80 WORMSLEY (C.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXV, S.E., (b)XXVI, S.W.)
Wormsley is a small parish 7 m. N.W. of Hereford.
The church is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the
middle of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
rubble with dressings of the same material; the roofs
are covered with slates. The Nave was built early in
the 12th century, but was lengthened, and the W. wall
re-built probably when the bell-turret was added in the
13th century. The Chancel was added probably early
in the 13th century. In the 15th century the rood-loft
staircase was built. The chancel, which had become
ruinous, has been re-built in modern times, and the South
Porch is also modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (15½ ft. by
13½ ft.) has been re-built partly with the old materials.
The E. window incorporates some old stones. In the
N. wall are two small early 13th-century lancetwindows. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern
of the 15th or 16th century and of two square-headed
lights; the western window is similar to those opposite.
The 13th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of
two orders, the outer moulded and the inner chamfered
and springing from modern corbels and responds.
The Nave (37 ft. by 15 ft.) has, in the N. wall, two
windows, the eastern is of the 14th century and of one
trefoiled light; the western is a single round-headed
light of the 12th century; the N. doorway, now
blocked, is probably of early 12th-century date but
now has chamfered jambs and a rough triangular head
cut in the heavy lintel; further E. is the blocked doorway to the rood-loft staircase; it is probably of the
15th century and has moulded jambs and a roughly
elliptical head; the stairs presumably ran to the E. in
the thickness of the wall, but the position of the doorway implies a very deep projection to the rood-loft;
there is a patch of later masonry on the external face
of the wall at this point, and foundations of the projecting enclosure-wall of the staircase have recently
been uncovered. In the S. wall are two windows, the
eastern modern and the western a small 13th-century
lancet-window; the early 12th-century S. doorway
has square jambs and a flat lintel, above which is a
round relieving arch enclosing a tympanum of square
blocks set diagonally. In the W. wall is a 13th-century
lancet-window, and on the gable is a stone bell-cote with
two trefoil-headed openings and a gabled top.
Fittings—Bells: two, inaccessible, but both uninscribed, and one of the square-lipped, long-waisted
type of the 13th century. Bracket: In nave—on N.
wall, square moulded bracket with ball-flower ornament,
early 14th-century. Churchyard Cross: S. of chancel
—square stone base with socket for shaft, on larger
octagonal sub-base on step, mediæval. Font (Plate 55):
tapering cylindrical bowl with roll-moulding at base, late
12th or early 13th-century. Plate: includes cover-paten
of 1571, with that date on the handle. Pulpit (Plate
71): two sides only, of early 17th-century panelling, in
two heights, lower panels with arcaded enrichment,
upper with conventional ornament and enriched rails.
Miscellanea: Early 17th-century panelling incorporated
in lectern. In E. wall of nave, cut-off end of beam
probably part of former rood-loft.
b(2). Wormsley Priory, site and fish-ponds, 1,200
yards N.E. of the church. The priory was founded for
Canons Regular of St. Augustine by a member of the
Talbot family, probably in the reign of King John.
The site, to the E. of Wormsley Grange, is marked only
by a series of dry sinkings, representing fish-ponds and
an irregular bank, perhaps representing the precinct
enclosure. There are two further ponds about 200
yards S.S.W. of the house.
a(3). Court House Farm, house, 70 yards E. of the
church, is of two storeys, timber-framed, with tiled
roofs. It was built, perhaps, late in the 16th century,
but has been much altered and added to. Some of the
timber-framing is exposed and re-used on the S.W. side
is a moulded jamb-stone of a fireplace. Inside the
building are some exposed ceiling-beams.
a(4). Upper House Farm, 410 yards W. of the church,
is of two storeys, timber-framed, and with tiled roofs.
It was built probably in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the S. end. The S. part of the main block
seems to have formed a hall, subsequently divided
into two storeys. The timber-framing is largely
exposed. Inside the building are some exposed
moulded and chamfered ceiling-beams. The roof
of the main block is mainly original and retains two
tie-beams and some foiled wind-braces.
b(5). Hawk's Nest, house, 1,050 yards S.E. of the
church, is modern but incorporates much old material,
including various timbers and a roof-truss, parts of an
early 18th-century staircase, etc. In the garden are
three moulded and carved 13th-century stones, probably
from Wormsley Priory—(a) moulded respond-capital;
(b) respond-capital of a triple-shaft, with running
foliage; (c) quatre-foiled panel with foliated spandrels.