4 AVENBURY (D.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXI, S.W., (b)XXVIII, N.W.)
Avenbury is a parish 2 m. S. of Bromyard. The
church is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands on the N.
side of the parish. The walls are of local sandstone
rubble with dressings of the same material; some tufa
is also employed; the roofs are tiled. The Nave is
of early 12th-century date and the Chancel was re-built
and probably enlarged later in the same century.
About 1250 the N. arcade was built and a N. aisle
added; this aisle was destroyed at some uncertain date
and the arcade blocked. The West Tower was added
early in the 13th century and the South Porch in the
14th century. The church was restored in 1881 and
the E. wall has been largely re-built.
Among the fittings the chest and the incised slab
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24 ft. by
21 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is
a late 12th-century window of one round-headed light.
There is a similar window in the S. wall and W. of it
is a 12th-century doorway altered in the 14th century;
it has chamfered jambs and a round head. There is
Avenbury, the Parish Church of St Mary
The Nave (46½ ft. by 20 ft.) has a blocked 13th-century N. arcade (Plate 9) of three bays with two-centred arches, cylindrical columns and half cylindrical
responds with moulded or scalloped capitals; the
middle bay is entirely blocked and in the other bays are
modern windows. In the S. wall are four windows,
three of lancet-form and of 13th-century date, restored,
and one, set higher in the wall, of early 12th-century
date and of one round-headed light with tufa dressings;
the S. doorway is of late 12th-century date with roll-moulded jambs, two-centred arch and chamfered label.
The West Tower (13¾ ft. square) is of early 13th-century date and of two stages with a low pyramidal
roof. The two-centred tower-arch is of two chamfered
orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on
half-round shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
The S. and W. walls have each a lancet-window. The
second stage has a blocked doorway in the E. wall
and a lancet-window in each of the three other walls.
The South Porch is a 14th-century timber structure
on dwarf rubble walls. The outer archway is formed
by a tie-beam and two foiled braces; there is a similar
truss against the nave-wall; in the middle is a collar-beam truss cut to a trefoil above the collar. The side
walls have modern boarding.
The Roofs of the chancel and nave are of braced
collar-beam type with two tie-beams; they are probably
of mediæval date.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st inscribed in Lombardic
capitals, "Missi de celis habeo nomen Gabrielis,"
probably from the Worcester foundry, 15th-century.
Chest (Plate 45): In chancel—of hutch-type, 7 ft. long,
iron-bound and with round iron carrying-rings, six
strap-hinges, large dove-tailed joints, front feet carved
with large four-petal flower, 14th-century. Communion
Table: with turned legs and moulded top rails with
shaped brackets, c. 1630. Door: In S. doorway, of
battens with strap-hinges having shaped ends, large lockplate probably 17th-century. Font: cylindrical bowl
and octagonal stem, 13th-century. Monument: In chancel
—flat slab (Plate 82) with incised figure of man in
banded mail armour with long surcoat, hands sheathing
sword, head on cushion, shield hanging from shoulder,
legs crossed, mid 13th-century. Plate: includes cup
of 1571 with band of engraved ornament, cover-paten
of about the same date and a pewter flagon. Recesses:
In chancel—in S. wall, plain rectangular recess. In
outer face of S. wall of nave—with chamfered two-centred head and moulded label, 14th-century. Screen:
Between chancel and nave—with central doorway,
close lower panels and open upper panels, five on the
N. and six on the S. of the doorway; side bays with
trefoiled and traceried heads varying on the two sides;
lower panels on S. incorporating four early 17th-century
panels (Plate 67) probably from former pulpit and
carved with conventional designs, screen late 15th-century, with modern additions. Seating: In nave
—ten benches and one front, with moulded rails and
ends carved with linen-fold design, early 16th-century.
b(2). Upper Venn, house and cottage nearly 1¼ m. S.
of the church. The House is of two storeys with cellars
and attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs
are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century with
a central block and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends.
The timber-framing is exposed, as are the internal
The Cottage, E. of the house, is of late 17th-century
date and of two storeys with exposed timber-framing.
a(3). Hackley Farm, house about 1½ m. W. of the
church, is of three storeys with attics; the walls are
timber-framed and weather-boarded and the roofs are
tiled. It was built c. 1620 and contains an unusual
staircase, set in a framing of moulded posts, rail and
string with turned balusters between the framing; one
post has an attached half-newel with a ball-top.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys,
timber-framed and with tile or slate-covered roofs.
Most of the buildings have exposed external framing
and internal ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
a(4). Little Froome, house, 1,150 yards W.N.W. of the
church. The middle part of the main block dates from
early in the 16th century, and has close-set framing.
It was extended to the W. c. 1700 and there are remains
of a 17th-century wing on the S. side of the earlier
block. The house has been much altered. Inside
the building are some 17th-century moulded ceiling-beams.
a(5). Cottage, 250 yards W. of the church, has two
original windows with moulded frames and mullions.
Inside the building are some moulded ceiling-beams.
b(6). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, over 1½ m.
S.S.W. of the church.
b(7). Cottage, opposite (6), has a modern extension on
b(8). Holly Bush Inn, on the E. side of the road
770 yards S.S.E. of (7), has a thatched roof and modern
extensions on the E. and W. The lower storey has
b(9). Hopton Sollers, house, 2¾ m. S.W. of the church.
The middle part was re-built late in the 17th century
and the W. wing is an extension of c. 1700 and later.
The E. gable of the E. wing has diagonal framing.