76 WIGMORE (C.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)VI, N.E., (b)VI, S.W.)
Wigmore is a parish and village 9 m. N.W. of
Leominster. The church, the castle, and Chapel Farm
are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. James stands on the E.
side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
rubble and ashlar with dressings of the same material
and tufa; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built
late in the 11th century. The Chancel was re-built and
no doubt lengthened early in the 14th century, and about
the same period the chancel-arch was re-built, the South
Aisle added, and the S. arcade built; about the middle
of the same century the West Tower was added. The
North Chapel with an arcade of two bays was built
in the 15th century. The chancel-arch was re-built
in 1864. The E. part of the N. chapel was pulled down
at a later date than 1865, probably when the church was
restored. The South Porch is modern.
The N. wall of the nave is a remarkable example of
herring-bone masonry, and among the fittings the pulpit
Architectural Description—The Chancel (39 ft. by
19½ ft.) has a 14th-century E. window of three trefoiled
ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head.
In the N. wall are two early 14th-century windows, the
eastern of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil
above and the western of two cinque-foiled lights with a
quatrefoil in a two-centred head. The S. wall has been
partly refaced; in it are two partly restored 14th-century
windows each of two trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head; between them is a 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred
arch. The retooled and reconstructed early 14th-century
chancel-arch is two-centred and of three orders, the inner
moulded and the two outer hollow-chamfered and with
moulded labels; the moulded responds have each an
attached shaft with moulded capital and base; above
the chancel-arch are two 15th-century windows, each
of two trefoiled lights in a square head.
The Nave (56½ ft. by 30¼ ft.) has a 15th-century N.
arcade of two bays with two-centred arches of two
moulded orders continued down the responds; the
column is octagonal with a modern capital and a
chamfered and stopped base; the E. arch is now
blocked; the W. part of the wall has a complete external facing of herring-bone work (Plate 183) of late
11th-century date; in it is a 15th-century window of
two trefoiled lights in a square head. The early 14th-century S. arcade is of two bays with two-centred arches
of two chamfered orders springing from an octagonal
column and responds with attached shafts, all with
moulded capitals, and the column with a moulded base
in addition; E. of the arcade is a 15th or 16th-century
opening with chamfered jambs and four-centred head
on the S. face; W. of the arcade is a late 11th-century
window of one round-headed light; the tufa quoins
of the original S.E. angle of the nave are visible
externally and return quoins in the E. wall indicate that
the original chancel was wider than the existing building. In the W. wall, N. of the tower, is a doorway,
perhaps of the 15th century, with chamfered jambs and
Wigmore, the Parish Church of St James
The North Chapel (originally 29½ ft. by 13¼ ft.) has
been reduced to its western half and has a modern E.
wall. In the N. wall is a re-set 14th-century window,
of which only the moulded jambs are original.
The South Aisle (20 ft. wide) is of early 14th-century
date and has an E. window of one trefoiled and two
cinque-foiled lights in a two-centred head with a moulded
label. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with
that in the E. wall except that the second has head-stops
to the label; the S. doorway has moulded jambs and
two-centred head. In the W. wall is a window of two
cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head
with a moulded label.
The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of mid 14th-century date and of four stages undivided externally
and finished with a moulded plinth and a modern
embattled parapet. The two-centred tower-arch is of
three continuous chamfered orders. In the W. wall
is a window of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square
head. The second stage has, in the E. wall, a narrow
loop-light opening to the nave; the N., S. and W. walls
have each a window of one trefoiled ogee light. The
third stage has, in the E. wall, a doorway with a
shouldered head opening to the roof; the other three
sides have each a window of one square-headed light.
The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of one
The Roof of the nave is of early 15th-century date
and is of five bays with hammer-beam trusses and curved
braces under the collars forming segmental arches;
the collars generally are trussed; between the two lower
purlins, on each side, are cusped wind-braces forming
lozenge-shaped panels. The 14th-century roof of the
S. aisle is of five bays divided by braced tie-beams;
the collar-beams are braced, and there are foiled wind-braces.
Fittings—Altar: In W. tower—re-used as sill of W.
window, slab with incised crosses, mediæval. Book:
Book of Common Prayer of 1707. Churchyard Cross:
N. of tower—octagonal base, stopped out to square
and with moulded angles, ogee-headed niche in W.
face, 14th-century, shaft and steps modern. Clock:
On E. face of tower—wooden clock-face with moulded
rim, dated 1706 (?). Communion Table: In S. aisle—
with turned legs and shaped top rails, early 17th-century, shortened. Cupboard: In W. tower—with
two panelled doors and panelled ends, 17th-century.
