7 BISHOP'S FROME (D.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXVIII, N.W., (b)XXVIII, S.W.,
Bishop's Frome is a large parish 4 m. S. of Bromyard.
Lower Walton Farm 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 and ashlar of the same material;
the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built
towards the end of the 12th century, but the unusual
proportions of the nave indicate that it was subsequently
lengthened before the addition of the West Tower about
the middle of the 14th century. The tower-staircase
was added in the 16th or 17th century. The chancel
was largely re-built in 1847, and the nave was restored
in 1861; the North Vestry, North Aisle and South
Porch are modern.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (27½ ft. by
18½ ft.) has been largely re-built except perhaps for
the base of the N. wall. The mid to late 12th-century
chancel-arch (Plate 9) is semi-circular, and of two
moulded orders, the inner with cheveron-ornament; the
responds have each two attached shafts with scalloped
capitals and chamfered abaci continued along the wall.
The Nave (70¾ ft. by 18¼ ft.) has a modern N. arcade
and further W. a modern window. In the S. wall are
six windows all modern except the easternmost, which
is of early 14th-century date and of one trefoiled ogee
light; the late 12th-century S. doorway (Plate 79)
has a round arch of three moulded orders with a
chamfered label; the middle order has cheveron-ornament; the inner order is continued down the
jambs but the two outer spring from shafts with
moulded bases and capitals carved with water-leaf and
The West Tower (11½ ft. by 13 ft.) is of c. 1340 and
of three stages with an embattled parapet. The two-centred tower-arch is of three chamfered orders, the
two outer continuous and the inner springing from
semi-octagonal shafts with roughly moulded capitals.
The partly restored W. window is of two trefoiled ogee
lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. The
staircase, in the N.E. angle, is a later addition. The
second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a window of
one trefoiled light in a square head; this stage is of two
storeys internally. The bell-chamber has, in each wall,
a window of two pointed lights with uncusped tracery
in a two-centred head.
Fittings—Bells: six and sanctus; sanctus probably by
John Martin of Worcester, 1673. Chairs (Plate 43):
In chancel—(1) with turned legs, shaped arms, panelled
back with date 1623 and scrolled top-rail; (2) with
turned legs, shaped arms, enriched panelled back and
carved and scrolled top-rail, early 17th-century; (3 and 4)
two, each with turned legs and side posts, carved and
scrolled tops, cane panel in back, c. 1700. Chest: In
tower—plain, with iron straps and two lock-plates, 16th
or 17th-century. Communion Table: In N. aisle—with
turned legs, moulded lower rails, carved top-rail, early
17th-century, top modern. Font: rounded bowl (40 in.
diam.) of reddish breccia with moulded lower edge,
early 13th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In nave—in S. wall, (1) recess and effigy, recess
with hollow-chamfered segmental-pointed arch, with
ball-flower ornament and label with nail-head ornament; effigy in mail with surcoat, crossed legs and
hands holding sword, feet on lion, late 13th-century,
effigy much defaced and broken; on S. wall, (2) to
Lancelott Skinner, 1695, John Skinner, 1712, and others
later, tablet with fluted side-pilasters, cresting and
shield-of-arms; (3) to John Browne, 1694, and Margaret
his daughter, wife of Herbert Hancocks, 1688, inscription-tablet. In churchyard—against E. wall, (4) to
La[ncelott] Skinner, 1695, John Skinner, senior, 1712,
and others later, slab; E. of chancel, (5) to Thomas
Tyler, 165–, head-stone; S.E. of chancel, (6) to Mary,
daughter of Richard Drew, 1712. Floor-slabs: In
chancel against N. wall, (1) to Susanna, wife of Richard
Hopton, 1709; (2) to Richard Hopton, 1696; (3) to
William Edwards, vicar, 17—. Paintings: In N. aisle
—on panels, (1) Virgin and Child with St. John the
Baptist, attributed to B. Bonfiglio (c. 1420–1500); (2)
two of male and female saints, attributed to A. da
Messina (c. 1444–93). Piscinæ: In chancel—(1) recess
with trefoiled head and quatre-foiled drain, 14th-century,
re-set and re-tooled. In nave—in S. wall, (2) recess
with pointed head and quatre-foiled drain, 14th-century.
Seating: In tower—coffin-stool, 17th-century. Screen
(Plate 73): between chancel and nave—of three main
bays, cornice with vine-ornament and brattishing, central
doorway with refixed cusped spandrels, side bays each of
three lights with trefoiled ogee heads, crockets and
finials, close lower panels with refixed fragments of
carving, moulded posts and mullions, 15th-century,
made up with modern work.
b(2). Homestead Moat, at Hopton Farm, about ¾ m.
S.S.E. of the church, is incomplete. There is an outer
enclosure on the N.E.
b(3). Barn (Plate 34) at Cheyney Court, about ½ m.
S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the
walls are of rubble with ashlar dressings, and the roofs
are tile-covered. It was built in the 16th or early
in the 17th century and is said to have been used as a
chapel. A modern turret has been added on the W.
gable. The windows are mostly original and of one,
two or three lights with square heads. Inside the
building are an exposed ceiling-beam and joists.
b(4). White House (Plate 81), 1,000 yards E.S.E. of
the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are
timber-framed and the roofs are slate-covered. The
W. part of the house was built early in the 16th century
and was extended to the E. in rubble early in the
17th century; there is a modern addition on the N.
