13 BRINSOP (A.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXVI, S.W., (b)XXXIII, N.W.)
Brinsop is a small parish 6 m. N.W. of Hereford.
The church with its 12th-century carvings, glass and
screen, and the 14th-century mansion of Brinsop
Court are the principal monuments.
b(1). Parish Church of St. George (Plate 8)
stands in the S. part of the parish. The walls are of
local sandstone rubble, with dressings of the same
material; the roofs are covered with stone slates. A
re-set doorway is evidence of the existence of a church
of c. 1150, part of which may be preserved in the
N.E. angle of the present Chancel; this early church
was perhaps a simple rectangle. The E. and S. walls
of this building were perhaps re-built late in the 13th
century. A North Aisle and arcade of two bays were
added c. 1320, and the nave and aisle lengthened (the
latter by two additional bays) c. 1330–40. The church
was restored in 1866–7, and the North Vestry, South
Porch, and probably the west bell-turret are modern.
The carving of the 12th-century doorway is of much
interest, and among the fittings the coffin-lids, glass and
screen are noteworthy.
Brinsop, the Parish Church of St George
Architectural Description—The Chancel (16½ ft. by
15¼ ft.) has a late 13th-century E. window of three
plain pointed lights in a two-centred head with a
moulded label. The early to mid 14th-century N.
arcade is of four bays with cylindrical columns with
moulded capitals and bases; the chamfered responds
have moulded corbels; the two-centred arches are of
two chamfered orders; the two E. bays are earlier
than the others, and the W. respond is probably the
earlier respond re-set. Only the E. bay is included in
the chancel. In the S. wall is a late 13th-century
window of two pointed lights in a two-centred head
with a moulded label. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (34½ ft. by 15¼ ft.) has a N. arcade as
described above. Over the third bay is a corbel-table, perhaps for an early bell-cote, before the extension
of the nave. In the S. wall are two windows, the
eastern uniform with the S. window of the chancel,
and the western generally similar, but of rather later
date. The early 14th-century S. doorway has jambs
and two-centred arch of two moulded orders with a
moulded label. In the W. wall is a window generally
similar to the E. window, but of early 14th-century
The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has an early 14th-century E. window of two cinque-foiled lights with a
quatre-foiled spandrel in a two-centred head with a
moulded label. In the N. wall are two early 14th-century windows, the eastern of three trefoiled ogee
lights with unpierced spandrels in a segmental-pointed
head with a moulded label; the head is cut through by
the roof-plate; the western window is similar to that
in the E. wall; between them is a re-set 12th-century
doorway of two orders, and with the inner order of
the head cut to form a segmental-pointed arch; in the
round outer order are eight carved voussoirs and six
in the rear-arch, not in situ (see Carvings). The aisle
is covered by a roof carried down continuously from
that of the nave.
The Roof of the chancel and nave is perhaps of early
16th-century date and is of eight bays with collar-beam trusses having arched braces; between the
chancel and nave is a heavy tie-beam with open framing
above it; the continuation over the aisle has plain
rafters. The S. porch is modern, but incorporates two
posts against the church wall and the truss above, which
may date from the 15th century.
Fittings—Bells: three; inscribed, 1st "Sancta Mikel
ora pro nobis," cracked; 2nd "Amice Xpe Ihohannes"; 3rd "Sancta Margereta ora pro nobis"; all
mediæval, Worcester foundry. Brackets: In chancel—
on E. wall, N. of window, corbel-capital with square
abacus, late 13th-century; S. of E. window, round with
curved underside, probably 13th-century. Brass: In
nave—on W. wall, to William Dansey, 1628, inscription in stone panel. Carvings: In N. aisle—in N. wall,
portions of doorway of c. 1160 including tympanum
with carved voussoirs above and carved voussoirs
incorporated in N. doorway; tympanum (Plate 97)
carved with large figure of St. George on horseback
with cloak blown back, spear in right hand piercing
dragon, two birds above; voussoirs above carved
with angels, human figures, pair of fishes, bull, two
beasts, bird and conventional foliage; voussoirs (Plate
97) in N. doorway carved with a Sagittarius, angels,
human figures (perhaps apostles), beasts and conventional foliage; in W. wall of nave, panel (Plate 18)
of same date carved with a diaper of pelleted circles,
connected by beast-heads, and each containing a dove.
