10 BRAMPTON ABBOTTS (C.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XLIV, S.E., (b)LII, N.W.)
Brampton Abbotts is a small parish on the left bank
of the Wye, 2 m. N. of Ross. The church and Rudhall
House are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Michael (Plate 5)
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 stone slates and tiles.
The Chancel and Nave are of the 12th century, but the
building was much altered in the 14th century, when a
S. porch was added. The chancel-arch was re-built
and widened, probably in the 16th century, and the W.
wall repaired in 1686. The church was restored in
1848, in 1857, and again more recently when the bell-turret was largely or entirely re-built, the North Vestry
added and the South Porch re-built.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (18¾ ft. by
16 ft.) has in the E. wall a 12th-century window, of one
round-headed light, modern externally. In the N. wall
is a modern arcade of two bays. In the S. wall are
two windows, the eastern modern, but incorporating
half of a 15th-century trefoil in one of the lights; the
western window is of late 13th-century date, and of one
trefoiled light, largely restored. The late 15 th or early
16th-century chancel-arch is of segmental-pointed
form and of two chamfered orders, incorporating
earlier material; the 12th-century responds have been
re-set wider apart and are of two orders, the outer, on
the W., with attached shafts, scalloped capitals, moulded
abaci and bases.
The North Vestry is modern but re-set in the E. wall
is an early 16th-century window of two trefoiled lights
in a square head; in the N. wall is a 14th-century
doorway with chamfered jambs and modern head.
The Nave (36 ft. by 20¼ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two
windows, both modern except the W. splay of the
eastern; below this window is the jamb of what was
perhaps a doorway; the modern doorway, at the E.
end of the wall, is said to have replaced a pre-existing
doorway; the 15th-century upper doorway to the rood-loft is in the E. wall and has a square head; above and
to the W. of the modern doorway is a blocked window,
said to be modern; at the W. end of the N. wall are
traces of a destroyed N. doorway. In the S. wall are
two windows, the eastern of mid 14th-century date,
partly restored and of three trefoiled lights in a square
head; the western window is modern; the 12th-century S. doorway has a round arch of one plain order
with a chamfered label and encloses a plain tympanum;
the jambs have attached shafts with scalloped capitals
and hollow-chamfered abaci; the inner order is
shouldered to support the tympanum. In the W. wall
is a mid 14th-century window of two trefoiled ogee
lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, with a
moulded label; above the window is a tablet inscribed
"John Mason, Bevis Bennet, Churchward 1686,"
probably the date of a repair and rebuilding of the
bell-turret. The bell-turret is carried on modern posts
and framing; the upper part is shingled and finished
with a pyramidal tiled roof; each face has a window of
two lights with rounded heads.
The South Porch is modern, but incorporates some
14th-century timbers, including the posts, tie-beam and
curved braces and struts of the outer entrance, and most
of the roof-timbers.
The Roof of the nave is probably of 14th-century date
and of braced collar-beam type with a moulded beam
under the collars and braces.
Fittings—Bells: three, inaccessible. Brass: In
nave—on N. wall, to John Rudhale, 1506–7, and Joan
his wife, figure of woman in pedimental head-dress, long
girdle, etc., slab of same brass in chancel with indents
of figure of man, two scrolls and shield, in addition.
Chair: In chancel—with panelled back, scrolled top,
curved arms and turned legs, mid 17th-century, restored.
Chest: In nave—front with shaped panels, initials I.S.