Door: In doorway to turret-staircase of tower—of
battens with strap-hinges, 17th-century. Floor-slab:
In chancel—under communion-table, to Alexander
Clogie, vicar, 1698. Font: octagonal bowl, with
hollowed under-edge, and octagonal stem, mediæval.
Glass: In S. aisle—in tracery of E. window, 14th-century fragments. Piscinæ: In chancel—in E. jamb
of S.E. window, sunk panel with trefoiled ogee head,
14th-century, drain modern. In nave—in S. wall, at
rood-loft level, recess with trefoiled head, 14th-century,
sill modern. In former N. chapel—in S. wall, recess
with segmental-pointed head and panelled spandrels,
broken drain, 15th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall,
recess with trefoiled head and repaired round drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes Elizabethan cup (Plate 60) with
band of engraved ornament round bowl, and a cover-paten with the date 1571. Pulpit (Plate 49): of decagonal
form, with seven linen-fold panelled sides, moulded
posts, rail and sill, central octagonal post with moulded
radiating struts and moulded base, early 16th-century.
Sedilia: In chancel—below S.E. window, two modern
stone seats with 14th-century shaped stone arm between
them. Stalls: In chancel—on N. and S. sides, returned
at W. end, panelled fronts (Plate 49) with moulded posts,
trefoiled and traceried heads, enriched with foliage and
masks, buttressed standards with carved top spandrels
and popey-heads; modern seats with old bench ends;
return-stalls with cinque-foiled and traceried panels on
W. face and shaped bench ends, 15th-century. Stoup:
In S. aisle—E. of S. doorway, recess with pointed head,
14th-century, base modern. Sundial: On chancel—on
S. doorway, remains of scratch-dial. Weather-vane:
On tower—wrought-iron vane with gilt cock, probably
early 18th-century. Miscellanea: In S. aisle—carved
cherub-head, stone mortar and part of an octagonal
a(2). Wigmore Castle, ruins and earthworks, ¼ m.
W.N.W. of the church, occupies the end of a long spur
running S.E. from Wigmore Rolls. The walls are of
local sandstone rubble with dressings of the same
material. According to Domesday Book the castle was
built by William FitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford, and
was held at the time of the survey (1086) by Ralph de
Mortimer. Part of the base of the N. wall of the shellkeep is of early, and perhaps 12th-century, character, and
the rounded E. tower of the castle is probably of the 13th
century, but the rest of the structure seemed to have
been largely or entirely re-built early in the 14th century,
probably by Roger Mortimer, the 8th lord. The castle
passed to the Crown in the person of Edward IV. Bishop
Lee, President of the council of the Marches (1534–43),
found the castle "utterly decayed in lodging" and
repaired it. It was also repaired by Sir Henry Sydney,
a later president (1559–86), and used as a prison. It
was bought by the Harley family in 1601, and is said to
have been dismantled by them in 1643. Buck's view
of 1732 shows that there was then but little more of the
building standing than is at present the case.
Though very fragmentary the ruins are of interest
as those of a castle, formerly of the first importance.
The existing ruins consists of parts of the walls of a
shell-keep on a mound to the N.W. of the site, portions
of the enclosing walls of the bailey to the S.E. including
three towers and a gatehouse and a single fragment of
ruin near the middle of the enclosure. The Keep (Plate
185) was of roughly oval form (about 125 ft. by 57 ft.
internally) and was entered at the E. end. A stretch
of wall survives on the N. side, with a flat buttress
and terminating in the remains of a second buttress;
the lower part of the wall is perhaps of earlier date
than the rest and consists of courses of squared and
much smaller stones; the upper walling with the
buttresses appears to be of the 14th century, as is the
rest of the surviving walling of the keep. A gap
represents the entrance at the E. end, and to the S. of it
are the remains of a tower with a plinth-course and
with the embrasure of a single-light window or loop;
higher up is part of the embrasure of a second window,
to the floor above. Only fragments remain of the S.
