63 RICHARD'S CASTLE (D.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)III, S.W., (b)III, S.E., (c)VII, N.W.,
Richard's Castle is a parish on the Shropshire border
8 m. N. of Leominster. The old church and the castle
are the principal monuments.
d(1). Church of St. Bartholomew (Plates 9, 150)
stands in the S. part of the parish. The walls are of local
sandstone rubble with dressings of the same material;
the roofs are covered with tiles, stone and slates. The
Chancel and Nave were built in the 12th century. The
S. arcade was built, and the South Aisle added, early in
the 14th century, and shortly after the upper part of
the E. wall and chancel-arch were re-built, the detached
Tower built, and the North Chapel added; rather later
in the same century the W. wall of the nave was re-built.
The South Porch was added early in the 15th century.
The church was restored in the 19th century, but is not
now regularly used.
Richard's Castle, Old Parish Church of St. Bartholomew
Architectural Description—The Chancel (39¾ ft. by
21¾ ft.) has an early to mid 14th-century E. window
of four trefoiled lights with flowing tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall
is a window of the same date and of two trefoiled ogee
lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; immediately to the W. is part of the W. jamb of a destroyed
window, probably of the 12th century; further W. is a
blocked doorway to a former vestry; the internal stonework is modern. In the S. wall are two 14th-century
windows, the eastern uniform with that opposite and
the western of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square
head; below and to the W. of the eastern window are
a window and doorway, both blocked and formerly
opening into a vault below the sanctuary; they are
of 16th or 17th-century date, the window being of two
lights with a modern head and the doorway with a
two-centred head; the early 14th-century chancel-doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head
with a chamfered label. The early to mid 14th-century
chancel-arch has responds and two-centred arch of
two sunk-chamfered orders with moulded and embattled
imposts, partly cut away for the former rood-loft.
The Nave (59 ft. by 19¾ ft.) has a mid 14th-century N.
arcade of two bays, with two-centred arches of two
sunk-chamfered orders and pier and responds of similar
section with moulded and embattled imposts and
chamfered bases; further W. are two 12th-century
windows each of one round-headed light. The S.
arcade, of c. 1320, is of three bays with two-centred
arches of two chamfered orders; the piers and responds
are of the same section and have moulded imposts with
ball-flower ornament. In the W. wall is a late 14th-century window of four trefoiled lights with vertical
tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs and central
mullion are shafted and the tracery is much restored.
The North Chapel (21½ ft. by 20¼ ft.) is of mid 14th-century date and has an E. window of three trefoiled
ogee lights with net-tracery in a square head. In the
N. wall is a window of four trefoiled lights with star-shaped tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded
label; the jambs are shafted; the tracery is probably
a 17th-century reconstruction. In the W. wall is a
window of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head.
The South Aisle (12¼ ft. wide) is of early 14th-century
date and has an E. window of three cinque-foiled lights
with tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs, arch
and mullions have ball-flower ornament; in the gable
is a round quatre-foiled window. In the S. wall are
two windows, the eastern of two cinque-foiled lights
with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the western
window is of two lancet-lights; the S. doorway has
moulded jambs and two-centred head. In the W. wall
is a window uniform with the western window in the
S. wall. Across the aisle are two timber shores,
probably of the 17th century, and inserted to support
the nave-wall which leans heavily to the S.
The South Porch is of early 15th-century date and has
an outer archway, two-centred and of two chamfered
orders, springing from semi-octagonal responds with
chamfered imposts. The side walls have each a window
of two trefoiled lights in a square head.
The Tower (15 ft. square) standing detached to the E.
of the chancel, is of early 14th-century date and of three
stages, finished with a low pyramidal roof. The
ground stage has, in the E. and S. walls, a window of
one square-headed light; in the W. wall is a doorway
with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The
second stage has a single-light square-headed window
in the E. wall and a blocked window in the S. wall.
The bell-chamber has, in the E., N. and S. walls, a
window of two plain pointed lights in a two-centred
The Roof of the chancel is of early 17th-century date
and of three bays with moulded tie-beams and diagonal
struts to the collars; below the tie-beams are wall-posts with moulded terminals and moulded braces.