on top rail, border of conventional foliage round lid,
possibly 17th-century. Churchyard Cross: S. of porch
—square base with chamfered upper angles and ogee-headed niche in W. face, on three steps, 14th-century,
shaft and head modern. Communion Table: In vestry
—with turned legs, moulded rails and shaped brackets,
name, Jo. Tayler on front rail, mid 17th-century. Font
(Plate 55): octagonal bowl with quatre-foiled panels
each with central enrichment or carved cusp-points,
trumpet-shaped stem with panelled and traceried faces
and modern lower part, late 15th-century. Monuments
and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In churchyard—S.E. of
chancel—(1) to Anne, daughter of Richard Hill, 1713,
head-stone; S.E. of nave, (2) to Elizabeth, wife of Bevis
Bennet, late 17th-century, head-stone; (3) to Mary,
daughter of John Jones, 1706, head-stone with cherub-head; (4) to Blanch, wife of Thomas Heyet, 1681, headstone; S.E. of porch, (5) to Mary, daughter of William
Jones, 1689, head-stone; S. of porch, (6) to Mary, wife
of Richard Addis, 1690, head-stone; (7) to Richard
Gwatkin, 1703–4, flat slab; S.W. of porch, (8) to
Rowland Hunt, 1608, panelled table-tomb; S.W. of
nave, (9) to William Hodges, 1640, head-stone. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) to Edward Stedman, 1712, pastor
of the church, with shield-of-arms; (2) to Thomas
Baynam, 1712. Panelling: In chancel—re-set in sedile,
arcaded panel probably from pulpit, c. 1630. Piscina:
In chancei—scalloped head with round drain of 12th-century pillar piscina, stem and base modern. Plate:
includes cup (Plate 69) and cover-paten of 1572, cup
with two moulded bands and one band of incised ornament round bowl, baluster stem, also large paten of 1711,
given by Jane, widow of Edward Stedman, rector,
in 1713. Pulpit: three sides of hexagonal pulpit, each
panelled in three lights, top range carved with enriched
arches and now pierced, c. 1630, restored and made up
with modern work in 1908.
Brampton Abbotts, Rudhall, Ground Plan
b(2). Rudhall House (Plate 98), over 1½ m. E.S.E.
of the church, is of two storeys with cellars and attics;
the walls are mainly timber-framed with some stonework, and the roofs are tiled. There are some remains
of a 14th-century house of at least two wings extending
towards the N. and E.; the main wing extended over
the E. part of the present dining-hall and adjoining
passage and the E. wing over the E. part of the adjoining
wing on the S. The property came into the hands of
Nicholas Rudhall in 1411–12, and his descendant
William Rudhall (d. 1530) was responsible for much of
the present form of the house. He inserted a new roof
under the earlier roof of the N. wing, added a range
flanking it on the E. and extended to the W. the original
E. wing to about treble its original length with a chapel
at the W. end. In the time of James I, a fire considerably damaged the house, apparently in that part to the
N. of the main block. In consequence of this the N.
front is mainly a re-building of this date and the W.
front of the main block was advanced some 9 ft. at the
same time. The kitchen, on the E. of the main block,
is also an addition of this date, as is the main staircase
in the original E. wing. The N.W. turret was added
in the 18th century, and there is a modern extension
at the E. end of the house. The chapel was mostly
demolished about the middle of the 19th century.
The house is an interesting example of 16th-century
and later timber-work, and the 17th-century stone
entrance is noteworthy.
The W. front of the main building is of early 17th-century date, and timber-framed; some of the framing
is exposed to the N. of the entrance; there are three
gables with re-used early 16th-century barge-boards
carved with Tudor-flower foliage and with moulded
pendants at the top and base. The stone entrance (Plate
87) projects slighdy and is carried up two storeys; the
elliptical arch springs from plain responds with moulded
imposts and is flanked by coupled Doric half-columns
supporting an entablature of the same order; the upper
stage is flanked by similar columns supporting a plain
entablature, and has a window of three lights with
elliptical heads; above the second entablature is a
strapwork-cresting with pedestals at the sides and,
in the middle, the Rudhall badge, a Catherine-wheel.
The N. front of the S. wing is of early 16th-century date,
timber-framed with exposed and close-set timbers to
the lower storey; the upper storey projects and has
three gabled bays with a further projection coved and
timbered on the soffit; the side-spandrels of the coves
are carved with (a) shield-of-arms of Rudhall, (b) three
bean-pods, (c) Prince of Wales' feathers, (d) letter W., (e)
letter A (?); the angle-posts are moulded and carved and
have crocketed and finialed gables; the three gables have
exposed framing and early 16th-century carved bargeboards and apex-pendants similar to those on the W.