Coffin-lids: In nave—against W. wall, (1) with
incised cross-head enriched with pellets, early 13th-century. In N. chapel—(2) defaced, with remains
of cross and foliated stem, late 13th-century; (3)
with elaborate foliated cross (Plate 48) in relief,
with wavy stem and sprigs, late 13th or early
14th-century. In vestry—on E. wall, (4) much
broken, with elaborately foliated shaft and cross-head,
13th or early 14th-century; on external E. wall,
(5) head only with foliated cross in circle, late 13th-century; (6) much worn head with remains of cross
in circle, 13th-century; on W. external wall, (7) head
with foliated cross in circle, late 13th-century. Door:
In S. doorway—modern but with ornamental iron
scutcheon to ring-handle, 13th-century. Font: round
tapering bowl with chamfered band near bottom,
chamfered base and plinth, late 12th or early 13th-century. Glass: In chancel—in E. window, middle
light, panel (Plate 58) with figure of St. George with
shield and spear under trefoiled canopy, border of
fleurs-de-lis and leopards; second panel with figure of
saint in blue cloak under canopy, borders of lions and
eagles; in rest of light two modern panels; in head
of N. light canopy of tabernacle-work, and below a
shield of Chandos of Cheshire (?), partly modern; in
S. light, shield of Dauncey of Brinsop quartering argent
a fesse gules with a label of four points azure (Rumsey of
Brecon ?), also grisaille quarries, all 14th-century, except
Dauncey shield, 15th-century. In N. aisle—in western
window, seated figure of Christ in Majesty (Plate 57)
holding orb, with red foliage background, 14th-century.
In vestry—in N. window, several quarries with whorldesign, 14th-century. Monuments: In nave—on S.
wall, (1) to William Daunsey, 1708, marble wall-monument (Plate 60), flanked by Composite pilasters
with entablatures, curved cornice, drapery, cherubs
with shields-of-arms, urns and achievement-of-arms;
on W. wall, (2) to Lady Doughlas Dudley, wife of Cap.
William Daunsey, 1642, stone slab. In vestry—on E.
wall, (3) to Catherine (Reed), wife of William Daunsey,
1704–5, grey marble panel. In churchyard—E. of
chancel, (4) to Martha (Hopton), widow of James
Hyet, 1666, flat stone; (5) to Debora (Rodde), wife of
William Daunsey, 1655, flat slab. Paintings: In
chancel on E. jamb of S.E. window, remains of two
figures of women, possibly the Visitation, fragments
of masonry lines and foliage above; similar fragments, with remains of figure-subject, possibly an
Annunciation, E. of window, c. 1300. In nave—
over S. doorway, possibly portion of a Crucifixion, and E. of S.E. window, remains of foliagework, c. 1300. Piscina: In chancel—recess with
chamfered jambs, two-centred head and quatre-foiled
drain, late 13th-century. Plate: includes an early
18th-century pewter plate. Scratchings: In nave—on
N. arch of arcade, various masons' marks. Screen:
Between chancel and nave—with central doorway
and four bays on each side, close lower panels and open
upper panels with moulded mullions and cinque-foiled
ogee heads of varying design on the two sides, partly
modern, double moulded rail in middle with band of
pierced quatrefoils and flowing tracery on face of upper
rail, late 14th or early 15th-century, with modern work
and modern cresting. Between chancel and N. chapel
—with doorway and five side-bays, close lower panels
and open upper panels with moulded mullions, head-beam with band of quatrefoils and carved brattishing,
15th-century, incorporating modern work. Stoup: In
nave—E. of S. doorway, semi-octagonal bowl, each
face with quatre-foiled panel, 15th-century. Miscellanea: In N. chapel—used as bracket in S.E. angle,
stone with interlacing cable-ornament, 12th-century.
a(2). Brinsop Court (Plates 99–102), house and
moat, nearly ¾ m. N.N.E. of the church. The House
is of two storeys partly with attics; the walls are of
stone with some later timber-framing and the roofs
are covered with stone slates. It belonged, in the 13th
and 14th centuries, to the family of Tirrell, and from
them passed to the Daunsey family who held it till 1820.