The timbers of the roofs of the S. porch and tower are
Fittings—Bells: three; 3rd inscribed "Sancta Maris
probis" (ora pro nobis), early 16th-century. Coffin-lid
(Plate 47): In S. aisle—against W. wall, tapering slab
with triangular head and heavy foliated cross and stem,
late 13th-century. Collecting Box: In modern church—
with lid inscribed W.C. 1686, modern handle. Communion Rails: In second stage of tower—moulded rail
with turned balusters, early 17th-century. Communion
Table: with turned legs, moulded top-rails and shaped
brackets, early 17th-century. Glass: In chancel—in
tracery of S.W. window, fragments of foliage, wings
and coloured glass, 14th-century. In N. chapel—in
tracery of E. window, a Coronation of the Virgin under
tabernacle-work, roundels and backgrounds of foliage
and flowers, 14th-century and in situ, also a 16th-century
roundel with part of a Garter. In W. window, quarries
with yellow flowers, a roundel, etc. In S. aisle—in head
of E. window, crowned head of Christ (?) in roundel,
foliage, borders of castle and fleurs-de-lis, etc., 14th-century; in round window above, fragments with
foliage and borders; in head of S.E. window, roundel
with part of crowned head, foliage, borders, etc., 14th-century. Locker: In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with
square rebated head and slot for shelf, mediæval.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In N.
transept—in N. wall, (1) E. side of large tomb-recess,
with moulded jambs and cusped arch with crockets and
side standard, 14th-century, mostly hidden, and probably
destroyed by modern pew. In churchyard—S. of S.
aisle, (2) to Simon Higgins, 1708, moulded slab from
table-tomb. Floor-slabs: In chancel (1) to William
Salwey, 1710; (2) to Franc . . ., 1700; (3) to William
Deverell, 1704, also to Margaret, daughter of Thomas
Holland, 1714–5. In nave—(4) to Thomas Bytheway,
1708; (5) to A.T., 1680; (6) to John (?) Davis, 1709.
Piscina: In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with cinque-foiled
head, early 14th-century, drain removed. Plate:
includes two stand-patens of 1694, probably of secular
origin and given by John Salwey, rector, 1713, achievement-of-arms in middle of each. Seating: In nave,
N. chapel and S. aisle—box-pews of mid and late
17th-century panelling, one door on S. side inscribed
S.H. 1688; incorporated in rector's pew and pulpit,
six pairs of 15th-century panels with trefoiled and sub-cusped heads. Sundial: On W. jamb of chancel-doorway—remains of scratch-dial.
c(2). Richard's Castle, ruins and earthwork,
immediately W. of the churchyard. There seems
little doubt that it is the castle called Auretone in the
Domesday Survey (1086), when it was held by Osbern
Fitz Richard. It passed to the families of Mortimer,
Talbot and Pope. The earthwork consists of a motte
and bailey, both surrounded by a continuous ditch,
with traces of an outer enclosure on the W. The
motte occupies the W. side of the site and is 65 yards
in diameter at the base, 7 yards at the top, and rises
60 ft. above the bottom of the ditch on the W side.
There is no ditch between it and the bailey which lies
on the E. side and is of the normal kidney-form. The
bailey is protected by a rampart representing the former
wall which survives in places. The area is divided by
a scarp into two portions. The bailey was entered
on the S.E. where the ditch is crossed by a causeway;
the gate is represented by a fragment of masonry on the
S. side. The surviving walling, on the N. side of the
bailey, is about 50 ft. long and 18 ft. high. A further
stretch of walling survives, climbing the N. slope of
the motte; it stands some 12 ft. high, and near the
foot of the slope are remains of a projection on the
outward face of the wall. All these fragments are of
rubble and retain no evidence of their date. Surrounding both motte and bailey is a ditch with a small
outer bank. Running N.E. from the N.E. side of the
outer bank is a second bank with a ditch towards
the N.W. This bank extends for some 50 yards and
indicates the former existence of an outer enclosure
containing the church and perhaps the early village.
Condition—Planted and much overgrown.
b(3). Enclosure, probably Homestead Moat, in
Haye Park Wood, 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the church, is
roughly rectangular, with an inner rampart, surrounded
by a narrow dry ditch. The ditch has an outer rampart
on the E. side.
a(4). Park Pale, formerly enclosing Haye Deer
Park, ¾ m. N. of the church. The boundary bank
enclosing the park can be traced along the whole of
the S. and W. sides until the farmland is reached on
Climbing Jack Common. No remains survive on the
d(5). Court House, cider-mill and dovecote, ½ m.