The timber-framing of the original building is exposed
and is close-set in the ground storey and square framed
above. The upper storey projects slightly on a heavy
splayed bressummer with pilasters at intervals below,
finished with tall splayed heads. The gable at the W.
end projects on a chamfered bressummer with curved
braces. Inside the building some ceiling-beams and
framing are exposed.
b(5). Lower Walton Farm, house (Plate 80), over
¾ m. S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with cellars
and attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs
are tiled. It is of H-shaped plan with the cross-wings
at the E. and W. ends. The W. wing was built late
in the 14th or early in the 15th century, but the central
or Hall-block was re-built late in the 16th century, and
the E. wing early in the 17th century. The S. front has
been largely refaced in brick. The E. wing is mainly of
rubble and has some 17th-century windows. The W.
wing has exposed close-set timber-framing in four
heights, all original. In the W. wall is the head of an
original window of six lights and above it a blocked
window of the same date, with chamfered mullions.
Inside the building the W. wing has an original roof of
four bays; the trusses have two cambered collars with
struts between and above them; the wind-braces are
foiled. Elsewhere the ceiling-beams and much of the
framing are exposed.
b(6). Bromtree's Hall, house and pigeon-house,
nearly 1½ m. W.S.W. of the church. The House is of
three storeys with cellars; the walls are of brick, and
the roofs are tiled. The low kitchen-wing was built
early in the 17th century, and the main block was
built towards the middle of the 18th century but
incorporating earlier work. There is an 18th-century
wing S. of the kitchen. Inside the building the
17th-century wing has exposed ceiling-beams and a
staircase with late 17th-century turned balusters. Some
panelling, of the same date, remains in the main block.
The Pigeon-house, E.N.E. of the house, is a building
of early 18th-century date and of brick, round within
and octagonal without; it is now partly ruined.
Condition—Of house, bad.
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 timber-framing and internal ceiling-beams and some have
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b(7), Rickley Farm, house about 2 m. W. of the
church, has 18th-century and modern additions, and
the S. front has been re-faced in brick.
a(8). Wellington Farm, house ½ m. N.W. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics. It was built late
in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The N.W.
block is carried on four square posts forming an open
porch, with moulded bressummers. Inside the building
is an original opening with a moulded four-centred
a(9). Cottage, at Batchfields nearly 1 m. N.W. of the
church, has a corrugated iron roof.
a(10). Cottage, N. of Mudwalls Farm and 300 yards
W.N.W. of the church.
a(11). Mudwalls Farm, house S. of (10), is of two
storeys with attics and was built late in the 16th
century. There is a cross-wing at the E. end.
a(12). Green Dragon Inn, 200 yards N.W. of the
church, has a modern W. wing.
a(13). Court Farm, house now four tenements, 50
yards N. of the church, is of two storeys with attics.
The N. end is possibly mediæval, the rest being a 16th-century addition. The walls are partly of rubble.
a(14). Parsonage Farm, house S. of the church, is of
two storeys with attics. It is of rectangular plan, the
N. part dating from c. 1600 and the S. part being a
late 17th-century addition. Inside the building are
some moulded brackets under the ceiling-beams. The
gables have diagonal framing.
a(15). Court Mill, house about 350 yards N.E. of the
church, is of two dates in the 17th century.
a(16). Paunton Court, nearly 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the
church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the
walls are partly of rubble. The N. block may date
from late in the 16th century, and the adjoining S.
wing was added early in the 17th century; there are
later and modern additions to the S. of both blocks.
Inside the building is a staircase of c. 1700, with turned
balusters, square newels and close strings.
a(17). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, about
¾ m. N.E. of the church.
a(18). The Swill, house 1,100 yards N.E. of the church,
is partly of rubble and has an early 18th-century
addition on the S.W.
c(19). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, ¾ m. E. of
c(20). The Homestead, house 1¼ m. S.E. of the church,
has an early 18th-century E. wing.
c(21). Cottage, two tenements, on the N. side of the
road, 1½ m. S.E. of the church.
c(22). Wheatsheaf Hotel, 80 yards S.E. of (21), has
been almost entirely modernized in recent years.
c(23). Sponend Farm, house about 1¾ m. S.E. of the
church, has 18th-century extensions at the N. and S.
c(24). Woodcraft Farm, house 550 yards S. of (23),
is of two storeys with cellars and attics. It has been
reduced in size. Inside the building, the N. wing has
an original plaster ceiling in two large moulded panels,
one enclosing a wreath of conventional flowers in high
b(25). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, nearly
1¼ m. S.S.E. of the church.
b(26). Lower Vinetree Farm, house about ¾ m. S.S.E.
of the church, was built probably in the 15th century,
and has a main framework of four large crutch-trusses.
The house otherwise seems to have been reconstructed
in the 16th century. The trusses are smoke-blackened,
and have heavy tie-beams notched into the blades and
subsidiary ties above. The trusses form three bays,
15 ft. in width.