wall of the keep, but at the W. end is the lofty fragment
of a tower, at least three storeys high; it contained
a spiral staircase and retains the jambs of doorways
and windows on its E. and S. sides. The keep no
doubt had a series of buildings abutting against the
inside of the enclosing wall and probably with a small
open court in the middle. The main curtain-wall of the
castle was carried up the keep-mound at the E. end and
on the S. side. A portion of this wall adjoins the keep
at the E. end and contains the remains of an embrasure
and a shaft, probably from a former garde-robe. The
N.E. Tower (Plate 185) retains only its outward side
with four faces and a plinth; two of the faces have
broken window-embrasures. On the inner face is a
corbel of the former first floor, and higher up are remains
of a window. The tower is of the 14th century. The
curtain between this and the E. tower is largely
destroyed except for a length adjoining the latter, which
has a chamfered plinth. The E. Tower (Plate 185) is
probably of the 13th century and has a rounded outer
face with a plinth. There is a large broken window
embrasure on the S. side and a garde-robe shaft at the
junction with the S. curtain; the inner face of the
tower has fallen. Some of the curtain between this
tower and the gatehouse is standing and has a plinth.
The Gatehouse (Plate 185) retains only its central portion,
astride the line of the curtain, the outer and inner parts
being destroyed. It is a 14th-century structure with a
central gateway having a segmental-pointed outer arch
formerly of two orders, the outer moulded and the
inner chamfered; between them is the portcullis
groove; towards the N. the arch is rebated for doors.
The archway is choked with rubbish to about half its
height. E. of the archway are remains of a small room
at the first-floor level entered by a door on the W. side
with a right-angled passage and a rubble vault. The W.
wall, within the gateway, has a set-back of 4½ ft. at the
first-floor level with remains of a window on the W. and
a doorway on the S. At the junction with the S.
curtain is a garde-robe shaft. The adjoining length of
curtain is fairly well preserved and contains a second
garde-robe shaft. The 14th-century S. Tower (Plate 185)
was a rectangular structure (38 ft. by 32 ft. externally),
of which the N. wall has been destroyed. It was of
at least three storeys and has a moulded plinth and
a central cross-wall running N. and S. Under the E.
half is a basement with a segmental stone vault and
approached by a double square-headed doorway in the
N.W. angle and a flight of steps. The ground floor
has remains of four windows and fireplaces in the E.
and W. walls; the S. windows retain their trefoiled
heads. The first floor has similar windows in the S.
and W. walls. There are considerable remains of the
curtain between this and the S.W. tower. The
S.W. Tower is a rectangular structure of the 14th
century and appears to have been of three storeys; it
is much destroyed on the S. side. In the lowest
storey is an unlit room, now open on the E. side. The
S. wall has a plinth with remains of a window in the
second and third storey. The adjoining curtain on the
N. has traces of a former window, a chimney flue and
a doorway with an ogee head and a chamfered rib in the
thickness of the wall; the outer face is broken away.
An isolated fragment of curtain survives on the S.
slope of the keep-mound. Within the bailey, to the
S.E. of the keep-mound, are traces of a rectangular
inner enclosure, with fragments of masonry exposed
at certain points. Within this enclosure, a bank at the
back of the N.E. tower may indicate the lines of a
The Earthworks of the main castle have been formed
by cutting a ditch across the spur to the N.W. and
steepening the natural scarp to form the motte and by
cutting two ditches with a medial rampart on the S.E.
of the spur to form the bailey; the ditches die out
towards the N. into the steep natural scarp, and both
ditches are partly lost on the S. A causeway across the
inner ditch forms the approach to the gatehouse, and a
second causeway runs N.W. from the keep to the top of
the spur beyond the keep-ditch, where a slight mound
has been formed. S.E. of the bailey is a further enclosure defended by the scarp of the spur on the N.E.,
a ditch on the S.W. and a rampart on the S.E. The
ridge to the S.E. of this enclosure is cut by four short
ditches. To the N.E. of the scarp on that side of the
castle itself a large enclosure is formed by two banks
with ditches on their outward sides, running in a
north-easterly direction. Both these works die out
in the low-lying ground on that side.
Condition—Of ruins, heavily overgrown.
a(3). Chapel Farm, house, 1¼ m. W.S.W. of the
church, is of two storeys, timber-framed, and with
slate-covered roofs. It was built early in the 15th
century with a hall and a two-storeyed wing at the W.
end, both under one roof. The hall was divided into
two storeys late in the 16th century. The S. wall has
been largely re-built in rubble, except for the main
posts. The building has been connected with the
chapel in Deerfold Forest referred to in Bishop
Trefnant's Register, as used for heretical services; it is,
however, a purely secular building and is, moreover, of
rather later date.