The existing building indicates three periods of early
14th-century work, of which the earliest, c. 1300–10, is
the small part of the N. range, E. of the entrance; the
rest of the range was built c. 1320–30, and the N.W.
angle retains evidence of a former turret. The E. half
of the S. range, containing the Great Hall, was built
c. 1340, and the W. half perhaps followed shortly after.
There are traces of a low W. range abutting on the N.
range and probably of about the same age, but this was
replaced by a much higher timber-framed building
about the middle of the 16th century. The S. half of
this range was again re-built towards the end of the
17th century. The W. half of the S. range appears to
have been remodelled early in the 16th century. Part
of the W. range, towards the courtyard, was refronted
in brick about the middle of the 18th century, and the
main entrance was altered about the same period. In
1913 the modern E. range was built, closing in the
courtyard, certain added partitions and internal walls
removed, and a bay added on the E. face of the W.
The house is an interesting example of a large 14th-century manor-house.
Elevations—The N. front of the N. range is ashlar-faced except for some 18th-century brickwork above
the entrance; E. of the entrance is a straight joint
probably indicating the extent of the early block at this
end. The re-facing at the N.W. angle probably
indicates the former existence of a turret at this point.
The entrance has stone jambs and an 18th-century brick
arch. E. of the entrance are three early 14th-century
windows, each of two trefoiled lights and two having
moulded labels in addition; a fourth window, perhaps
of the same date, is a single square-headed light. W.
of the entrance are four slightly later 14th-century
windows, one of two trefoiled lights with a quatre-foiled panel in a two-centred head, and the others each
of two trefoiled lights with moulded labels; one of
these windows has lost its cusps. The S. front of the
N. range has, E. of the entrance, two early 14th-century
doorways, one above the other and each with moulded
jambs, segmental-pointed head and moulded label;
further E. is a two-light window similar to that in the
opposite wall. The W. end of the range is of ashlar
and has a large tabled buttress near the S.W. angle; in
the gable-wall is a tall early 14th-century window of two-pointed lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label and trefoiled heads
below the transom; on the apex of the gable is carved
a crouching ape. The low buttress on the return S.
wall and the raking weathering above it indicate the
height of the low 14th-century W. wing, now destroyed.
The W. front of the W. range has, in its northern half,
walls of 16th-century timber-framing fairly close-set;
the stone chimney-stack has four 17th-century brick
shafts, set diagonally. The rest of the front is of late
17th-century date and has no features of interest; the
S. gable-end has exposed timber-framing. The E.
front of the W. range is all of 18th-century or later
work. The N. front of the S. range is ashlar-faced,
with two buttresses. In the W. bay is a doorway with
a low triangular head, and further W. two 16th-century
windows with chamfered oak frames and mullions;
the lower is of five lights, and the upper of eight lights
with a transom. The middle bay has three 14th-century windows on the first floor, the two eastern
lighting the Hall are of two trefoiled ogee lights with
a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded
label; the western window is a single trefoiled ogee
light. On the ground floor are two windows similar
to that last described, but set in a square outer order.
In the E. bay, at the same level, is a similar window of
two lights; farther E. is a 14th-century doorway with
an ogee arch in a square head. The 14th-century
doorway to the Hall, on the first-floor level and
approached by steps, has moulded jambs and a trefoiled
ogee head. The S. front of the S. range is ashlar-faced, and of two dates indicated by a straight joint W.
of the central buttress; the W. part has a chimney-stack with a late 17th or early 18th-century panelled
shaft of brick; there are two old window openings on
the upper floor, one of which has the casual inscription "1702 Ebenezer." The eastern part of the front
has two two-light windows, lighting the Hall and
uniform with those in the opposite wall, an original
ashlar chimney-stack and farther W. two single-light
windows, one of the 14th century with a trefoiled ogee
head and moulded label, and the other with a square
head; the lower storey retains one old window with
a square head.
Brinsop Court, Plan of First Floor and Plan of Ground Floor
Interior—The Entrance Hall has some exposed
timber-framing and a re-set door of nail-studded battens
with old iron handle and lock-plates. The 'Gothic
Hall,' to the E., has 16th-century moulded ceiling-beams.