front, but in situ; the base-beams of the gables are carved
with foliage and (a) crowned Tudor rose between portcullises, (b) Prince of Wales' feathers with the motto of
the Garter, (c) cross with the five wounds, IHS and M. at
sides; the rest of the upper storey is plastered and has
modern round-headed recesses flanking the window in
each projecting bay. The W. wall of the same wing
is modern. The S. wall has been entirely re-faced, but
the doorway to the staircase-hall retains its early 16th-century door and frame; the frame is moulded and has
a four-centred arch in a square head; the spandrels are
carved with folded ornament and the Rudhall crest—
a hand holding three roses; the door has four linen-fold
panels with tracery at the ends and shields at the top
bearing the motto "In Dño confido." The S. front
of the main block has an early 16th-century W. bay with
a projecting upper storey on curved brackets and a
chamfered oak sill to the ground-floor window. The
N. wall of the main block has no old features except
an early 17th-century chimney-stack with four grouped
shafts set diagonally and with a diagonal nib on the
face of each.
Interior—The ground-floor of the main building has
been much altered, but the two rooms W. of the
kitchen have chamfered ceiling-beams and the kitchen
itself has some exposed timber-framing and a blocked
window in the W. wall. The early 16th-century S.
wing has moulded ceiling-beams forming square panels.
The middle room has panelling of c. 1640 on the W.
wall and 17th-century panelling, made up with modern
work, on the other walls. The main staircase (Plate
75), of c. 1640, has turned columnar balusters,
moulded strings and hand-rails and square newels
with moulded cappings; the walls are lined with
panelling of the same date, made up with modern
work and with a strapwork frieze at the top; the doorway at the E. end of the hall has a 16th-century door
(Plate 67) with linen-fold panels. On the first floor,
the middle room of the 16th-century S. range is lined
with panelling of c. 1640, with a carved frieze of
dolphins; the fireplace has an overmantel (Plate 64) of
the same date, and of two stages each with three enriched
arches divided and flanked by diminishing pilasters;
between the stages is a carved entablature with arabesques; the ceiling and that of the room to the E. have
early 16th-century moulded beams forming square
panels. The room to the W. formed part of the chapel
and retains parts of two early 16th-century roof-trusses;
the tie-beams are moulded and one retains a curved
brace. The passage leading from the E. end of this wing
through the main block has an early 17th-century fluted
frieze and moulded cornice; the room at the N. end of
the passage has exposed timber-framing. The rooms
above the entrance and at the N.W. angle of the main
block are lined with panelling of c. 1630–40, made up
with modern work. The staircase in the middle of the
main block is of c. 1630–40, and has square moulded
newels with shaped terminals, columnar balusters and
moulded strings and rails. The attic doorways have
17th-century moulded frames. Above the present
dining-hall and at the E. end of the S. wing are remains
of 14th-century roofs, incorporated in later work:
over the hall are remains of two bays with a span of
19 ft., cambered tie-beam, cusped wind-braces and
curved braces to the collars; the roof was formerly
open to the original one-storeyed hall. An early 16th-century roof has been built under the earlier work and
moulded tie-beams added to strengthen the original
ties; this roof has king-posts with two-way braces to
the collars, longitudinal moulded beam between the ties,
moulded and curved braces to the tie-beams and subsidiary curved ribs subdividing the bays; below the king-posts are moulded pendants with carved four-way
brackets. Below this 16th-century roof a late 18th-century ceiling has been inserted. The 14th-century
work in the S. wing has cusped wind-braces, but is only
partly accessible. The early 16th-century western part
of the S. wing has moulded tie-beams with diagonal
struts and curved wind-braces.
In the garden, S.W. of the house, is the base of a
14th-century cross; it has chamfered angles and retains
part of the stem.
a(3). Netherton Farm, house about 600 yards S. of
the church, is of two storeys with cellars; the walls are
of rubble, timber-framing and modern brick; the roofs
are covered with slates. The middle part of the house
was built in the 16th century, apparently on a T-shaped
plan with the cross-wing at the N. end; there are
17th-century additions on the N. and S. and an 18th-century wing on the E. of the original S. wing. The
main entrance has a 17th-century door, and there is
some exposed timber-framing in the N. addition.
Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams,
joists and timber-framing, and part of an original roof-truss remains.
Condition—Good, much altered.