S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with
cellars and attics, timber-framed and with tiled roofs.
The N. wing was built c. 1620–30, but has been shortened
and re-built at the W. end; the rest of the house is
modern. The old wing has exposed framing and the
upper storey projects on the E. and on part of the N.
side on a moulded bressummer and shaped brackets;
the gable on the N. side has ornamental braces in the
framing. The upper storey projects on the S. side
also, but is now enclosed in the modern addition.
Inside the building, some of the ceiling-beams are
exposed. The N.E. room is lined with late 17th or
early 18th-century panelling with moulded cornice
and dado-rail; the fireplace has a moulded surround
and a large panel as an overmantel; the fireplace is
flanked by fluted pilasters; in the S.W. corner of the
room is a panelled cupboard (Plate 53) incorporating
some 17th-century slat-balusters. The reconstructed
17th-century staircase has turned balusters, close strings
and square newels with moulded tops. On the first
floor, the N.E. room is lined with panelling of two
dates; over the fireplace is a late 17th-century painted
panel with the nine Muses and Pegasus.
The Cider Mill, at the N.W. corner of the house, is
an early 17th-century timber-framed building. In the
W. wall is a four-light window with diamond-shaped
mullions. The Dovecote (Plate 40), W. of the house, is
a circular building of rubble, about 25 ft. in diameter,
and probably of mediæval date. The conical roof has
three gabled dormers and a central lantern, all probably
of the 17th century. The entrance-doorway has a
plain chamfered lintel of oak.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys,
timber-framed and with stone, slate or tile-covered
roofs. Most of the buildings have exposed external
timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
d(6). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, opposite (5).
d(7). Lower House, on the S. side of the road, 180
yards W.N.W. of (5), is of L-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the N. and E. On the W.
side is an original porch (Plate 43) with dentilled base-beam and barge-boards to the gable and a moulded
apex-post; the outer entrance has a moulded lintel and
d(8). Rock Cottage, 230 yards W.N.W. of (7). The
upper storey projects at the N. end on shaped brackets.
d(9). Cottage, two tenements, on the E. side of the
road, 70 yards S. of (8), is of T-shaped plan with the
cross-wing at the W. end.
d(10). The Green, house, on the S. side of the road,
150 yards S.E. of the church, was built probably in the
16th century, and has fairly close-set framing in the N.
d(11). Cottage, E. of the churchyard, was built c.
1600, and has been extended on the W. The upper
storey projects at the E. end of curved brackets.
d(12). Church House, 60 yards N. of the church, was
built in the 16th century. The S. block is an early
17th-century addition, as is the western extension of the
earlier building. The S. side has been refaced in
brick. The upper storey projects on part of the N.
and E. sides of the original block, on curved brackets;
the former projection at the E. end of the S. block has
been under-built. Inside the building, the 17th-century
staircase has turned balusters and moulded newels.
c(13). Ruddshole, cottage, 750 yards N.W. of the
c(14). Cottage, on Brightall Common, 1,600 yards
S.S.W. of the church.
c(15). Woodhouse Farm, house, 300 yards S.E. of
(14), has been heightened.
d(16). Bilbury, house, nearly 1½ m. S.E. of the church,
has been largely refaced in brick.
d(17). Bury, house, ½ m. N.N.E. of (16), has been
extensively altered and enlarged in 18th-century and
modern times. Most of the walling has been refaced
in rubble and brick. Inside the building is an original
shaped and moulded bracket under a ceiling-beam.
d(18). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 300 yards
W.N.W. of (17), is of L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the S. and W.
d(19). House, on the E. side of the road, 550 yards
N. of (18), was built c. 1600 on a T-shaped plan with
the cross-wing at the N. end. It has been partly
refaced in brick.
a(20). Haye Park Farm, house, about 1 m. N. of
the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls
are of rubble. The E. part of the house is a modern
addition or rebuilding. In the N. wall of the old wing
is a window with an original moulded frame. Inside
the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams.
The S. room has an iron fire-back with the date and
initials 1679, R.A.S. The N. room has moulded plaster
panels in the ceiling and some original panelling. On
the upper floor is some 17th or early 18th-century