Wigmore, Chapel Farm
The house is an unusually complete example of its
The timber-framing is mostly exposed on the N. and
W. sides of the building, which is of four main bays.
On the N. side are remains of two original four-light
windows, and there is an original doorway with an
arched head in the W. wall. Inside the building, the hall
occupies the three eastern bays; the roof (Plates 38,184)
has main trusses carried on moulded posts, with moulded
and shaped heads and foiled braces to the moulded
tie-beams; the tie-beams and collars have raking struts
and the upper wall-plates (Plate 35) are moulded and
embattled; the subsidiary trusses have collars with
curved braces, forming segmental arches; the purlins
are moulded and the wind-braces, in three tiers, are
cusped, the cusping in the upper tiers having foliated
points. The inserted floor in the hall has exposed
ceiling-beams. The framing in the W. wall of the
hall is original and has a 16th-century doorway with
a triangular head. The roof of the two-storeyed W.
bay of the building is of similar type but plainer than
that over the hall; the S. wall-plate has sockets for the
mullions of an original window. The hearth of a
fireplace on the first floor incorporates some re-used
material and slip-tiles with geometrical and foliated
designs. Lying loose is the head of a round-headed
a(4). Wigmore Hall, ¼ m. S.E. of the church, is of
two storeys with cellars and attics, timber-framed and
with tiled roofs. The central block of the house with
the small wing on the E. and part of the N.W. block
were built probably in the 16th century; the rest of the
house is modern. Some of the original timber-framing is exposed, and the E. wing, probably a two-storeyed porch, has a projecting gable. Inside the
building some ceiling-beams are exposed, and there
is some mid 17th-century panelling.
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.
a(5). House, on the E. side of the road, 200 yards
S.E. of the church, was built probably in the 16th
century, and has 17th-century additions on the S. and E.
a(6). Brick House, 50 yards N. of (5), has been refaced
in brick. Inside the building is a 17th-century overmantel with three bays of enriched arcaded panelling.
a(7). House and shop, 20 yards N. of (6), has a cross-wing at the N. end. The upper storey projects on the
W. side of the main block on curved braces and a
moulded bressummer; the former projection at the
end of the cross-wing has been under-built. Inside the
building, the S. room is lined with original panelling,
partly carved and enriched and having the initials K.P.
Wigmore, Plan Shewing the Position of the Monuments
a(8). House (Plate 26), on the S. side of the road, 300
yards E. of the church, was built c. 1600, and has a late
17th-century extension at the W. end. The upper storey
projects on the N. side of the original block on curved
brackets. The former projection on the S. side has
a(9). House, on the N. side of the road, 100 yards E.
of the church, has a cross-wing at the E. end and later
additions on the S. side.
a(10). Court House Barn, 40 yards W. of (9), is
a(11). House, at the road-fork, 75 yards E. of the
church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending
towards the W. and S. It is perhaps of mediæval origin,
but was almost entirely re-built in brick late in the 17th
century. Inside the building is some 17th-century
a(12). Parish Hall, E. of the church, is of one
a(13). Cottage, 50 yards S.S.E. of the church, has a
16th-century E. wing and a W. wing added early in the
a(14). House, two tenements, E. of (13).
a(15). Brook House, 100 yards S.S.E. of the church,
was built in the 16th century, but has been completely
remodelled. Inside the building one room has
original moulded ceiling-beams and joists.
a(16). House, 50 yards S.W. of (15), has a modern S.
a(17). Cottage, two tenements, 50 yards W. of the
church, has been heightened and has a modern iron
a(18). Cottage, 70 yards W.S.W. of (17), has been
partly refaced in rubble.
a(19). Cottage, 50 yards W. of (18), has been
a(20). Lower House, 950 yards S.E. of the church,
has been heightened. Inside the building are several
17th-century panelled doors.
b(21). Upper Limebrook Farm, house, 2¾ m. S.W. of
the church, is of mediæval origin, the E. wing having
three crutch-trusses. The W. wing is probably a
16th-century addition, when the early wing was
divided into two storeys. Inside the building is some
a(22). Lodge Farm, house, over 1½ m. W. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics. The main block
was built early in the 16th century with a slightly later
wing at the S. end. There are late 17th-century
additions on the N. and W., and a porch of the same
date on the E. Much of the original close-set framing
is exposed, and the upper storey of the original block
projects on the E. and N. on curved brackets. Inside
the building the S.E. room has an early 17th-century
ceiling of three large panels. The staircase, of the same
period, has square newels with shaped terminals.