There is some re-used early 17th-century panelling in
the passage W. of the entrance. The room in the N.W.
angle has, in the W. wall, a blocked 14th-century doorway with a shouldered head, probably communicating
with a former angle-turret. The Oak Parlour in the W.
wing has chamfered ceiling-beams and a wide fireplace
with stone jambs and oak lintel; the screen at the N.
end incorporates an old head-beam. The 'Queen Anne
Parlour' has a fireplace with a moulded surround.
Some timber-framing is exposed in the S. part of the
range. The fireplace in the Drawing Room ('Wordsworth Parlour') has an oak frieze and overmantel
brought from elsewhere. The Dining Parlour, in the
S. range, has chamfered ceiling-beams and an early 17th-century panelled dado, brought from other parts of the
house. On the first floor the Great Hall (42 ft. by 22¼ ft.),
in the S. range (Plate 102), is of three bays with four 14th-century roof-trusses; they have moulded and cambered
tie-beams, moulded wall-plates, king-posts with foiled
four-way struts to the collars and central purlin; the
common rafters are trussed; the roof has been slightly
restored. The two-light windows of the Hall have
stone seats in the embrasures; the fireplace has moulded
stone jambs and shouldered head and contains an iron
fire-back with the date and initials 1669 E. and M.D.
The room above the Dining Parlour is lined with early
17th-century panelling from Mildmay House, Newington
Green, and there is an overmantel from the same place.
The upper rooms in the W. range have some exposed
timber-framing and wall-plates. The large 14th-century window in the N.W. room has seats in the
embrasure and the mullion has a stone bolt-hole for
shutters, below the transom; farther N. is an original
doorway with moulded jambs and segmental-pointed
head, formerly opening into the destroyed angle-turret
and now blocked. The other rooms in the range
have some exposed framing, and in one room is a 14th-century stone bracket of semi-octagonal form and
terminating in a carved flower.
The Moat is roughly rectangular and surrounds the
house. It is crossed, near the S.W. corner, by a stone
bridge, entirely re-built from old materials. In the
middle of the W. parapet is an added coping with a
carved figure of a man or ape playing a fiddle; it is
mentioned in 1872 as being then on one of the two
towers flanking the drawbridge; this drawbridge, on
the N. front, has now been replaced by two modern
About 200 yards S. of the house is a second rectangular moat, and immediately N. of the house are two
b(3). White House Farm, house, 500 yards W.S.W.
of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed, but
mainly faced with 18th-century brickwork; the roofs
are slate-covered. It was built probably in the 17th
century, but has been extensively altered in the 18th
century. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams. The adjoining outbuildings, N. and S. of the
house, are timber-framed and probably of the same
Earthworks adjoining Brinsop Church.
(b)(4). Earthworks, covering an area of approximately 10 acres adjacent to the church, include a central
enclosure about 1¼ acres in area, now the site of the
churchyard, defended by a rampart with traces of outer
ditch along its W. side, while the N. side has an outer
ditch, but is only ramparted for a portion of its length.
The S. and E. sides have a slight scarp, but no rampart,
and there is no trace of a ditch to the E., but probably
there has been some destruction in modern times, while
the swampy nature of the ground on the E. may have
been considered sufficient protection. Immediately
adjoining the ditch on the W. is a raised rectangular
platform which would appear to have formed an outer
enclosure. Immediately N.E. of the churchyard is a
rhomboidal-shaped moated enclosure, the moat being
now practically dry, and having an outer bank to its S.
arm and to part of the N. arm. From the W. end of
the southern outer bank a broad bank runs in a S.E.
direction until it reaches the stream on the E. of the
site. To the N. of the main and moated enclosures
are two irregularly shaped scarped enclosures, the more
westerly of which has a small oval sinking at the foot
of its E. scarp, and a large pond, now almost dry, at the
foot of its N. scarp; there is also some slight scarping
beyond, which probably indicates a part of old cultivated
enclosures. The two fields N. of the church are
known as Upper and Lower Stanks. The earthwork
enclosing the churchyard is called a Roman Camp on
the O.S. The plan of the whole works, however,
seems to suggest a manorial origin, though the main
ramparted enclosure may suggest the possibility of the
incorporation of an earlier—but not necessarily Roman