancte Petre ora
pro nobis," both by the Worcester foundry, 15th-century; 2nd by Clibury, 1673; 4th by John Finch,
1639. Bier: In tower—with turned legs and hinged
handles, one inscribed, "Anno Domi 1679." Chest:
At rectory—dug-out chest with three straps, flat lid
with strap-hinges, mediæval. Recess: In chancel—in
N. wall, destroyed by arch to organ-chamber, except
for double chamfered E. jamb and spring of arch with
moulded label, probably tomb-recess, 14th-century.
(2). Ford Abbey, house, 1,430 yards S. of the
church, is of two storeys, mostly timber-framed; the
roofs are covered with tiles and slates. It was built
c. 1500 with a central block and cross-wings at the N.
and S. ends. About 1600 the S. wing and the E. part
of the N. wing were re-built, and in the 17th century the
S. wing was extended to the W. The W. half of the
main block is modern. The upper storey formerly
projected on the E. side but has been under-built in
rubble. The timber-framing is exposed in the 17th-century S. wing, and on the N. side is a projecting two-storeyed porch on posts; the outer archway is of
segmental form with a moulded projection in the middle;
the blocked window above has a moulded sill. Inside
the building much of the timber-framing and ceiling-beams are exposed. The roof of the original block has
cambered tie-beams with large curved braces and
shaped wall-posts. The fireplaces, on the S. side of
the central stack, have four-centred heads, and there are
two doorways with segmental-pointed heads.
(3). Lower Whyle, house, 1,600 yards N.W. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of
rubble, and the roofs are covered with slates and
corrugated-iron. It was built probably in the first
half of the 17th century, but has been much altered.
In the N. wing is an original staircase with moulded
balusters and handrails and square moulded newels with
(4). Manor Farm, house, about 1 m. W.S.W. of the
church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the
walls are of timber-framing, rubble and brick, and
the roofs are tiled. There appear to be remains of a
mediæval building in the middle part of the house.
The S. part dates from early in the 17th century and
the N. part from later in the same century. There are
various modern additions. Some of the timber-framing
is exposed both outside and inside the house.