71 STRETFORD (C.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. XIX, N.W.)
Stretford is a small parish 4 m. S.W. of Leominster.
The church is the principal monument.
Stretford, the Parish Church of St Peter
(1). Parish Church of St. Peter or St. Cosmas and
St. Damian stands near the S. end of the parish. The
walls are of local sandstone rubble with dressings of the
same material; the roofs are tiled. The N. wall of
the North Chapel and Aisle, formerly the chancel and
nave, is of early to mid 12th-century date. The existing
Chancel and Nave were added in the first half of the
13th century with an arcade between them and the
earlier building. About 1320–30 the whole building
was lengthened about 7 or 8 feet to the E. and the
easternmost arch widened. The original doublegabled roof was removed c. 1540 and replaced by the
existing single gabled roof covering the whole building
and with a bell-turret at the W. end. The South Porch
was added in the 16th or early 17th century. The
church was restored in 1875, and the W. wall was
re-built in 1922.
The roof is an interesting piece of construction, and
among the fittings the mediæval effigies are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20½ ft. by
15¾ft.) has an early 14th-century E. window of three
plain pointed lights with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head with an ogee point; the rear-arch springs
from corbelling. In the N. wall is a 13th-century
arch widened in the 14th century; it is two-centred
and of two chamfered orders; the E. respond is
concealed, but the W. respond has a half-round attached
shaft with moulded capital and base. In the S. wall
is a 13th-century lancet-window. There is no structural
The Nave (26½ ft. by 16 ft.) has a 13th-century N.
arcade (Plate 13) of two bays, with two-centred arches
of two chamfered orders; the cylindrical column and
half-cylindrical responds have moulded capitals and
bases. In the S. wall is a 13th-century lancet-window;
the 13th-century S. doorway has chamfered jambs
and two-centred head. In the W. wall is a window,
perhaps of early 16th-century date and of two trefoiled
lights in a square head.
The North Chapel and Aisle (46½ ft. by 15¾ ft.),
formerly the chancel and nave, has an early 14th-century E. window of two plain pointed lights in a
two-centred head with an ogee point; the rear-arch
springs from chamfered corbelling. In the N. wall
are two windows, the eastern a 13th-century lancetlight and the western a single round-headed 12th-century light. The 12th-century N. doorway, now
blocked, has chamfered jambs and round arch. In the
W. wall is a 14th-century window of two trefoiled
ogee lights; above it is a small round window. Over
the W. gable is a square 16th-century bell-turret of
timber finished with a short spire.
The South Porch is of 16th or early 17th-century date,
and of timber on dwarf stone walls. The S. end has
posts, tie-beam and braces forming a three-centred
arch. The sides have posts forming five openings
with modern inserted heads; there is a collar-beam
truss against the N. wall.
The Roof (Plate 168) of the church is of the 16th-century, covering the whole building, and of four bays;
the truss over the chancel-screens has a moulded tie-beam, plain king and subsidiary posts and a collar;
below the collar are curved braces; the truss against
the W. wall has a tie-beam, but the other trusses are
of collar-beam type, with central posts, standing on the
arcade-wall and curved braces; the four purlins on each
side have wind-braces, the two upper ranges curved
and the lower ranges cusped; the end trusses, except in
the N.W. angle, and the middle truss rest on posts set
against the walls and carried down to the floor; the
intermediate trusses rest on wall-posts each carved with
a shield-of-arms, two of Delabere on the N. and one
each of Baskerville and Devereux on the S.; there are
also shields with plain crosses on the E. pair of main
Fittings—Bells: two, inaccessible. Chest: In N.
chapel—boarded chest with two strap-hinges, probably
17th-century. Coffin-lid: In recess against E. respond
—re-set slab with cross-head consisting of intersecting
curves, late 13th-century. Font (Plate 55): irregular cupshaped bowl and tapering stem, moulded base, probably
late 12th-century. Monuments: In N. chapel—in N. wall
(1), recess with moulded ogee arch and label with headstops of a king and queen; in recess, freestone effigies
(Plate 175) of man in mixed mail and plate armour with
cyclas and shield with the arms of Delabere on the left
arm, feet on beast; lady in wimple and long gown with
tight sleeves, c. 1320–30, possibly for Robert Delabere
and Margaret (Gamage) his wife. In N. aisle—in N.
wall (2), recess with plain segmental-pointed arch; in
front of it, freestone effigies (Plate 175) of man in mixed
mail and plate, with cyclas, feet on beast, shield on left
arm with the arms of Delabere; lady in wimple and
sideless gown, etc., feet on beast, c. 1340–50, possibly
for Sir John Delabere and Agnes (Turberville) his
wife. Piscinæ: In chancel—re-set head of 12th-century
pillar-piscina, with scalloped and enriched capital and
square drain, 13th-century recess at back with moulded
two-centred head. In N. chapel—in S. wall, recess
with trefoiled ogee and crocketted head and broken
drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes an Elizabethan
cup and cover-paten. Pulpit: four sides of octagon,
each side with two ranges of panels, the upper with
enriched arches and styles with jewel-ornament and
half-baluster ornament; lower panels dentilled and
enclosing rosettes in circles; top-rail with strap-ornament and enriched cornice, early to mid 17th-century.
Recess: set against E. respond of arcade, rectangular
stone structure with embattled cornice and having in the
W. face a recess with moulded jambs and square head,
4½ ft. high by 3¼ ft. wide and 1¼ ft. deep, probably early
16th-century. Screens: Between chancel and nave—of
six bays, three on each side of central doorway, moulded
rails and posts, those to doorway with buttresses,
doorway with three-centred head foliated spandrels
and panelled frieze above, side bays with close lower
and open upper panels with trefoiled ogee and traceried
heads; posts, where original, all cut with a sloping
groove as for the insertion of a book board towards the
chancel and 4¾ ft. above the floor. Screen between N.
chapel and aisle, generally similar but with no grooves
and with different treatment above central doorway.
Both screens probably early 16th-century.
(2) Moss Hill Farm, outbuilding, over 1 m. N.N.W.
of the church, is of one storey with attics, timber-framed and with tiled roofs. It was built probably
late in the 17th or early in the 18th century, but was
partly re-built in 1796, which date, with the initials R.H.,
appears on the S. end. The external framing and the
ceiling-beams are exposed.